The Effect of Intensity on Post-Exercise Hypotension: Is Post-Exercise Hypotension different following high intensity interval exercise when compared to continuous exercise and do antihistamines blunt the hypotensive response?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction: An acute drop in blood pressure is seen following exercise, this is called postexercise hypotension (PEH). High intensity interval training is superior to continuous training in terms of improving aerobic and metabolic fitness, however little is known about the effect of interval exercise on PEH, in this study we matched the total work done when comparing high intensity interval exercise (4x4 minutes at 85% VO2max) with continuous exercise (30 minutes at 70% VO2max). Histamine release is implicated in the mechanisms causing PEH, we investigated the effect of antihistamines on both types of exercise. Methods: Participants participant attended 5 sessions: a VO2max test, two continuous exercise sessions and two interval exercise sessions. Of these, one continuous and one interval session were completed following antihistamine ingestion. The primary outcome measure was blood pressure measured before, during and for 1 hour post-exercise. Results: A total of 5 participants completed the study, a similar magnitude of post-exercise hypotension was observed following interval and continuous exercise bouts (-8.6/-2.9 mmHg and -12.3/-3.5 mmHg respectively (systolic/diastolic)). Antihistamine ingestion reduced the scale of PEH (125.7/75.0 mmHg compared to 122.0/71.8 mmHg) by a clinically significant amount following both exercise types, however these results (mean reduction in PEH of 3.7/ 3.2 mmHg) were not statistically significant. (p=0.177 and 0.183 respectively). Conclusion: These results confirm the involvement of histamine in the PEH response, antihistamines taken at the recommended daily dosage reduced the size of PEH in both continuous and interval exercise bouts by a clinically significant amount. Individuals performing exercise as an antihypertensive treatment may be reducing the effectiveness of the exercise as an intervention, further research is required to determine the clinical implications of the interaction between antihistamines and the scale of PEH when prescribing antihistamines for patients using exercise as an intervention for hypertension.
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