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Effect of exercise on recovery blood pressure in normotensive and hypertensive subjects

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: February 1987


KAUFMAN, F. L., R. L. HUGHSON, and J. P. SCHAMAN. Effect of exercise on recovery blood pressure in normotensive and hypertensive subjects. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 17–20, 1987. The effects of dynamic exercise on the acute recovery blood pressure (BP) were studied in normotensive and hypertensive subjects. Three groups [eight normotensives, age 19 to 29 yr (N1); eight normotensives, age 35 to 62 yr (N2); and eight hypertensives, age 44 to 57 yr (H)] were tested over three separate sessions. The first two sessions were for familiarization with the protocol and test procedures. Resting systolic BP decreased (P <0.01) in all groups from sessions 1 to 3: N1 = 126 to 121 mm Hg; N2 = 127 to 120; H = 155 to 142. Resting diastolic BP decreased (P < 0.05) in the N1 and H groups from 77 to 73 and 98 to 95 mm Hg, respectively. On the third day, each subject followed the protocol of Wilcox et al. (8) of 15 min of seated rest, five 10-min periods of treadmill walking with a 3-min rest between each period, and 60 min of seated recovery. Exercise was performed at 67% of estimated maximal heart rate. In all three groups, significant (P < 0.05) reductions in both systolic BP (N1 = −12 ± 1; N2 = −10 ± 2; H = −12 ± 3) and diastolic BP (N1 = −5 ± 2; N2 = −5 ± 1; H = −7 ± 2) occurred from pre-exercise rest to post-exercise rest. Systolic BP remained lower following 60-min recovery (P < 0.02), while diastolic BP returned to pre-exercise levels in all three groups. No between-group differences were observed in the magnitude of reduction of BP post-exercise. It is concluded that studies of BP responses to exercise should ensure a stable baseline of pre-exercise rest in order to prevent over-estimation of the BP reducing effects of exercise.

©1987The American College of Sports Medicine