High Intensity Interval Exercise (HIIE) has been associated with greater reductions in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors when compared to continuous moderate exercise. Arterial stiffness (AS) is an independent risk factor for CVD that increases exponentially in women following menopause.
PURPOSE: The current research was designed to investigate the acute AS response to a single bout of HIIE versus a single bout of moderate continuous endurance exercise (MCE) in postmenopausal women.
METHODS: A total of 13 women (age = 60.85 ± 4.41 years) completed the study. Subjects completed both a HIIE and a MCE treadmill protocol on separate occasions. Time of the MCE intervention was adjusted to match for the average number of heart beats obtained during the HIIE intervention. Pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AIx), central systolic blood pressure (CSBP), and central diastolic blood pressure (CDBP) were measured pre exercise, 15 min post exercise, and 30 min post exercise to assess arterial stiffness.
RESULTS: No significant interaction (p > .05) between exercise intervention and time was determined for PWV, AIx, CSBP, or CDBP. No change in PWV was found from pre to post exercise (p = .109). A trend was found for a greater decrease in AIx following HIIE compared to the decrease in AIx following MCE (p = .086). A significant decrease in AIx was found from pre exercise to 15 min post exercise (p = .002; Mpre = 33.91, M15post = 27.40) and from pre exercise to 30-min post exercise (p = .035; Mpre = 33.91, M30post = 28.67).
CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate that whether postmenopausal women perform MCT or HIIE, the acute response of central arterial stiffness does not differ. No change in PWV from pre to post exercise was found for either exercise intervention.