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Association Between Postexercise Hypotension and Long-term Training-Induced Blood Pressure Reduction: A Pilot Study

Hecksteden, Anne MD; Grütters, Teresa; Meyer, Tim MD, PhD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: January 2013 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 58–63
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e31825b6974
Original Research

Objective: The interindividual variability in the efficacy of regular endurance exercise to lower blood pressure is high. Therefore, to optimize training prescriptions, predictors would be desirable. The main hypothesis of the present study was an association between postexercise hypotension after an exhaustive exercise test and chronic blood pressure reductions in response to an endurance training program.

Design: Uncontrolled prospective training study.

Setting: University department.

Participants: Healthy untrained subjects were recruited by flyers. Inclusion criteria were age 30 to 60 years, body mass index 25 to 35 kg/m2, untrained status (<1 hour/week regular activity; V[Combining Dot Above]O2max < 45 mL·min−1·kg−1), blood pressure 150/95 mm Hg, nonsmoker; 14 subjects were included, 12 could be analyzed.

Intervention: Walking/running 4 times per week at 60% heart rate reserve for 4 weeks.

Main Outcome Measures: Difference in blood pressure from the initial resting value to 1 and 24 hours after the initial test (acute) and the resting value before the final test (chronic), respectively.

Results: Initial resting systolic blood pressure was 134 ± 18 mm Hg. Values were significantly reduced at all time points thereafter (1 hour: 125 ± 13 mm Hg; 24 hours: 128 ± 12 mm Hg; final: 125 ± 18 mm Hg). Acute and chronic changes correlated significantly (1 hour: P = 0.003; r = 0.77; 24 hours: P = 0.017; r = 0.67). Results for diastolic blood pressure were comparable yet less pronounced.

Conclusions: The magnitude of postexercise hypotension is a promising candidate for the prediction of individual blood pressure–related training efficacy. Easily determined, it might be used to improve training prescriptions. However, further studies are needed to assess predictive accuracy.

Institute of Sports and Preventive Medicine, University of Saarland, Saarbruecken, Germany.

Corresponding Author: Anne Hecksteden, MD, Institute of Sports and Preventive Medicine, Saarland University, Building B 8.2, 66123 Saarbruecken, Germany (

Supported by the HOMFOR program funded by the Faculty of Medicine at the Saarland University. No other specific grants were received from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received August 9, 2011

Accepted April 19, 2012

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