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Mendes R. 1, Sousa N. 1, Sampaio J. 1, Oliveira J. 2
1 University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro Department of Sport Sciences, Exercise and Health; Research Center in Sports, Health Sciences and Human Development, Vila Real, Portugal;
2 University of Porto; Faculty of Sport, Research Center in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure Porto, Portugal
Aim: This study aimed to determine the acute effect of a single session of aerobic exercise on ambulatory blood pressure in institutionalized and sedentary elderly.
Methods: Eight elderly males, institutionalized and sedentary were selected to undergo two ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for a period of 8h. One of the monitoring was accomplished after a session of aerobic exercise and the other after a control session of rest. The aerobic exercise session was constituted by two periods of 10 minutes of walking on treadmill at moderate intensity (40% to 59% heart rate reserve). These two periods were interspersed with 5 minutes recovery, preceded by a 5-minute specific warm-up and followed by a cool down of 5 minutes, on a total of 35 minutes per session.
Results: Significant differences were not found in the values of systolic blood pressure (118±10 vs. 119±13 mmHg), diastolic blood pressure (73±6 vs. 73±8 mmHg) and mean arterial pressure (88±6 vs. 88±9 mmHg) during the 8 hours of ambulatory recording between the two experimental conditions (control vs. exercise). The analysis of individual data revealed a great variability in ambulatory blood pressure response to an aerobic exercise session.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that aerobic exercise can be safely applied in a group of institutionalized and sedentary elderly. However, a single session of exercise was not effective to induce a decrease in ambulatory blood pressure values of normotensive subjects. There seems to be an individual variability in ambulatory blood pressure response to a single bout of aerobic exercise.