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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 December;55(12):1423-30

language: English

Responses of blood pressure and lactate levels to various aquatic exercise movements in postmenopausal women

Chien K.-Y. 1, Chen W.-C. 2, Kan N.-W. 3, Hsu M.-C. 4, Lee S.-L. 5

1 Graduate Institute of Sports Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan, Taiwan;
2 Institute of Sports Equipment Technology, University of Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan;
3 Center for Liberal Arts, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan;
4 Department of Sport Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan;
5 Department of Health Food, Chung Chou University of Science and Technology, Changhua, Taiwan


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AIM: Middle-aged and elderly women represent the main attending group in head-out aquatic exercise (HOAE). Blood pressure (BP) significantly increases both during water immersion and aquatic walking. Based on risk concerns, it is important to evaluate BP responses in postmenopausal women doing HOAE. The aim of this study was to determine BP, lactate levels, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) changes associated with performing 3 different movements at 3 levels of exercise intensity in water.
METHODS: Twelve postmenopausal women (59.9±0.6 years old) participated in 3 aquatic trials involving running (RU), rocking (RO), and scissor kicks (SK) on separate days. Systolic BP, mean arterial pressure (MAP), lactate levels, RPE, and motion cadence were measured at rest; upon reaching 50%, 65%, and 80% of heart rate reserve for 6 minutes; and 10 and 30 minutes after exercise.
RESULTS: Under similar RPE responses at 3 levels of intensity, SK resulted in higher systolic BP, MAP, and lactate levels than RO at 10 minutes after exercise (P<0.05) and the lowest motion cadence (P<0.05). RO resulted in the lowest MAP and diastolic BP responses during exercise (P<0.05). RU resulted in lower responses of lactate levels at high exercise intensity (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: RO resulted in lower diastolic BP and MAP responses compared with RU and SK during exercise. These findings suggest that RO movement in aquatic exercises is more suitable for people at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

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