The magnitude and duration of post-exercise hypotension after land and water exercises

Elmarie Terblanche, Aletta M E Millen
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2012, 112 (12): 4111-8
The objective of the study was to determine and compare the magnitude and duration of post-exercise hypotension (PEH) during free-living conditions after an acute session of concurrent water and land exercise in individuals with prehypertension and hypertension. Twenty-one men and women (aged 52 ± 10 years) volunteered for the study. Participants completed a no exercise control session, a water exercise session and a land exercise session in random order. After all three sessions, participants underwent 24-h monitoring using an Ergoscan ambulatory BP monitoring device. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were monitored to determine changes from resting values after each session and to compare the PEH responses between land and water exercises. During daytime, both land and water exercises resulted in significantly lower SBP (12.7 and 11.3 mmHg) compared to the control session (2.3 mmHg). The PEH response lasted for 24 h after land exercise and 9 h after water exercise. There was no difference in the daytime DBP for the three treatments (P > 0.05). Although all three groups showed significant reductions during nighttime, both exercise treatments showed greater nocturnal falls in BP than the control treatment. This is the first study to show that the magnitude of the PEH response is similar for land and water exercises, although the duration of PEH may be longer for land exercise. These results suggest that water exercise is a safe alternative exercise modality for individuals with suspected and known hypertension.

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