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Resistance and aerobic exercise protects against acute endothelial impairment induced by a single exposure to hypertension during exertion. J Appl Physiol (1985) 2011 Apr;110(4):1013-20



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-79954625144   61 Citations


Resistance and aerobic exercise is recommended for cardiovascular health and disease prevention. However, the accompanying increase in arterial pressure during resistance exercise may be detrimental to vascular health. This study tests the vascular benefits of aerobic compared with resistance exercise on preventing impaired vascular function induced by a single weight lifting session that is associated with acute hypertension. Healthy, lean sedentary (SED) subjects, weight lifters, runners (>15 miles/wk), and cross trainers (chronic aerobic and resistance exercisers), underwent a single progressive leg press weight lifting session with blood pressure measurements. Brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD; an index of arterial endothelial function) was determined using ultrasonography immediately before and after weight lifting. Sublingual nitroglycerin (0.4 mg) was used to determine endothelium-independent dilation after weight lifting. All subjects were normotensive with similar blood pressure responses during exercise. Baseline FMD was lower in runners (5.4 ± 0.5%; n = 13) and cross trainers (4.44 ± 0.3%; n = 13) vs. SED (8.5 ± 0.8%; n = 13; P = 0.037). Brachial FMD improved in conditioned weight lifters (to 8.8 ± 0.9%; P = 0.007) and runners (to 7.6 ± 0.6%; P < 0.001) but not cross trainers (to 5.3 ± 0.6%; P = NS) after acute hypertension. FMD was decreased in SED (to 5.7 ± 0.4%; P = 0.019). Dilation to nitroglycerin was similar among groups. These data suggest that endothelial responses are maintained after exposure to a single bout of weight lifting in resistance and aerobic athletes. Resistance and aerobic exercise may confer similar protection against acute vascular insults such as exertional hypertension.

Author List

Phillips SA, Das E, Wang J, Pritchard K, Gutterman DD


David D. Gutterman MD Sr Associate Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Kirkwood A. Pritchard PhD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Analysis of Variance
Blood Pressure
Brachial Artery
Endothelium, Vascular
Muscle, Skeletal
Regional Blood Flow
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