Postexercise hypotension after maximal short-term incremental exercise depends on exercise modality

Felipe A Cunha, A.W. Midgley, P.P. Soares, P.T. Farinatti

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This study investigated postexercise hypotension (PEH) after maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) performed using different exercise modalities. Twenty healthy men (aged 23 ± 3 years) performed 3 maximal CPETs (cycling, walking, and running), separated by 72 h in a randomized, counter-balanced order. Systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate, cardiac output, systemic vascular resistance (SVR), autonomic function (spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and heart rate variability (HRV)), and energy expenditure (EE) were assessed during a 60-min nonexercise control session and for 60 min immediately after each CPET. Total exercise volume (EE during CPET plus 60 min recovery) was significantly higher in running versus cycling and walking CPETs (P ≤ 0.001). Compared with control, only SBP after running CPET was significantly reduced (Δ = −6 ± 8 mm Hg; P < 0.001). Heart rate and cardiac output were significantly increased (P < 0.001) and SVR significantly decreased (P < 0.001) postexercise. BRS and HRV decreased after all CPETs (P < 0.001), whereas sympatho-vagal balance (low- and high-frequency (LF:HF) ratio) increased significantly after all exercise conditions, especially after running CPET (P < 0.001). Changes in SVR, BRS, sympathetic activity (low-frequency component of HRV), and LF:HF ratio were negatively correlated to variations in SBP (range −0.69 to −0.91; P < 0.001) and DBP (range −0.58 to −0.93; P ≤ 0.002). These findings suggest that exercise mode or the total exercise volume are major determinants of PEH magnitude in healthy men. Because of the running CPET, the PEH was primarily related to a decrease in SVR and to an increase in sympatho-vagal balance, which might be a reflex response to peripheral vasodilatation after exercise.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number6
Early online date10 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Postexercise hypotension

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