Postexercise hypotension and related hemodynamic responses to cycling under heat stress in untrained men with elevated blood pressure

Felipe A. Cunha, Paulo Farinatti, Helen Jones, ADRIAN MIDGLEY

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Purpose: To investigate the effect of heat stress on postexercise hypotension. Methods: Seven untrained men, aged 21–33 years, performed two cycling bouts at 60% of oxygen uptake reserve expending 300 kcal in environmental temperatures of 21 °C (TEMP) and 35 °C (HOT) in a randomized, counter-balanced order. Physiological responses were monitored for 10-min before and 60-min after each exercise bout, and after a non-exercise control session (CON). Blood pressure (BP) also was measured during the subsequent 21-h recovery period. Results: Compared to CON, systolic, and diastolic BPs were significantly reduced in HOT (Δ = − 8.3 ± 1.6 and − 9.7 ± 1.4 mmHg, P < 0.01) and TEMP (Δ = − 4.9 ± 2.1 and − 4.5 ± 0.9 mmHg, P < 0.05) during the first 60 min of postexercise recovery. Compared to TEMP, rectal temperature was 0.6 °C higher (P = 0.001), mean skin temperature was 1.8 °C higher (P = 0.013), and plasma volume (PV) was 2.6 percentage points lower (P = 0.005) in HOT. During the subsequent 21-h recovery period systolic BP was 4.2 mmHg lower in HOT compared to CON (P = 0.016) and 2.5 mmHg lower in HOT compared to TEMP (P = 0.039). Conclusion: Exercise in the heat increases the hypotensive effects of exercise for at least 22 h in untrained men with elevated blood pressure. Our findings indicate that augmented core and skin temperatures and decreased PV are the main hemodynamic mechanisms underlying a reduction in BP after exercise performed under heat stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1013
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
Early online date18 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • baroreceptor reflex; blood pressure; cardiovascular response; energy expenditure; thermoregulation
  • Baroreceptor reflex
  • Cardiovascular response
  • Energy expenditure
  • Thermoregulation
  • Blood pressure


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