, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 119-124,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 15 Nov 2012

Intermittent, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for only eight weeks reduces arterial stiffness: evaluation by measurement of stiffness parameter and pressure–strain elastic modulus by use of ultrasonic echo tracking


Background and purpose

Aerobic exercise has been reported to be associated with reduced arterial stiffness. However, the intensity, duration, and frequency of aerobic exercise required to improve arterial stiffness have not been established. In addition, most reports base their conclusions on changes in pulse wave velocity, which is an indirect index of arterial stiffness. We studied the effects of short-term, intermittent, moderate-intensity exercise training on arterial stiffness based on measurements of the stiffness parameter (β) and pressure–strain elastic modulus (E p), which are direct indices of regional arterial stiffness.


A total of 25 young healthy volunteers (18 men) were recruited. By use of ultrasonic diagnostic equipment we measured β and E p of the carotid artery before and after 8 weeks of exercise training.


After exercise training, systolic pressure (P s), diastolic pressure (P d), pulse pressure, systolic arterial diameter (D s), and diastolic arterial diameter (D d) did not change significantly. However, the pulsatile change in diameter ((D s − D d)/D d) increased significantly, and β and E p decreased significantly.


For healthy young subjects, β and E p were reduced by intermittent, moderate-intensity exercise training for only 8 weeks.