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Minor changes in blood lipids after 6 weeks of high-volume low- intensity physical activity with strict energy balance control

Abstract

Physical activity has been shown to favorably affect metabolic risk markers, including blood lipids. The impact of high-energy turnover, without influencing the traditionally used markers of exercise training effects, on blood lipids is still unclear. The aim was to study the effect of high-volume low-intensity physical activity on the blood lipid pattern, with a tight control of diet and energy balance. Eight untrained men [42.5 (12.1) years, body mass index 24.2 (2.8) kg m−2] were tested in two different 6-week protocols. In the sedentary protocol, the subjects were instructed to limit their everyday physical activity. In the activity protocol, a 2-h physical activity bout was performed 5 days week−1 (~40% of VO2max; equivalent of an additional 21 MJ week−1 in energy expenditure). The diet for both protocols comprised ~40 energy percent (E%) fat, ~50 E% carbohydrates (CHO). The polyunsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids ratio of the diet was ~0.12. There were no changes during each 6-week period or differences between the two protocols in body weight, body composition or aerobic capacity. Low-intensity physical activity did not affect lipid parameters substantially, except for a slightly lower Apo-B/Apo-A1 ratio with the activity protocol (P<0.05). Total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, as well as Apo-B and Apo-A1, were increased during the beginning of each 6-week period (P<0.05), but returned to basal levels by the sixth week. In conclusion, 6 weeks of high-volume low-intensity physical activity did not affect blood lipids substantially.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by grants from the Agricultural Research Fund (project# 916108). The authors wish to express their gratitude to Professor Bengt Vessby for commenting on the protocol and manuscript, and the analyses of the fatty acids; to Dr. Agneta Andersson and Jeanette Forslund for preparing the experimental diets; and Dr. Kristen Knutson for linguistic and editorial comments.

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Correspondence to Ulf Holmbäck.

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Branth, S., Sjödin, A., Forslund, A. et al. Minor changes in blood lipids after 6 weeks of high-volume low- intensity physical activity with strict energy balance control. Eur J Appl Physiol 96, 315–321 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-005-0096-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-005-0096-2

Keywords

  • Exercise volume
  • Energy turnover
  • Cholesterol