Clinical Autonomic Research

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 57–65 | Cite as

High-intensity intermittent exercise and cardiovascular and autonomic function

  • Mehrdad Heydari
  • Yati N. Boutcher
  • Stephen H. Boutcher
Research Article

Abstract

Objective

The effect of 12 weeks of high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) on cardiac, vascular, and autonomic function of young males was examined.

Methods

Thirty-eight young men with a BMI of 28.7 ± 3.1 kg m−2 and age 24.9 ± 4.3 years were randomly assigned to either an HIIE or control group. The exercise group underwent HIIE three times per week, 20 min per session, for 12 weeks. Aerobic power and a range of cardiac, vascular, and autonomic measures were recorded before and after the exercise intervention.

Results

The exercise, compared to the control group, recorded a significant reduction in heart rate accompanied by an increase in stroke volume. For the exercise group forearm vasodilatory capacity was significantly enhanced, P < 0.05. Arterial stiffness, determined by pulse wave velocity and augmentation index, was also significantly improved, after the 12-week intervention. For the exercise group, heart period variability (low- and high-frequency power) and baroreceptor sensitivity were significantly increased.

Conclusion

High-intensity intermittent exercise induced significant cardiac, vascular, and autonomic improvements after 12 weeks of training.

Keywords

High-intensity intermittent exercise Stroke volume Heart period variability Baroreceptor sensitivity Arterial stiffness 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Chau Tran, Joshua Lane, Roger Burrell, and Lucas Webb for help with data collection. This study was supported by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust (Grant # RM06599).

Conflict of interest

None of the authors had a personal or financial conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehrdad Heydari
    • 1
  • Yati N. Boutcher
    • 1
  • Stephen H. Boutcher
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, School of Medical SciencesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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