ArticleLiterature Review

The effect of acute aerobic exercise on stress related blood pressure responses: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

The beneficial impact of regular exercise on cardiovascular health is partly mediated by psychobiological mechanisms. However, the effect of acute exercise on psychobiological responses is unclear. Thus, we performed a systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the effect of acute aerobic exercise on blood pressure (BP) responses (the change from baseline to stress) to psychosocial laboratory tasks. Fifteen RCTs met inclusion criteria of which ten demonstrated significant reductions in post-exercise stress related BP responses compared with control (mean effect sizes for systolic and diastolic BP, 0.38 and 0.40). Studies involving greater exercise doses tended to show larger effects, with the minimum dose to show a significant effect being 30 min at 50% VO2max. No other moderators emerged from the examination of participant characteristics, research designs and stressor characteristics. In conclusion, an acute bout of aerobic exercise appears to have a significant impact on the BP response to a psychosocial stressor.

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... In 2006, a meta-analysis by Hamer and collaborators [12] evaluated the acute effects of aerobic exercise on BP reactivity to stress and found favorable results with attenuated hypertensive peaks. However, in addition to new studies being produced since then, responses to non-aerobic exercise are still unclear. ...
... We also extend this need for studies with the elderly, who, in addition to having the aforementioned advantages for having a high incidence of cardiovascular diseases [51], seem to have very promising responses when compared to younger people [52], so studies exploring speci c age stratus are needed. We also emphasize that, in addition to expanding and con rming favorable responses to aerobic exercise [12], the present study is, as far as we know, the rst to demonstrate positive meta-analytic effects of resistance exercise in BP reactivity. It is worth mentioning that these results are anchored in a smaller volume of evidence, and should be interpreted with caution, but it provides an optimistic direction for future studies with this exercise mode. ...
... [-0.68; -0.30]) and MBP (SMD = -0.48 [-0.70; -0.26]) in magnitudes similar to previous meta-analyze about the effects of acute aerobic exercise (SBP Effect size = 0.38; DBP Effect size = 0.40)[12]. Besides that, only 22% of the studies included non-aerobic exercises which make the results for these exercise mode di cult to generalize. ...
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Stressful situations are common in everyday life and disturb homeostasis. So, an exercise session is a strategy to mitigate blood pressure (BP) peaks in response to stress (i.e., BP reactivity), decreasing the cardiovascular risk of these individuals. This is a systematic review with a meta-analysis that aims to verify the effects of a single session of physical exercises on BP reactivity to stress. The searches were realized in digital databases (PUBMED, LILACS, EMBASE and PsycInfo) and 28 studies were included, totaling 846 individuals (meta-analysis stage: k = 24, n = 710). As for exercise characteristics, 23 of the 28 studies focused on aerobic exercises, and 24 studies focused on low to moderate intensities. Favorable metanalytic results (standardized mean differences through random-effects approach) for the exercises were found, with attenuated reactivity in systolic BP (pooled effect size = -0.35 [-0.46; -0.23], representing average reductions of 3.8 ± 3.5 mmHg), diastolic BP (pooled effect size = -0.49 [-0.68; -0.30], representing average reductions of 3.1 ± 3.6 mmHg), and mean BP (pooled effect size = -0.48 [-0.70; -0.26], representing average reductions of 4.1 ± 3.0 mmHg). So, acute physical exercise lowers systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressure reactivity in response to stressor tasks.
... Experimental trials assessing the acute effects of physical activity, specifically MVPA, on CVR are more consistent than studies examining fitness effects. A meta-analysis consisting of 15 trials that examine BP responses to psychosocial laboratory tasks immediately following a bout of MVPA (ranging from 10 min to 2 hr) found overall reductions in SBP and DBP reactivity, when compared to responses that occurred during resting periods (within-subject designs) or among nonactive controls (between-subjects designs; Hamer, Taylor, & Steptoe, 2006). Stronger effects of physical activity were found when the stressor was presented within 30 min following MVPA. ...
... Second, the METs units during the 30-min period prior to each hourly diary entry were averaged to index recent physical activity. Use of a 30-min period was based upon previous research observing a stronger effect on blood pressure reactivity when the stressor was presented within 30 min of a physical activity bout (Hamer et al., 2006). For both these physical activity measures, only days in which ABP readings were collected were included for analysis (see Peterson et al., 2017). ...
... To date, the focus of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in this context have been on aerobic exercise training. The use of exercise training interventions to reduce stressorprovoked BP responses has been somewhat mixed (Hamer et al., 2006), with two large, recent well-controlled RCTs finding null effects of aerobic exercise interventions on CVR (Alex et al., 2013;Sloan et al., 2011). One reason for the inconsistent findings among these studies may be that physical activity is commonly considered a confounder for laboratory-based cardiovascular reactivity testing, resulting in participants being asked to abstain from activity in the hours prior to testing. ...
Article
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Objective: Previous literature has shown an inconsistent relationship between physical activity and stressor-evoked blood pressure reactivity. Use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) may facilitate detecting such a relationship. In this study, the moderating effects of regular physical activity on the magnitude of ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) responses to psychosocial stressors experienced in daily life were examined. Method: Four hundred seventy-seven healthy working adults (ages 30-54) provided ABP readings and recorded their daily experiences, using electronic diaries (ED), over 4 monitoring days. Measures of momentary Task Strain (high demand, low control) and Social Conflict (rating of recent social interaction quality) were used as indices of stressor exposure, and an accelerometry device was used to create 2 indices of physical activity: weekly average and recent (30 min prior to each ED interview). Multilevel models were used to examine the moderating between- and within-person effects of physical activity on ABP fluctuations corresponding with the momentary psychosocial stressors. Results: Weekly physical activity moderated the effects of ABP responses to Task Strain (systolic blood pressure [SBP]: p = .033; diastolic blood pressure [DBP]: p = .028) and Social Conflict (DBP: p = .020), with significant increases in SBP and DBP shown for less physically active individuals but not for more physically active individuals. Similarly, recent physical activity moderated within-person DBP responses to Task Strain (p = .025), with greater DBP increases following less active periods. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that weekly and recent physical activity may moderate the effects of ABP responses to daily psychosocial stress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
... The search results from the databases yielded 1890 papers. Ten papers were added from the reference list of relevant review papers [19,20]. After removing the duplicates, 983 papers were examined based on the title and abstract, during which 933 papers were excluded. ...
... Our findings showed that there seems to be a consistent trend pointing towards lower BP reactivity with acute exercise in response to a stress exposure, in particular with ACE modality of moderate intensity. This is consistent with a previous meta-analysis which examined the effects of acute aerobic exercise on BP reactivity to stress [19]. Other modalities such as HIIE and resistance exercise are also associated with reduced BP reactivity to stress to a lesser extent. ...
Article
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Abstract: Exaggerated cardiovascular reactivity to and delayed recovery from stress increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases in the future. While exercise training has been shown to attenuate stress-induced cardiovascular reactivity and enhance recovery from stress, the effects with acute exercise are less characterized. The aim of this scoping review was to explore the range and characteristics of published evidence regarding acute exercise on cardiovascular reactivity and stress recovery. The secondary objective was to highlight research gaps and implications for future research. A total of 36 articles met the review inclusion/exclusion criteria, involving 1200 participants from various age groups, fitness and health status. Blood pressure (BP) reactivity was the most measured outcome, followed by heart rate (HR) reactivity, and to some extent, heart rate variability. Overall, acute exercise particularly of the moderate-intensity aerobic type effectively reduced stress-induced BP reactivity in the general population. The effects on HR reactivity and cardiovascular recovery were inconclusive. Further research would be recommended to establish if other forms of exercise intensity or type are equally beneficial to lower exaggerated cardiovascular responses to stress. Despite methodological differences and limitations, the available evidence supports the therapeutic potential of acute exercise in addressing the ill effects of stress on cardiovascular health.
... It is well known that aerobic exercise attenuates stress-related excessive CVR. A meta-analysis of the effect of acute aerobic exercise on blood pressure (BP) response to stressors showed significant mitigating effect in most studies [6]. Moreover, aerobic exercise training lowers heart rate (HR), rate pressure product (RPP), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) reactivity to psychological stress [7]. ...
... The majority of the studies on CVR have mainly focused on the effect of aerobic exercise or training. It is well known that aerobic exercise or training attenuates CVR to both physiological and psychological stressors [6][7][8]28,29]. Like responses to stressors, acute exercise elicits augments in HR and BP by an increase in sympathetic activity with parasympathetic withdrawal. ...
... psychosocial) stressors [22,23]. Whilst there is good evidence for attenuated responses of (habitually) active individuals to homotypic stressors, evidence is diverse for heterotypic ones [19,[24][25][26][27]. More recent investigations are inconclusive, with some providing no evidence for the CSA hypothesis [28,29], whereas others (at least partly) support the CSA hypothesis for different physiological parameters [26,[30][31][32][33][34]. ...
... Whilst there is good evidence for attenuated responses of (habitually) active individuals to homotypic stressors, evidence is diverse for heterotypic ones [19,[24][25][26][27]. More recent investigations are inconclusive, with some providing no evidence for the CSA hypothesis [28,29], whereas others (at least partly) support the CSA hypothesis for different physiological parameters [26,[30][31][32][33][34]. So far, studies examining these coherences in children mainly focused on stress responses of the ANS [35][36][37], commonly measured by means of cardiovascular parameters. ...
Article
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Background: Research suggests that physical activity (PA) enhances cognitive performance and prevents stress-related impairments of higher order cognitive functions like working memory (WM) performance. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of PA on WM performance after acute stress exposure in preadolescent children. Methods: Regular PA was assessed for seven consecutive days during a typical school week using accelerometers in a sample of 44 preadolescent children (14 girls, Mage = 11.29 years, SDage = 0.67). Following this period, participants performed an automated operational span (OSPAN) task immediately after being exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test for Children (TSST-C). Results: Children exhibited prototypical response slopes in salivary cortisol and salivary α-amylase as markers of the endocrine and autonomic stress response immediately after psychosocial stress induction. A subsequent two-way ANOVA comparing high- and low-stress responders revealed a significant interaction between group affiliation and PA level on WM performance for both stress markers. Interestingly, best WM performance was demonstrated in children showing both high PA levels and high cortisol (or low α-amylase, respectively) stress responses. Conclusions: Though patterns differed for salivary cortisol and salivary α-amylase, overall findings suggest that PA buffers the negative effects of stress on cognitive performance in children.
... Most research has focused on evaluating the acute effect of aerobic exercise on the stress-induced cVr in laboratory settings. 12 aerobic exercise is a physical stressor that elicits several physiological responses observed also during psychological stressors. 13 however, the cardiovascular responses to physical exercise are metabolically proportionate to the activity, whereas responses caused by psychological stress are considered disproportionate and likely pathogenic. ...
... the sample size calculation to achieve statistical power was based on data from previous research published on the effects of exercise on the absolute change in SBp = −3.7±3.9 mm hg, with an effect size (eS = 0.38) and dBp = −3.0±2.7 mm hg (eS = 0.40). 12 the estimated sample size based on a statistical power of β = 0.80 and α = 0.05 yielded 25 participants. the level of statistical significance for data was defined at p ≤ .05, ...
... An exaggerated BP reactivity is typically observed in hypertensive subjects, while in the general population, it is associated with the development of hypertension and CVD [26]. While vast literature shows that BP response to stressors is attenuated after a single session of aerobic exercise [27], cardiovascular responses to other exercise modalities are much less documented. Chen et al. [10] performed a comprehensive review of studies evaluating the effectiveness of single sessions of different exercise modalities in modulating the cardiovascular response to stressors. ...
Article
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The beneficial effects of exercise training (ET) in promoting cardiovascular health have been well established [...]
... Based on the stress buffer hypothesis (Cohen and Wills, 1985), social support can protect individuals from the potentially pathogenic effects of stress. This hypothesis assumes increased physical activity can buffer the negative health effects of stress, and maintaining physical activity during a high-stress period may reduce its negative impact on students' sleep and mental health (Hamer et al., 2006;Tsatsoulis and Fountoulakis, 2006;Gerber and Pühse, 2009). While Sudden outbreaks may make university students more prone to changes in PA and psychological stress (Serafini et al., 2012;Zhang et al., 2020). ...
Article
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Objective: To explore how a stringent campus lockdown affects the physical activity (PA), sleep and mental health of Chinese university students living in student dormitories during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Data on PA, sleep and mental health were collected between 24 March and 4 April 2022 from 2084 university students (mean age=22.4years, 61.1% male students) via an online questionnaire distributed by the students’ advisers of each dormitory. The Chinese short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-C), Athens Insomnia Scale (CAIS) and General Health Questionnaire 12-item (GHQ-12) were applied. The MannWhitney test and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to evaluate the PA profile differences between genders, before and during the lockdown period and between students’ living environments. Chi-squared (χ2) or Fisher’s exact test was used to assess changes in health behaviors by gender and students’ living environment compared to before the lockdown. A mediation model was used to examine whether sleep disorder mediated the relationship between PA and mental health in different students’ living environments. Results: Participants reported a significant decrease in weekly total PA levels (63.9%). Mean daily sedentary time increased by 21.4% and daily lying time increased by 10.7% compared to before lockdown. Among the participants, 21.2% had experienced insomnia, and 39.0% reported having high mental distress. Female students reported 10% higher rates of sleep disorders than male students (p<0.001), and also experienced a higher incidence of mental disorders (p<0.001). Students living with three roommates had a larger decrease in frequencies and durations of participation in light PA than other students (p<0.001). PA was negatively associated with sleep and mental health, and sleep disorder was a mediating factor between PA and mental health in the students living with two and three roommates. Conclusion: This study showed that strict lockdowns within university dormitories during the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative effect on the health of university students by changing their health behaviors, physical activity and sleep. Our findings indicate a need for strategies to promote an active lifestyle for students in space-limited dormitories in order to maintain health during a prolonged lockdown.
... For example, 20 minutes of low-to moderate-intensity treadmill exercise appears to be sufficient to reduce sensitivity to anxiety (21). Moreover, a bout of exercise, especially higher doses of activity (either high intensity or long duration) can actually reduce a person's physiological response to a later stressor (53). That is, on the days that a person completes a bout of exercise, they can expect to have less physiological response to stress for the next hour or two than if they had been sedentary. ...
Chapter
Chapter 13 of ACSM's Resources for the Exercise Physiologist. Health Stress Management.
... As a result, more oxygenated blood is distributed throughout the body, with a large percentage (∼20%) of it reaching the brain. The benefits of aerobic exercise are widespread, including changes in coronary blood flow, sleep quality, reductions in blood pressure, and systemic inflammation (e.g., Pratley et al., 2000;Hamer et al., 2006;Warburton, 2006;Ismail et al., 2012;Passos et al., 2012;Zheng et al., 2019). But more germane to the present study, regular aerobic exercise is linked to less depression and anxiety (Shamus and Cohen, 2009;Basso and Suzuki, 2017) and greater quality of life (e.g., Pang et al., 2013;Wu et al., 2020). ...
Article
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Teachers face significant stressors in relation to their work, placing them at increased risk for burnout and attrition. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about additional challenges, resulting in an even greater burden. Thus, strategies for reducing stress that can be delivered virtually are likely to benefit this population. Mental and Physical (MAP) Training combines meditation with aerobic exercise and has resulted in positive mental and physical health outcomes in both clinical and subclinical populations. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility and potential effectiveness of virtual MAP Training on reducing stress and improving mood and well-being in teachers. Participants ( n = 104) were from recruited online from kindergarten to grade twelve (K-12) schools in the Northeastern region of the United States and randomly assigned to a 6-week program of virtual MAP Training ( n = 58) or no training ( n = 13). Primary outcomes included pre-intervention and post-intervention ratings on self-report measures of social and emotional health. Changes in cognitive functioning and physical health were also examined in secondary analyses. By intervention end, participants in the MAP Training group reported less anxiety and work-related stress compared to those who received no training ( d s = −0.75 to −0.78). Additionally, MAP Training participants reported improvements in depressive symptoms, rumination, work-related quality of life, perceived stress, and self-compassion ( d s = 0.38 to −0.82), whereas no changes were observed in the no training group. Participants also reported increased subjective ratings of executive functioning, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and fewer sleep disturbances ( d s = −0.41 to −0.74). Together, these results suggest that the combination of meditation and aerobic exercise is an effective virtual intervention for improving mental health and well-being among K-12 teachers and may enhance resilience to stressful life events such as occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.
... Regular physical exercise induces numerous health benefits, including cardiopulmonary fitness, blood pressure and lipids, and psychological health to improve individuals' general health [5,6]. It is also known to assist in preventing and improving various diseases such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome and their related mortalities [11][12][13][14][15]. Enhanced cardiopulmonary fitness entails improvements in heart rate and stroke volume regulated via the central command, exercise pressor reflex, and active arterial baroreflex, which are associated with the control of the autonomic nervous system [9]. ...
Article
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This study was conducted to investigate the changes in the autonomic nervous system in middle-aged women induced by aerobic and resistance exercise. A randomized controlled design was adopted; 22 premenopausal middle-aged women were divided into the resistance training and aerobic exercise groups (n = 11 each). Each group followed a specific 60 min exercise program three times a week for 12 weeks. The participants’ heart rate variability (HRV) was measured to analyze the low(LF)- and high-frequency (HF) activity, and the LF/HF ratio was calculated to examine the autonomic nervous system’s activities. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to analyze the effects of resistance and aerobic exercise. LF activity significantly increased in both the resistance training (p < 0.001) and aerobic exercise (p < 0.5) groups, indicating a significant variation according to time effect. HF activity was significantly increased only in resistance training (p < 0.001) with a significant variation in time (p < 0.001) and an interaction effect (p < 0.01). The LF/HF ratio did not vary significantly in either group. The findings in this study suggest that both aerobic exercise and resistance training were effective for sympathetic nerve activities in middle-aged women and that the effects on the sympathetic and parasympathetic activities were greater for resistance training.
... However, as Mutrie (2002) points out above, what we do with our bodies may indeed affect how we think and feel. Evidence indicates that physical activity may be associated with a number of mental health benefits, including general mood improvement (Arent, Landers, & Etnier, 2000;Berger & Owen, 1983;Cockerill, Lawson, & Nevill, 1995;Pronk, Crouse, & Rohack, 1995), decreased trait anxiety (Petruzzello, Landers, Hatfield, Kubitz, & Salazar, 1991;Steptoe, Edwards, Moses, & Mathews, 1989), reduced state anxiety (Petruzzello et aI.) and lowered stress responses (Hamer, Taylor, & Steptoe, 2006;Rejeski, Thompson, Brubaker, & Miller, 1992). ...
Thesis
p>Physical activity has been found to alleviate depression, but little is known about why or how it 'works'. Combining quantitative and qualitative research methods, the overall aims of this thesis were to address this gap, identify potential mediators and develop an understanding of the process of change. Self-esteem, physical self-concept, physical self-efficacy, and the independent mood dimensions of depression, negative affect (NA) and positive affect (PA), were identified from theory as potential mediators. PA and NA have not previously been suggested, and represent a novel explanation. In particular, it was proposed that PA may be a stronger candidate mediator than NA. These factors were examined in an initial, longitudinal study in which individuals with elevated depression scores increased their physical activity over an eight week period. The temporal relation of change suggested that improvement in P A, NA and physical self-efficacy may be stronger candidate mediators than physical self-concept or self-esteem, at least for mediating change in depression in the early stages of increased activity. Larger effects were found for change in P A than NA or any other potential mediator. A qualitative, grounded theory study offered insight that depressed individuals may experience a sense of pleasurable engagement in life from physical activity. The accounts also suggested the importance of embodied experience and knowledge in the process of change. Direct (bodily) experiences of the physical activity - especially enjoyment - seemed to be related to experiencing benefit, changing motivations and eventually the active use of physical activity to self-control symptoms by some. It was consequently hypothesised that state mood changes (especially an increase in PA - i.e. movement away from anhedonia) may be responsible for initial reductions in depression and that coping self-efficacy may be a mechanism responsible for longer term effects. A final, cross-sectional, postal questionnaire study further examined the potential mediators identified from the other studies in a multiple mediation analysis. PA and NA were the only significant direct mediators and statistical comparisons suggested an equal mediating role. However, post-hoc analyses suggested that physical self-efficacy may indirectly mediate improvement in depression through improvement in P A but not NA. From the findings, a new, tentative theoretical model for understanding the process of change is proposed. Distinguishing between P A and NA forms a fundamental basis of the model. It is suggested that embodied experiences of physical activity (e.g. physical self-efficacy) may indirectly mediate higher-level response in depression through PA and / or NA, and that improvement in the mediators may dynamically reinforce future physical activity. The value of distinguishing between PA and NA in understanding mediators of at least initial response in depression to physical activity is discussed.</p
... Regular exercise can lead to adaptations that reduced sensitivity to non-exercise stressors such as psychosocial factors. A strong body of evidence points to the buffering effects of stress from regular exercise (through both the autonomic and hypothalamic systems) [69][70][71][72]. ...
Article
Introduction: The recent COVID-19 pandemic has induced an increase in anxiety, stress and depression in the world population, prompting a re-evaluation of these well-known risk factors on cardiovascular burden. Areas covered: This short report analyzes the impact of the pandemic on stress and depression, highlighting how the phenomenon has particularly affected women and highlights the strategies that can be undertaken after the pandemic to reduce stress and depression. We have analyzed the pandemic because it has completely changed the scenario of cardiovascular risk factors with an important increase in socio-economic stressors. Expert opinion: It is still difficult to assess the damage produced on cardiovascular risk just as it is almost impossible to predict how the overwhelming and important increase in Long-Covid Syndromes will impact the population. Strong action is needed to support critical situations and to implement social campaigns aimed at restoring healthy lifestyles. Physical activity can be an easy and inexpensive tool to help cope with stress and depression.
... Traditionally, aerobic exercise has been known to positively modulate cardiovascular response to subsequent acute MS, including an attenuated increase in blood pressure (BP) during stress (Hamer et al. 2006). Sales et al. (2014) have recently reported that a 50-min exercise session prevented an impairment of endothelial function resulting from subsequent acute MS. ...
Article
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Purpose This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of bench step (BS) exercise for ameliorating arterial stiffening caused by acute mental stress (MS). Methods Fifteen young healthy men participated in two randomized trials: rest (RE) and exercise (EX) trials. Following a 5-min MS task (first task), the RE trial participants rested on a chair for 10 min (from 10 to 20 min after task cessation); the EX trial participants performed BS exercise for the same duration. At 40 min after the first task, the participants performed the same task (second task) again. Heart–brachial pulse wave velocity (PWV) (hbPWV), brachial–ankle PWV (baPWV), heart–ankle PWV (haPWV), and the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) were measured simultaneously at 5, 30, and 50 min after the first task. Results Both trials caused significant elevations in hbPWV, haPWV, and CAVI at 5 min after the first task; these changes persisted until 30 min after the task in the RE trial, while they were abolished in the EX trial. baPWV significantly increased at 30 min after the task in the RE trial, but not in the EX trial. After the second task (from 30 to 50 min after the first task), none of the parameters significantly increased in the RE trial, although the values remained above baseline levels. In the EX trial, hbPWV, haPWV, and CAVI showed significant elevations. Conclusion Our findings suggest that a 10-min BS exercise after acute MS can counteract stress-induced arterial stiffening, but has only a limited effect against subsequent acute MS.
... This is an important result, as reductions in BP reactivity to stress decrease cardiovascular risk (33). However, this is not a well-described response pattern, and a meta-analysis found a positive association (34) and another found no association (35) between physical fitness and attenuation of stress reactivity. Regarding the responses to acute exercise, the information seems more assertive, demonstrating the ability of combined exercises (36) to mitigate these responses. ...
Article
Aim: To verify the influence of β-blockers or angiotensin receptor blockers on cardiovascular responses to exercise training in hypertensive post-menopausal women. Methods: Postmenopausal women were allocated into: healthy control group (CON; n = 9); angiotensin receptor blockers users (ARB; n = 19); and β-adrenergic blockers users (BB; n = 19). Before and after 12 weeks of combined (aerobic and resistance) exercise training they were evaluated by: heart rate (HR) and its variability (HRV), blood pressure (BP) under stress (Cold pressor and Stroop color tests), and ambulatorial BP and its variability. Results: In ambulatorial BP analysis only in ARB group awake systolic BP decreased (p = .011; ARB: From 122 ± 11 to 117 ± 9; BB: From 118 ± 7 to 114 ± 5; CON: From 121 ± 7 to 127 ± 11 mmHg). There were time effects in BP reactivity to stress, where BP reactivity after Stroop color and Cold pressor test decreased in all groups. In BP variability analysis, only BB group has significative decreased values in systolic SD24 (p = .007; ΔARB = -0.3 ± 2.0; ΔBB = -1.3 ± 2.0; ΔCON = 0.8 ± 1.7 mmHg) and SDdn (p = .006; ΔARB = -0.2 ± 1.6; ΔBB = -1.3 ± 2.0; ΔCON = 0.4 ± 2.1 mmHg). HRV analysis demonstrated that post-training, only in BB group LF/HF decreased (p = .001; ΔARB = 0.1 ± 0.8; ΔBB = -0.4 ± 1.5; ΔCON = 1.0 ± 1.7). Conclusion: ARB present pronounced responses in awake ambulatorial systolic BP, while β-blockers users present greater responses in BP variability. Besides that, exercise can mitigate BP reactivity to stress with no differences between groups. Lastly, there were no major differences in HRV. Trial registry at “clinicaltrials.gov”: NCT03529838.
... Concomitant with these findings, we emphasize that physical exercise can generate protective effects on the cardiovascular system, as well as causing adaptations and attenuating hypertensive peaks under stress [37]. In addition, in a systematic review [38], it is possible to observe reduced BP reactivity values to physical exercise training, strengthening the importance of its practice, especially in hypertensive individuals. ...
Article
Objectives: The aim of this study is to compare resting blood pressure and blood pressure reactivity responses to psychological stress in normotensive and hypertensive postmenopausal women after 12 weeks of Mat Pilates training. Methods: Twenty-three hypertensive and 24 normotensive postmenopausal women, performed Mat Pilates training 3× a week for 12 weeks. Before and after the intervention, resting blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure reactivity to psychological stress through the electronic version of Stroop test protocol (3 minutes) were measured. We calculated the variation (Δ) of blood pressure (peak of blood pressure during the Stroop stress test minus resting blood pressure before test). Results: The two-way ANOVA showed that the Δ of systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and the mean blood pressure was reduced (P < 0.05) after training only in the hypertensive. The resting systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressures decreased by (P < 0.05) over time in both groups with no interaction or difference. Conclusion: Mat Pilates was able to reduce resting blood pressure in both hypertensive and normotensive, and blood pressure reactivity after psychological stress in hypertensive but not in normotensive postmenopausal women.
... These findings highlight the benefits of physical exercise in terms of increased physiological reactivity and recovery from psychosocial stressors. Furthermore, according to a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that looked at the effect of acute aerobic exercise on blood pressure responses to psychosocial laboratory tasks, even a brief bout of aerobic exercise appears to have a significant impact on blood pressure responses to a psychosocial stressor (36). ...
Article
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Background: The contagious COVID-19 coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan city of China and its rapid spreading led to the historic nationwide lockdown of China from January to April 2020, which imposed a heavy impact on both the routine life and the mental health. The international students studying in China experienced this lockdown, during which their stress, anxiety and the coping strategies employed need to be explored. Methods: One hundred international students studying in different provinces/cities in China were surveyed by completing online questionnaire to evaluate the stress and anxiety and to identify the factors responsible for the stress and the effective coping strategies used during the nationwide lockdown of China. Results: The study reveals that 84% of the students were worried about the pandemic while 70% of students were observed to be stressed at the self-identified medium level during the nationwide lockdown. Factors closely related to study performance were the most influential for international students. Indoor aerobic physical exercises were most widely employed by international students to cope with stress. In this study, we also noticed that 15% of international students did not do any particular activities to cope with stress or use alcohol or smoking as a stress-coping strategy. Conclusion: The study recommends that international students in China need to be trained and educated in stress awareness and coping to improve their physical and mental health for better academic performance during an emergency situation like a nationwide lockdown.
... It is known that after an exercise training phase, BP levels can be below baseline levels at rest [5] but its influence on BP levels under stress is still poorly understood. In a previous meta-analysis, Hamer and colleagues [6] evaluated the acute effects of aerobic exercise on BP under stress and found promising results. Besides that, a review [7] without a meta-analysis assessed the chronic effects of exercise and the physical activity level on several cardiovascular markers. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Laboratory stress tests can help compose the clinical profile of individuals and predict the development of future cardiovascular events and depression. These tests work by disturbing the individual's homeostasis to assess the body's responses to it. To assess responses to these stressors, several markers are used, of which we will highlight the blood pressure (BP). One of BP's control strategies is to perform physical exercises. It is known that even an exercise training phase, blood pressure levels can be below baseline levels at rest, but its influence on blood pressure levels under stress is still poorly understood. Thus, the objective of the scientific review proposed here is to answer the following question: what are the chronic effects of physical exercise training on BP responsiveness to non-cardiopulmonary stress tests in adults? For this, we will carry out a systematic review with network meta-analysis on digital bases (PUBMED, LILACS, EMBASE and Psycinfo), of studies that are carried out in adult humans and that indicate BP values under stress after a physical exercises training phase.
... It is known that even after a single exercise section, blood pressure levels can be below baseline levels at rest [5] but its influence on blood pressure levels under stress is still poorly understood. In a 2006 meta-analysis, Hamer and colleagues [6] evaluated the acute effects of aerobic exercise on BP under stress and found promising results. However, in addition to new studies being produced since then, responses to non-aerobic exercise are still unclear. ...
Preprint
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Laboratory stress tests can help compose the clinical profile of individuals and predict thedevelopment of future cardiovascular events and depression. These tests work by disturbing theindividual's homeostasis to assess the body's responses to it. To assess responses to these stressors,several markers are used, of which we will highlight the blood pressure (BP). One of BP's controlstrategies is to perform physical exercises. It is known that even after a single exercise section, bloodpressure levels can be below baseline levels at rest, but its influence on blood pressure levels understress is still poorly understood. Thus, the objective of the scientific review proposed here is to answerthe following question: what are the acute effects of physical exercise on BP responsiveness to non-cardiopulmonary stress tests in adults? For this, we will carry out a systematic review with meta-analysis on digital bases (PUBMED, LILACS, EMBASE and Psycinfo), of controlled studies that arecarried out in adult humans and that indicate BP values under stress after a single session of physicalexercises.
... This state of stimulation exhausts the whole body very quickly. Staying in prolonged stress, the body begins to feel a number of physical and psychological consequences such as: weakening of the immune system, weakening of the heart muscle, insomnia, emotional exhaustion, post-traumatic stress disorder (Kabat-Zinn et al., 1992;Sallis and Owen, 1999;Conn et al., 2003;Cewic Erpic et al., 2004;Traustadottir et al., 2005;Bensimhon et al., 2006;Hallal et al., 2006;Hamer et al., 2006;Anshel and Sutarso, 2007;Basiaga-Pasternak, 2007;Landers and Arent, 2007;Terelak, 2008;Guszkowska, 2013). Often people, to relieve stress, reach for various forms of escape. ...
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Aim: The aim of the research was to examine and demonstrate whether there are links between physical activity and styles of coping with stress, and to estimate with what force these possible relationships are manifested. Material and methods: 60 people aged 18-30 were randomly selected for the study. The first group consists of physically active persons, in which there were 12 women and 18 men, the second group were physically inactive persons with 21 women and 9 men. CISS was used-Questionnaire Coping in Stress Situations as a research method. The study used the Spearman's rank correlation as the basic statistical method. Results: Checked how physical activity correlates with a given style of coping with stress. The results of styles coping with stress within two groups of variables were compared. Conclusions: The results of the CISS questionnaire showed that physically active people differ from physically inactive people in terms of styles of coping with stress within the style of a focused search for social contacts.
... To cope with the negative emotions of people in quarantine; increasing physical activity and sleeping regularly are strategies to reduce negative emotions . Exercise neutralizes the effects of psychological stressors on cardiac reactivity (Hamer et al, 2006). It also reduces stress-inducing increases in stress hormones (Greenwood et al., 2003), serotonin (Greenwood and Fleshner, 2011) and prevents stress-induced immune suppression (Fleshner, 2005). ...
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This study aims to determine whether the number of daily steps is effective in the body composition and mental well-being of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research group of the study consisted of 40 volunteer students studying at the Faculty of Sport Sciences by being randomly assigned to the experimental (n:20) and control (n:20) groups. The research is in the experimental model with a pre-test/post-test control group. As a data collection tool in the study, the 'Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale' was used to determine the personal information form and mental well-being. The obtained data were analysed in the Jamovi 1.8.2 statistical software program with a 95% reliability interval and 5% margin of error. In the analysis of the data, percentage (%), frequency (f), and mean (x̄) values were used in the descriptive data, Paired Samples t-test was used in the pre-test/post-test comparison, and Multinomial Regression analysis was used in the relational analysis. According to the findings of the study, 75% of the students in the experimental group and 70% of the students in the control group were in the normal weight class according to the body mass index classification. According to waist-hip ratio classification, 85% of the experimental group and 70% of the control group were in the group that did not have cardiovascular disease risk. After two months of application, the daily average number of steps of the experimental group (12.5751898.1) and the daily average number of steps of the control group were determined as (5381.272026.2). While there was a statistically significant difference in the pre-test/post-test body mass index averages of the experimental group who were asked to take at least 10,000 steps per day (p0.05), although there was an increase in the mean waist-hip ratio and mental well-being, there was no statistically significant difference (p0.05). It was determined that the step average had a statistically significant effect on the experimental group according to the body mass index classification (p0.05). As a result, while taking at least 10,000 steps per day was effective in the body mass index of the students, it was not so in the waist-hip ratio and mental well-being. In this context, physical activity, and especially walking, can be recommended at the point of protecting health. Article visualizations: </p
... In addition, aerobic training at low intensity reduces resting blood pressure during 24 hours ambulatory BP in normotensives and hypertensives (Whelton, Chin, Xin & He, 2002). The physiological response of aerobic exercise to hypertension can occur within only few sessions, whereas, the chronic adaptations are derived from accumulation of several bouts (Hamer,Taylor& Steptoe, 2006). This implies that aerobic exercise is likely to be effective in hypertensives over a consistent period. ...
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Purpose: 12 week-brisk walking exercise intervention at 50%-70% intensity was carried out in the study to examine the mean reduction on systolic and diastolic blood pressures of middle-aged mild-hypertensive population in Asaba, Nigeria. Methodology: The study comprised of 42 male and female middle-aged (36-45years) individuals who recorded mild-hypertension. A control group-pre-test and post-test experimental design was used to randomly assign the individuals into treatment and control groups. Whereas, arithmetic mean and standard deviation were used to analyze the data according to the difference in mean scores. Conclusion: In conclusion, 12-week brisk walking intervention showed a mean reduction on systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of middle-aged mild-hypertensive population. Precisely, the experiment indicated that those who did not partake in the exercise intervention (control group) showed an increase on SBP and a decrease on DBP and thereby indicating a relatively higher mean reduction of 12-week brisk-walking exercise on SBP of middle-aged mild-hypertensive population. Recommendations: The study recommended that 50%-70% intensity of 12-week brisk-walking exercise may likely present a therapeutic intervention for people with mild-hypertension.
... Physical activity (PA) helps to maintain a healthy body. Hamer (2006) stated that engaging in regular PA lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and indicates benefits for a better quality of life. Salami (2010) defined psychological well-being is as a state that emerges from feeling of satisfaction with one's physical health and oneself as a person and with one's close interpersonal relationships. ...
Article
ABSTRACT This study assessed the perceived effect of physical activity level on the psychological wellbeing, stress and self-esteem of middle-aged persons in Benue North-East Senatorial District. The ex-post facto research design was used in this study. The sample for this study consisted of 120 middle aged people in North East Senatorial District, who were selected using random sampling technique and purposive sampling technique. The psychological general wellbeing index (PGWBI) was used to assess psychological wellbeing. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was used to assess stress. Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was used to assess self-esteem. The data for this study was analyzed using independent sample t-test to test if differences exist between low physically active and high physically active middle-aged persons in relation to psychological wellbeing, stress management and self-esteem. All statistical analyses were performed on a compatible micro-computer using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) at a probability of 0.05 level of significance. The result of the study indicated that, psychological wellbeing (t=4.779, df=118, p=0.001), stress management (t=2.703, df=118, p=0.008) and self-esteem (t=7.148, df=118, p=0.008) are the perceived effects of physical exercise among the of the middle-aged persons in Benue North East Senatorial District. It was recommended that Community health extension workers (CHEW) should render appropriate health education on topics that will excite the middle-aged persons to participate in recreational activities that will help them to reduce their stress levels and improve their psychological wellbeing. Key Words: Physical activity, psychological wellbeing, stress, self-esteem, middle-aged.
... Although, a common belief is that smoking reduces stress, previous research suggests that smoking could be associated with altered functioning of the HPA axis and the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) (27), that may generate or aggravate negative emotional states and propagate negative coping strategies leading to overall higher stress levels (28)(29)(30). With regards to physical activity, possible mechanism hypotheses suggest that it neutralizes the effects of psychological stressors on cardiac reactivity and dampens stressor-evoked increases in stress hormones and serotonin (31)(32)(33), whilst physical activity could also enhance mental health via changes in the structural and functional composition of the brain (34). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global health emergency that could potentially have a significant impact on both somatic as well as psychological level. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of perceived stress in the general adult population of Cyprus during the first COVID-19 lockdown period. This was an internet-based cross-sectional study conducted between 6 April and 20 June 2020, one to two and a half months after the introduction of and the first mandatory lockdown on its entire territory imposed by the government of the Republic of Cyprus on 24 March 2020. Data collection was done using a self-administered questionnaire that included information about socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, physical activity, smoking habits, and stress level. A total of 1,485 adults participated in the study. The median perceived stress score was 10 (q1 = 6, q3 = 15). Linear regression models showed that having a medium monthly income (€501-1,500) and being a current smoker was positively associated with the perceived stress score, while being male and physically active was negatively associated with the perceived stress score (all p <0.05). People with medium average salary and current smokers were at a higher risk for perceived stress. Psychological interventions and/or psychological services provided in certain vulnerable groups would be beneficial in future lockdowns due to either COVID-19 or a new pandemic.
... These findings are consistent with several prior studies that showed that acute exercise may have anxiolytic effects in healthy adults. 17,28,29 In this study, 42% of participants indicated a decrease in anxiety after a symptom-limited CPX. The proportion of patients reporting a decrease in anxiety is consistent with data reported by Ensari and colleagues, 20 in which they observed that 54% of participants reported a reduction in state anxiety following an acute bout of exercise. ...
Article
Purpose: To explore individual differences in state anxiety following a single, acute bout of aerobic exercise among anxious patients with diagnosed coronary heart disease (CHD). Methods: One hundred eighteen CHD patients with elevated symptoms of anxiety enrolled in the UNderstanding the Benefits of Exercise and Escitalopram in Anxious Patients WIth coroNary Heart Disease (UNWIND) clinical trial rated their level of anxiety using a 100-mm visual analog scale before and after a symptom-limited exercise treadmill test. A number of exercise (eg, peak oxygen uptake, exercise duration, maximum heart rate, anaerobic threshold) and psychological variables were examined as potential predictors of exercise response. Changes in anxiety and their association with psychological variables were examined using general linear models. Results: Fifty patients (42%) rated a reduction in anxiety relative to their pre-exercise ratings following the exercise treadmill test. While a number of factors were examined, the only factor that distinguished those individuals who reported a reduction in anxiety symptoms compared with those who either remained the same or actually reported an increase in anxiety was a higher pre-exercise visual analog scale anxiety rating. No differences were observed as a function of sex, severity of trait anxiety, the presence of an anxiety disorder, exercise test duration, or age. Conclusions: Although many variables were examined, only higher baseline anxiety distinguished those who showed a reduction in their visual analog scale ratings from those whose anxiety remained the same or got worse. The extent to which the response to acute exercise predicts the anxiolytic effects of chronic exercise needs further study.
... Three of the reviewed studies found partial evidence for the CSA hypothesis, whereas two studies did not find any relationship of HPA activity with exercise or fitness. Studies on the stress-buffering effects of exercise on the ANS almost exclusively used cardiovascular parameters and show acute aerobic exercise to dampen cardiovascular responses to psychosocial stress (Hamer et al., 2006). A closer look at the effects of different exercise intensities and subsequent cardiovascular activity revealed an inverse relationship between exercise intensity and the extent of cardiovascular responses (Alderman et al., 2007). ...
Article
Objectives: Engaging in physical activity and exercise have long been shown to have beneficial effects on (psychosocial) stress reactivity. Initial studies could reveal that these positive effects on stress reactivity also exist for a healthy diet. Aim of this study was to examine whether combining a healthy diet and regular exercise can provide additional benefits on psychobiological stress levels. Methods: Forty-two men self-identifying as non-exercisers or regular exercisers between 18 and 30 years were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test for Groups. Salivary cortisol (sCort) and alpha-amylase (sAA) as biological stress markers, and self-reported momentary stress were repeatedly examined. Questionnaires on regular exercise and dietary intake were completed once. Results: Two-stage hierarchical multiple regressions predicting participants’ stress reactivity, i.e. response and recovery, from diet quality, exercise as well as their interaction appeared inconsistent. sCort response was significantly predicted by regular exercise whereas greater sCort recovery was predicted by higher diet quality. In contrast, higher sAA reactivity was predicted by higher diet quality while participants eating less healthy and exercising more showed the most pronounced sAA recovery. None of the other outcome variables was predicted by the interaction. Subjective stress was unrelated to either health behavior. Conclusions: The present examination among an all-male sample emphasized the stress-buffering capabilities of regular exercise and provided initial evidence for a distinct link to healthy diet. Assumed synergistic benefits could, however, not be confirmed. Advances are needed to better understand how individuals profit the most from which behaviors as well as their interactive effects.
... Genetic variants could impact on the psychological exercise response of opioid, dopaminergic, or monoaminergic systems during exercise (Chaouloff, 1997;Dishman, 1997;Dubreucq et al., 2013;van der Mee et al., 2017) or on the post-exercise reduction of the sympathetic nervous system activity (Halliwill, 2001;Yamamoto, Miyachi, Saitoh, Yoshioka, & Onodera, 2001) and parasympathetically mediated heart rate recovery (Nederend, Schutte, Bartels, Ten Harkel, & de Geus, 2016). In view of the often-expressed 'stress-buffering' effects of exercise, genetic differences in the exercise-induced physiological hyporeactivity to psychological stressors (Hamer, Taylor, & Steptoe, 2006) could also play a role. ...
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Regular exercise is associated with mental health throughout the life course but the chain-of-causality underlying this association remains contested. I review results from genetically informative designs that examine causality, including the discordant monozygotic twin design, multivariate genetic models, Mendelian Randomization, and stratification on polygenic risk scores. Triangulation across the results from these and the standard designs for causal inference (RCT, prospective studies) in the extant literature supports the existence of causal effects of exercise on mental health as well as residual confounding by genetic factors that independently influence participation in regular exercise and mental health outcomes. I present an update of our earlier model for the genetic determinants of voluntary exercise behaviour. The model allows causal effects of regular exercise on mental health to co-exist with genetic pleiotropy through differences in the genetic sensitivity to the mental health benefits of exercise. The model encourages research on strategies that use genomic information to improve the success of interventions on regular exercise behaviour.
... For example, in other addictive behaviours, the role of stress in the maintenance of and relapse to drug abuse is well-established (Sinha, 2001;Back et al., 2010;Garland et al., 2012) and blunted hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis stress responses have been observed in individuals with alcoholic addiction and other substance over-users (Lovallo, 2011;Adinoff et al., 2005). Physical activity is known to change stress responses, as it appears to have an attenuating effect on CVR at resting levels, (de Geus et al., 1993;de Geus et al., 1993;Schuler and O'Brien, 1997) and higher cardio respiratory fitness levels are associated with HR responses to psychological stress (Claytor, 1991;Boutcher & Nugent, 1993;Spalding et al., 2004), although multiple meta-analyses and larger clinical studies have provided different conclusions (Crews & Landers, 1987;Forcier et al., 2006;Hamer et al., 2006;Jackson & Dishman, 2006;Sloan et al., 2011), due to study differences in participant demographics, research methodologies, and outcome measures. ...
Article
Objective: The stress reactivity hypothesis posits that the extremes of exaggerated and low or blunted cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) to stress may lead to adverse health outcomes via psychophysiological pathways. A potential indirect pathway between CVR and disease outcomes is through health-related behaviour and behaviour change. However, this is a less well understood pathway. Design: A registered systematic review was undertaken to determine the association between cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) and health behaviour change, as well as identify mediators and moderators. Eight papers that met the inclusion criteria, focused on smoking cessation and weight loss, were identified. Results: Pooling data from studies exploring the prospective relationship between CVR (as systolic blood pressure) and smoking cessation found that exaggerated CVR was associated with smoking relapse (Hedges' g = 0.39, SE = 0.00, 95% CI 0.38 - 0.40, p < .001; I2 = 0%; N = 257) but did not find evidence that CVR responses were associated with changes in weight. In order to advance our understanding of reactivity as a modifiable determinant of health behaviour change, our review recommends exploring the association between CVR and other health behaviours, to determine the influence of blunted reactivity versus low motivational effort identify mediators and moderators and determine the focus of interventions.
... Universität Kiel, Germany). Given an effect size of 0.38 for reductions in post-exercise systolic BP an alpha-level of 0.05 and desired power of 0.80 (4), (20), we calculated that we needed a total sample of minimum eight persons. Paired-sample t-tests were used to test for differences between participants' physiological responses, total duration of exercise, energy expenditure, bike resistance and self-reported level of exertion during the two different exercise sessions (MOD, INT), where only two means were involved in the analyses. ...
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International Journal of Exercise Science 13(3): X-Y, 2020. This study investigated the acute post-exercise hypotension (PEH) response in persons with elevated blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension following moderate and high-intensity isoenergetic endurance exercise. Twelve middle-aged persons (six females), with resting systolic and diastolic BP of 130±6 and 84±7 mmHg, participated in three bicycle ergometer bouts: 1) Testing of peak aerobic capacity (VO2peak), 2) Moderate intensity exercise (MOD) at 66% of VO2peak, 3) High-intensity exercise (INT) at 80% of VO2peak. All variables were recorded pre-exercise, during exercise and 0, 5, 10, and 30 minutes post-exercise. The total duration of exercise was 26% longer during MOD than INT (p <0.001), while total energy expenditure (TEE) was similar between exercise conditions (359 ± 69 kcal). Oxygen consumption, heart rate, power output and ratings of perceived exertion was 21, 13, 21 and 26% higher during INT than MOD exercise, respectively (0.05 ≤ p ≤ 0.001). Compared to pre-exercise, systolic BP was significantly lower at 30 min post-exercise following both INT (p < 0.05) and MOD (p < 0.01) exercise, and there was no difference between INT and MOD conditions. Other variables were similar to pre-exercise values at 30 min post-exercise. Linear regression shows that the largest post-exercise reductions in systolic BP was found for the persons with the highest pre-exercise systolic BP (r = 0.58 r 2 = 0.33, p < 0.003). In conclusion, this study shows that endurance exercise with different intensities and durations, but similar TEE is equally effective in eliciting reductions in the post-exercise systolic BP. Furthermore, the magnitude of PEH response is partly dependent on the individuals' resting blood pressure.
... Differences between IVP responders and non-responders were predominantly observed in the PostStress phase for autonomous as well as neural responses, while acute changes under stress were less affected. Comparably, pre-task exercise stress did not alter acute HR increases (Hamer, Taylor, & Steptoe, 2006) to a subsequent stressor, but changes in stress recovery after pre-treatment with cortisol have been reported (Soravia et al., 2006). One explanation may be stronger influence of high-level interindividual differences in moderating factors such as coping or resilience on post stress recovery (Lü, Wang, & You, 2016). ...
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Acute and chronic stress are important factors in the development of mental disorders. Reliable measurement of stress reactivity is therefore pivotal. Critically, experimental induction of stress often involves multiple “hits” and it is an open question whether individual differences in responses to an earlier stressor lead to habituation, sensitization, or simple additive effects on following events. Here, we investigated the effect of the individual cortisol response to intravenous catheter placement (IVP) on subsequent neural, psychological, endocrine, and autonomous stress reactivity. We used an established psychosocial stress paradigm to measure the acute stress response (Stress ) and recovery (PostStress ) in 65 participants. Higher IVP‐induced cortisol responses were associated with lower pulse rate increases during stress recovery (b = −4.8 bpm, p = .0008) and lower increases in negative affect after the task (b = −4.2, p = .040). While the cortisol response to IVP was not associated with subsequent specific stress‐induced neural activation patterns, the similarity of brain responses Pre‐ and PostStress was higher IVP‐cortisol responders (t [64] = 2.35, p = .022) indicating faster recovery. In conclusion, preparatory stress induced by IVP reduced reactivity in a subsequent stress task by modulating the latency of stress recovery. Thus, an individually stronger preceding release of cortisol may attenuate a second physiological response and perceived stress suggesting that relative changes, not absolute levels are crucial for stress attribution. Our study highlights that considering the entire trajectory of stress induction during an experiment is important to develop reliable individual biomarkers.
... On the physiological level, researchers have proposed that regular exercise, both endurance and resistance, leads to physiological adaptations which may contribute to reduced physiological reactions to stressors in general (Hamer et al., 2006;Huang et al., 2013). Endurance training enhances aerobic capacity and induces adaptations that increase ventricular filling and decrease myocardial work, thereby improving cardiac performance (i.e., enhanced stroke volume; Spalding et al., 2004). ...
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This study tested the effect of 8-week endurance and resistance training programmes on cardiovascular stress responses, life stress, and coping. Fifty-two untrained but healthy female students were randomised to an 8-week endurance training, an 8-week resistance training, or a wait list control group. Before and after the training intervention, we assessed the groups’ cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max test), self-reported life stress, coping strategies and cardiovascular reactivity to and recovery from a standardised laboratory stressor. Both endurance and resistance training programmes caused physiological adaptation in terms of increased VO2max after the intervention. For stress and coping parameters, participants in the training groups improved cardiovascular recovery from stress and reported having less stress in their everyday life after the intervention than participants in the control group, while the two training groups did not differ from each other. We did not find any significant differences in heart rate reactivity and coping strategies between the study groups. These results partly support that exercise training has stress-reducing benefits regardless of the type of exercise. Both endurance and resistance exercise activities may be effectively used to improve stress regulation competence while having less impact on changing specific coping strategies.
... While there are various established forms of treatment for mental health issues, including medicines such as antidepressants and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), physical activity has also been considered as a treatment modality because of its potential to promote positive affective states, improve social interaction and relieve stress (Hamer et al 2006, Ekkekakis 2013. ...
Article
It is generally accepted that physical activity has many health benefits, such as improved cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness and bone health. Despite this, inactivity remains a significant health challenge in the UK and globally, contributing to conditions such as coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus. Nurses have an important health promotion role in recommending the potential benefits of physical activity to the general public. However, research suggests that many nurses may not be undertaking enough physical activity themselves, despite the active nature of the nursing role. This article investigates the evidence that increased physical activity has the potential to improve the well-being of nurses. The article also examines the effect of physical activity on indicators of well-being, including feeling states such as affect, mood and emotion; depression; and sleep.
... Studien zeigen ferner, dass auch akute Sportaktivität die kardiovaskuläre Stressreaktion akut reduzieren kann, doch weil dieser Effekt nur ca. eine Stunde anzuhalten scheint, ist nicht anzunehmen, dass der Cross-Stressor Adaptationseffekt durch diese akuten Effekte entsteht (Hamer, Taylor & Steptoe, 2006). ...
... Previous studies with other populations have shown that a single session of moderate-intensity continuous exercise (MIE) reduces BP and improves the cardiac autonomic response to stressful stimuli [16][17][18]. However, it is still unknown if these benefits hold true for young adults with excess body weight. ...
Article
Objective: To investigate the effects of a single session of moderate-intensity and high-intensity interval exercise in cardiovascular reactivity to the cold pressor test in young adults with excess body weight. Methods: Twenty-two subjects with excess body weight (23 ± 2 years; 30.0 ± 3.4 kg·m) performed three sessions: (1) moderate-intensity exercise (30-minute cycling at 50%-60% of heart rate reserve); (2) high-intensity exercise (four series of 3-minute cycling at 80%-90% of heart rate reserve, interspersed by 2-minute recovery) and (3) control (i.e. 30-minute seated). Before and 30 minutes after the interventions, subjects undertook assessments of SBP/DBP and heart rate in response to the cold pressor test (1-minute rest + 1-minute hand immersed in 4°C water). Reactivity was calculated as the absolute response of SBP, DBP and heart rate to cold pressor test and compared between interventions using a two-way analysis of variance (P < 0.05). Results: Neither moderate-intensity exercise or high-intensity interval exercise attenuated SBP/DBP reactivity to cold pressor test compared with control. On the other hand, heart rate reactivity was reduced after moderate-intensity exercise compared with control (1.36 ± 8.35 bpm vs. 5.18 ± 9.45 bpm). Furthermore, moderate-intensity exercise reduced absolute levels of SBP/DBP from pre- to post-intervention. Conclusion: A single session of moderate-intensity exercise or high-intensity interval exercise did not reduce the SBP/DBP reactivity to cold pressor test. However, absolute levels of SBP/DBP were lower after moderate-intensity exercise, indicating a hypotensive effect promoted by a single session of moderate-intensity exercise in young adults with excess body weight.
... So far, only a few studies have looked at the effects of acute exercise sessions on perceived state stress levels; our findings support previous findings from Mackay (2008) and Rogerson, Brown, et al. (2016), who found reductions in perceived state stress due to engagement in a single green exercise session. On a broader level, our findings also correspond with studies which found acute exercise sessions to reduce acute physiological stress responses (Hamer, Taylor, & Steptoe, 2006) and with evidence revealing a negative relationship between exercising and perceived stress levels in general (Klaperski, 2017); yet, more studies specifically examining the effects of exercise on state stress are needed. ...
Article
Previous studies indicated that exercising in natural settings could have more positive mental health effects than other types of exercise. This article further investigates the role of different exercise environment characteristics and compares effects of indoor and outdoor exercise sessions on acute wellbeing and stress levels. A field study with N = 140 collegiate sports participants was conducted. Mood, state stress and state anxiety as well as perceived exercise intensity and the naturalness and calmness of the exercise environment were assessed by means of questionnaires immediately before and after engagement in an indoor or an outdoor exercise session. Results strongly support previous evidence on the beneficial effects of acute exercise on wellbeing and stress levels. Engagement in outdoor exercise did not per se lead to more beneficial changes than engagement in exercise sessions indoors. However, outdoor exercise environments were perceived as more calming and exercise sessions in more calming environments were associated with more stress-reductive effects. Thus, future studies should further investigate the impact of exercise environment characteristics as this could help to maximize beneficial preventive health effects of physical exercise.
... 64,72 However, many argue the attenuated HR and BP response is a result of relative cardiovascular fitness (e.g., lower resting heart rate) and not a direct result of lessened reactivity to a stressor. 73,74 It has also been postulated that fitness has a greater impact on stress recovery (i.e., leading to faster recovery) rather than reactivity, 75 although the mechanisms are not clearly understood. ...
... If the occasion with the putative stroke included any ICD codes associated with head injury (800 to 804.9 inclusive or 850 to 854.1 inclusive), or if the principal diagnosis for the billing occasion was V57.xx (rehabilitation services), then the occasion was not considered a stroke, even if other ICD codes would have qualified as a stroke (these include events such as traumatic brain injury). If the diagnosis was based on outpatient services, we required two stroke-related records within 12 months of each other to qualify the event as a stroke (17)(18)(19). ...
Article
Purpose: Depression strongly predicts stroke incidence, suggesting that treating depression may reduce stroke risk. Antidepressant medications, however, may increase stroke risk via direct pathways. Previous evidence on antidepressant medication and stroke incidence is mixed. We evaluated associations between antidepressant use and incident stroke. Methods: For 2302 Adult Changes in Thought cohort participants with no stroke at study entry, we characterized antidepressant use from pharmacy records, biennial depressive symptoms with a 10-item Centers for Epidemiologic Study-Depression scale, and incident strokes from ICD codes. We used discrete-time survival models with inverse probability weighting to compare stroke risk associated with filling antidepressant prescriptions and by medication category: tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or other. Results: Over an average 8.4-year follow-up, 441 incident strokes occurred. Filling antidepressant medications 3+ times versus 0-2 times predicted 35% increased odds of stroke (OR = 1.35; 95% CI: 0.98, 1.66). Use of TCAs was associated with stroke onset (OR per 10 fills = 1.28; CI: 1.04, 1.57), but use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (OR = 0.98; CI: 0.80, 1.20) or other antidepressants (OR = 0.99; CI: 0.67, 1.45) was not. Conclusions: Although patients who received antidepressant medication were at higher risk of stroke, this association appeared specific to TCA prescriptions.
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Introduction and Aim: Stress is a reaction of the body to substantial or unusual demands. It, a complex reaction of the neurologic and endocrinologic system which can initiate the ‘Fight or Flight’ response. This may lead to headache, tense muscles, insomnia. Stress can alter the memory function, immune function, metabolism, and susceptibility to the disease. The effect of stress and relationship in making teachers quite inefficient in their profession is a growing concern. The present study objective is to investigate the effective significance of exercise, relaxation, and ergonomics on physiological stress in teachers. Materials and Methods: A total of 30 teachers, both male and female were randomly selected. They supported the inclusion and exclusion criteria and were between 30 to 60 years, separated into 2 groups. They were asked to fill necessary information in the stress profile for teachers. The subjects with moderate to high stress were taken for the study and were divided into two groups. Group ‘A’ were given aerobic stepper exercise and relaxation techniques. Group ‘B’ were given aerobic stepper exercise and suggestions given on ergonomic correction for an intervention period of about 8 weeks, 5 days per week 45 minutes per session. Pre- and post-test values were taken on blood pressure and blood glucose level using sphygmomanometer and glucometer. Results: The pre- and post-test between group A and group B show a highly significant difference. However, group A showed higher significance than group B. Conclusion: According to the findings, aerobic stepper exercise with relaxation techniques shows highly significant difference and aerobic stepper exercise with ergonomic correction shows significance but aerobic exercise with relaxation technique is highly effective in reducing stress and maintaining blood pressure and glucose level in teachers.
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Stressful situations are common in everyday life and disturb homeostasis. So, an exercise session is a strategy to mitigate blood pressure (BP) peaks in response to stress (i.e., BP reactivity), decreasing the cardiovascular risk. This is a systematic review and meta-analysis that aims to verify the effects of a single session of physical exercises on BP reactivity to stress in adults. The searches were performed in digital databases (MEDLINE, LILACS, EMBASE, SPORTDiscus, and PsycInfo) and 29 studies were included, totaling 795 individuals (quantitative analysis: k = 25, n = 659). As for exercise characteristics, 21 of the 29 studies focused on aerobic exercises, and 23 studies focused on low to moderate intensities. As for the stress tests, we have them in the following order from the most to the least frequent: stroop color and word test, cold pressor test, arithmetic test, public speaking, handgrip, trier social stress test, and study task. Favorable metanalytic results (standardized mean differences through random-effects approach) for the exercises were found, with attenuated reactivity in systolic BP (pooled effect size = − 0.38 [− 0.49; − 0.27], representing average reductions of 3.7 ± 3.8 mmHg), diastolic BP (pooled effect size = − 0.51 [− 0.70; − 0.33], representing average reductions of 2.9 ± 3.7 mmHg), and mean BP (pooled effect size = − 0.51 [− 0.72; − 0.31], representing average reductions of 4.1 ± 3.3 mmHg). So, acute physical exercise lowers systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressure reactivity in response to stressor tasks. However, given the small magnitude of effects, the clinical relevance of this result must be interpreted with caution and be better explored.
Article
Traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) have long been the focus of preventive strategies. The impact of family stress, depression, anxiety, hostility, pessimism, job strain, social isolation, lack of purpose in life and social support, are well recognized risks for CVD development, however they are under-appreciated in clinical practice guidelines. The purpose of this article is to review the impact of acute and chronic stress on CVD risk, elaborate repositioning in guidelines, with emphasis to approaches for stress reduction. Regular exercise, both aerobic and resistance, leads to better adaptiveness to other types of stress, however, it remains unknown whether the total amount of stress one can receive before negative health effects is unlimited. Evidently, marked reductions in stress related disorders are shown following formal cardiac rehabilitation programs. Attendance of cardiac rehabilitation is highly recommended for the stress-related mortality risk reduction. Innovative approaches to offset the broad challenges that CVD pose, augmented by sustained exposure to stress, are desperately needed, but hindered by a lack of successful population-level interventions that promote lasting change.
Article
Exaggerated cardiovascular (CV) reactivity to stress is associated with negative cardiovascular outcomes. This study aimed to investigate the effects of acute high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) and moderate-intensity exercise (MIE) on CV reactivity in response to a stress challenge in untrained males. Thirteen, normotensive males (age: 22.8 ± 2 years, BMI: 21.9 ± 3.6 kg/m²) underwent three conditions in counterbalanced order: HIIE (bodyweight exercises; 80–90% HRR), MIE (treadmill-jog; 55–60% HRR) and seated rest (CON) separated by 7–10 days. Thirty minutes after performing HIIE, MIE or CON, subjects underwent a 2-min cold pressor task (CPT). Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were measured before, during, and after CPT. CV reactivity, i.e., the change in BP and HR responses were compared across conditions. Systolic BP reactivity were attenuated following HIIE (−60%, p = 0.015) and MIE (−42%, p = 0.033) compared to CON, but no differences were observed between HIIE and MIE. HR reactivity was not different across all conditions. We conclude that performing HIIE or MIE 30 minutes prior to acute stress exposure lowers BP reactivity compared to rest in untrained males. These findings highlight the potential benefits of HIIE in lowering stress-induced elevations in blood pressure
Article
Mental health concerns are becoming increasingly commonplace in society, and demand for services consistently outweighs the availability of such services. In light of this discrepancy and other barriers associated with pursuing mental health services, it is important to explore innovative, cost-effective avenues to increase accessibility of programs that promote mental health and build psychological resilience. This research examines the longitudinal effect of such a program, that combines two burgeoning fields of research in mental health: self-compassion and physical activity. In this naturalistic study, we explored how participation in a physical fitness program integrating mindfulness affected levels of self-compassion and perceived mental health in a sample of 39 women in Toronto, Canada. Mindfulness levels were also measured to determine whether mindfulness mediates the relationship between physical activity and self-compassion. Participants attending fitness classes over two months completed self-report questionnaires. Analyses involved multilevel modeling. Self-compassion was found to increase over time as a function of fitness class attendance, but this relationship was not mediated by mindfulness. We discuss other possible explanatory mechanisms in the relationship between exercise and self-compassion, and findings of perceived mental health, with implications for using fitness classes incorporating mindfulness as a mental health promotion strategy.
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Objective: This cross-sectional questionnaire-based study aims to compare physical activity and nature exposure levels between people living in France and Germany during the lockdown. Furthermore, the secondary aim is to observe the relationship between perceived stress, psychological health, physical activity, and nature exposure in Germany and France during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related lockdown of April/May 2020. Methods: The study includes 419 participants who have completed the Perceived Stress Scale 10, the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF, the Godin-Shephard Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire, the modified Nature Exposure Scale, and complementary questions related to the lockdown period from April 19 to May 11, 2020. Multiple regression models were constructed to evaluate the relationship of nature exposure and physical exercise with overall stress perception and psychological health in France and Germany when considering a broad range of covariates. Results: Exposure to nature during the lockdown (ηp2 = 0.034, p < 0.001), amount of physical activity ηp2 = 0.014, p < 0.001), and psychological health (ηp2 = 0.041, p < 0.001) were greater in German compared with French participants. Godin Index and Nature Exposure Scale total score were both inversely correlated to stress perception and positively correlated to psychological health. The stress and psychological health regression models explained 10% of the results' variance. Physical activity (Godin Index) was a significant for both models. Nature Exposure Scale total score was a significant predictor only for psychological health. When including all significant covariates, the regression models explained 30.7% for the perceived stress and 42.1% for the psychological health total overall variance. Conclusion: Physical activity and nature exposure are significant predictors of psychological health. Even though both variables are associated with stress perception, only physical activity is a significant predictor of stress perception. Our results suggest that physical activity and nature exposure were key factors to go through the lockdown period in France and Germany.
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The aims were to study effects of iterative exposures to moderate elevations of local intravascular pressure on arterial/arteriolar stiffness and plasma levels of vasoactive substances. Pressures in the vasculature of an arm were increased by 150 mmHg in healthy men (n=11) before and after a 5-wk regimen, during which the vasculature in one arm was exposed to fifteen 40-min sessions of moderately increased transmural pressure (+65 to +105 mmHg). This vascular pressure training and the pressure-distension determinations were conducted by exposing the subjects arm versus remaining part of the body to differential ambient pressure. During the pressure-distension determinations, venous samples were simultaneously obtained from pressurized and unpressurized vessels. Pressure training reduced arterial pressure distension by 40 ± 23% and pressure-induced flow by 33 ± 30% (p<0.01), but only in the pressure-trained arm, suggesting local adaptive mechanisms. The distending pressure-diameter and distending pressure-flow curves, with training-induced increments in pressure thresholds and reductions in response gains, suggest that the increased precapillary stiffness was attributable to increased contractility and structural remodeling of the walls. Acute vascular pressure provocation induced local release of angiotensin-II (Ang-II) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) (p<0.05), suggesting that these vasoconstrictors limited the pressure distension. Pressure training increased basal levels of ET-1 and induced local pressure release of matrix metalloproteinase 7 (p<0.05), suggesting involvement of these substances in vascular remodeling. The findings are compatible with the notion that local intravascular pressure load acts as a prime mover in the development of primary hypertension.
Chapter
Anxiety disorders are a group of highly prevalent mental health conditions that can have a debilitating impact on daily functioning and well-being. They can co-occur with other mental health disorders, such as depression. People with anxiety disorders are also at an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and premature mortality. Physical activity appears to be protective against anxiety disorders in clinical and nonclinical populations. Exercise, a subset of physical activity, has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety. The mechanisms through which exercise produces these effects are likely to involve a combination of biological and psychological factors. Physical activity may also be useful in reducing the symptoms of comorbid mental health conditions and the risk of physical health complications over time. Promoting physical activity could be a method of preventing or treating anxiety disorders with a wide range of benefits. However, further research will be necessary to address important gaps in the literature before these approaches can be fully implemented in mental health services.
Article
Migrant domestic workers provide essential services to the families they live with, but they are not considered a part of the family. As a group, they are not well-integrated into the society and often suffer from social isolation. In this article, we explore the potential health buffering effects of their personal network, in terms of family and friendship ties in both the local community and their home country. Existing literature provides inconsistent evidence on who and what matters more, with regard to the nature, strength, and geographic locations of individual personal networks. Using data from the Survey of Migrant domestic Workers in Hong Kong (2017), we find that family ties are extremely important. The presence of family members in Hong Kong as well as daily contact with family, regardless of location, are associated with better self-reported health. Only daily contact with friends in Hong Kong, not with friends in other countries, promotes better health. We also find evidence that the protective effects of family and friends networks depend on each other. Those foreign domestic workers with families in Hong Kong but also maintain daily contact with friends have the best self-reported health among all.
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The aim of the present study to verify the impact of judo competition on changes in the blood count of judo athletes during an official competition. Also to compare these results with the different weight category. Methods: fifteen youth trained athletes were included in the study were divided into three groups according to weight category (light, medial, and heavy) weight. All subjects performed a 5×4mn round of competition with 15mn of rest between rounds and Complete Blood Count (CBC) were collected before, immediately after the competition, Data are reported as mean and standard deviation. The Shapiro-Wilk test was performed to verify the normality of the data, and the significance level was set at P < 0.05. Blood sample count was tested by a paired Student’s t-test to compare the pre-test and post-test for the three groups. The results showed that blood cell count was significantly decreased immediately after judo competition (p < 0.05). However, red blood cell, White blood cell Blood platelets, Mean Cell Volume were significantly increased after the performance (p < 0.05). The current study showed that the judo competition ( Rondori ) effectively enhance some blood cell count; these changes are transient and probably due to the adaptation to efforts related to judo competition in highly-trained athletes.
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Das Thema Stressregulation und Sport kann aus zwei unterschiedlichen Perspektiven betrachtet werden. Aus Sicht des Gesundheitssports geht es primär um Stressregulation durch Sport. Es stellt sich die Frage, inwieweit sich durch körperliche und sportliche Aktivität die Belastungen des Alltags besser bewältigen lassen, so dass Gesundheitsbeeinträchtigungen vermieden oder reduziert werden können. Aus Sicht des Leistungssports geht es um Stressregulation im Sport. Mit anderen Worten: Wie können Athleten und Athletinnen mit hohen Trainingsbelastungen und psychischem Druck umgehen, ohne dass dabei die Leistungsfähigkeit beeinträchtigt wird oder psychische Beschwerden entstehen? Hier geht es also um Faktoren, die dazu beitragen, dass Personen im Leistungs- und Spitzensport auch unter Druck ihre besten Leistungen abrufen können. Nachdem im ersten Teil dieses Kapitels die theoretischen Grundlagen erarbeitet werden, wird im zweiten Teil auf diese beiden Perspektiven eingegangen.
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Although exercise may modulate cardiovascular reactivity to stress, its acute effects have not been studied extensively. The purpose of this study was to examine over time the acute effects of different durations of aerobic exercise on cardiovascular reactivity to stressors. Twenty-four sedentary men underwent minimal exercise, 1 or 2 hr of stationary cycling at 55% VO2max. Heart rate, blood pressure, and blood catecholamines were measured during cold pressor, Stroop, and public speech tasks 1, 3, and 24 hr after exercise. One or two hours of exercise attenuated blood pressure responses to stress. The attenuation was evident 3 hr following exercise and was most apparent on the cold pressor task. These effects were independent of epinephrine level and stress appraisal. The role of central sympathetic processes in the effects of exercise and methodologic implications are discussed.
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Mild to moderate acute, endurance exercise has generally been shown to reduce blood pressure (BP) in hypertensive (HT) individuals. Whether a slightly more strenuous bout of exercise can elicit a greater and more prolonged BP reduction is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two, 30-min exercise bouts, conducted at 50% and 75% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), on the quantity and quality of BP reduction over a 24-h period. Sixteen, Stage 1 and 2 non-medicated, HT (8 men/8 women) subjects were matched with normotensive (NT) men and women (n = 16). All subjects were evaluated for VO2max with a symptom-limited treadmill test and then completed a 30-min exercise bout at 50% and 75% of VO2max as well as a control (no exercise) session in random fashion on separate days. Twenty-four hour ambulatory BPs were measured after both the exercise and control settings. Data was assessed at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 h post-exercise and control session. A repeated-measures ANOVA showed non-significant differences between HT men and women and that both exercise intensities, relative to the control session, significantly (P<0.05) reduced systolic (S) and diastolic (D) BPs. NT subjects showed non-significant reductions following both intensities. The reductions in the HT men and women averaged 4 and 9 mm Hg (SBP)/5 and 7 mm Hg (DBP) for 50% and 75%, respectively. On average, the HT subjects (men and women combined) maintained significant SBP reductions for 13 h after the 75% bout compared to 4 h after the 50% intensity. Likewise, DBP was reduced for an average of 11 h following the 75% bout compared to 4 h after the 50% intensity. These results suggest that an exercise bout conducted between 50-75% VO2max significantly decreases SBP and DBP in HT subjects and that a greater and longer-lasting absolute reduction is evident following a 75% of maximum bout of exercise.
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Despite the widespread belief that endurance exercise lowers blood pressure (BP), reports of the lack of such an effect are common when using ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitoring. This review examined the influence of dynamic exercise on ABP to elucidate possible reasons for conflicting reports. Criteria for inclusion were dynamic exercise studies that involved ABP determinations after exercise. A total of 23 studies containing 34 groups of which 12 were normotensive and 22 hypertensive met these criteria. The groups primarily consisted of unmedicated, sedentary, overweight, non-Hispanic white men and women with a mean +/- SEM age of 43.9 +/- 1.5 yr. Baseline mean day systolic BP (SBP) was 137.3 +/- 2.1 mm Hg (95% confidence limits) (133.0, 141.5) and diastolic BP (DBP) was 86.7 +/- 1.5 mm Hg (83.7, 89.7). After exercise, day SBP (N = 34) was reduced an average of 3.2 +/- 1.0 (-5.2, -1.2) (P = 0.003) and DBP by 1.6 +/- 0.6 mm Hg (-2.9, -0.4) (P = 0.013); night SBP (N = 20) by 3.4 +/- 1.0 (-5.6, -1.2) (P = 0.005) and DBP by 3.0 +/- 1.4 mm Hg (-5.6, -0.4) (P = 0.025); and 24-h SBP (N = 17) by 3.2 +/- 0.8 (-4.9, -1.6) (P = 0.001) and DBP by 1.8 +/- 0.5 mm Hg (-2.9, -0.7) (P = 0.003). After detection of outlying cases using regression diagnostics, initial SBP accounted for 30% (P = 0.001) and 26% (P = 0.018) of the variance in the change in day and night SBP after exercise, respectively. Similarly, initial DBP explained 37% (P = 0.000) and 33% (P = 0.005) of the difference in day and night DBP after exercise. The ABP difference after exercise is a function of initial values such that groups with the highest baseline BP experience the greatest postexercise ABP reductions. The ABP dynamic exercise studies raise important methodological considerations that should be attended to in future work.
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This investigation compared patterns of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during exercise recovery both with and without postexercise hypotension (PEH). Eight subjects were studied on 3 days with randomly assigned conditions: 1) after 30 min of rest; 2) after 30 min of moderate exercise (M-Ex) at 60-70% heart rate (HR) reserve during PEH; and 3) after 30 min of light exercise (L-Ex) at 20% HR reserve with no PEH. Data were collected for HR, mean blood pressure (MBP), and ratings of perceived exertion and relaxation, and rCBF was assessed by use of single-photon-emission computed tomography. With the use of ANOVA across conditions, there were differences (P < 0.05; mean +/- SD) from rest during exercise recovery from M-Ex (HR = +12 +/- 3 beats/min; MBP = -9 +/- 2 mmHg), but not from L-Ex (HR = +2 +/- 2 beats/min; MBP = -2 +/- 2 mmHg). After M-Ex, there were decreases (P < 0.05) for the anterior cingulate (-6.7 +/- 2%), right and left inferior thalamus (-10 +/- 3%), right inferior insula (-13 +/- 3%), and left inferior anterior insula (-8 +/- 3%), not observed after L-Ex. There were rCBF decreases for leg sensorimotor regions after both M-Ex (-15 +/- 4%) and L-Ex (-12 +/- 3%) and for the left superior anterior insula (-7 +/- 3% and -6 +/- 3%), respectively. Data show that there are rCBF reductions within specific regions of the insular cortex and anterior cingulate cortex coupled with a postexercise hypotensive response after M-Ex. Findings suggest that these cerebral cortical regions, previously implicated in cardiovascular regulation during exercise, may also be involved in PEH.
Chapter
In this final chapter of the book’s first section we shall consider the possible association between heightened cardiovascular reactivity and later cardiovascular disease. This potential association has been a major driving force behind reactivity research in recent years, and a considerable number of publications have addressed this issue in detail. Presented here is a selection of the vast quantity of information relating to the role of stress and reactivity in the development of hypertension.
Article
Purpose: Physical activity has been associated with reduced blood pressure in observational epidemiologic studies and individual clinical trials. This meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials was conducted to determine the effect of aerobic exercise on blood pressure. Data Sources: English-language articles published before September 2001. Study Selection: 54 randomized, controlled trials (2419 participants) whose intervention and control groups differed only in aerobic exercise. Data Extraction: Using a standardized protocol and data extraction form, three of the investigators independently abstracted data on study design, sample size, participant characteristics, type of intervention, follow-up duration, and treatment outcomes. Data Synthesis: In a random-effects model, data from each trial were pooled and weighted by the inverse of the total variance. Aerobic exercise was associated with a significant reduction in mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure (-3.84 mm Hg [95% Cl, -4.97 to -2.72 mm Hg] and -2.58 mm Hg [CI, -3.35 to -1.81 mm Hg], respectively). A reduction in blood pressure was associated with aerobic exercise in hypertensive participants and normotensive participants and in overweight participants and normal-weight participants. Conclusions: Aerobic exercise reduces blood pressure in both hypertensive and normotensive persons. An increase in aerobic physical activity should be considered an important component of lifestyle modification for prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.
Technical Report
First Chief Medical Officer's (England) report on physical activity and public health
Article
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine whether blood pressure reactions to mental stress predicted future blood pressure and hypertension. Methods: Blood pressure was recorded at an initial medical screening examination after which blood pressure reactions to a mental stress task were determined. A follow-up screening assessment of blood pressure and antihypertensive medication status was undertaken 10 years later. Data were available for 796 male public servants, between 35 and 55 years of age upon entry to the study. Results: Systolic blood pressure reactions to mental stress were positively correlated with follow-up screening systolic blood pressure and to a lesser extent, follow-up diastolic pressure. In multivariate tests, by far the strongest predictors of follow-up blood pressures were initial screening blood pressures. In the case of follow-up systolic blood pressure, systolic reactions to stress emerged as an additional predictor of follow-up systolic blood pressure. With regard to follow-up diastolic blood pressure, reactivity did not enter the analogous equations. The same outcomes emerged when the analyses were adjusted for medication status. When hypertension at 10-year follow-up was the focus, both systolic and diastolic reactions to stress were predictive. However, with correction for age and initial screening blood pressure, these associations were no longer statistically significant. Conclusions: The results of this study provide modest support for the hypothesis that heightened blood pressure reactions to mental stress contribute to the development of high blood pressure. At the same time, they question the clinical utility of stress testing as a prognostic device.
Article
Examined the role that different doses of acute aerobic exercise (AE) have on psychophysiological responses to mental stress. 80 undergraduate women participated in 1 of 4 experimental conditions: (1) attention control, (2) 10 min of exercise, (3) 25 min of exercise, or (4) 40 min of exercise. All exercise sessions were performed at 70% of each S's heart rate reserve. Following each condition, Ss rested for 20 min and then completed a modified Stroop test. Systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were monitored at rest and during stressor. Positive and negative affect were assessed on entry to the laboratory, postexercise (after the 20-min rest), prior to the stressor, and after a 5-min recovery period. A demanding bout of acute AE lowered DBP and MAP reactivity to the Stroop; however, there were no significant linear trends between the dose of exercise and the extent of blood pressure reactivity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined the role of acute aerobic exercise (AE) in buffering physiological responses to mental stress. 12 trained cyclists (aged 23–38 yrs) participated in 3 counterbalanced treatment conditions on separate days: attention control, light AE, and heavy AE. After 30 min of rest following each condition, Ss completed a modified Stroop task. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) revealed that reactivity was attenuated by both heavy- and light-AE. Heavy AE was more effective in reducing MAP reactivity than light AE. Systolic blood pressure (BP) during the task was significantly higher in the control and light-AE conditions, while diastolic BP was significantly higher in the control condition than during exercise. Results suggest a dose–response relationship between acute AE and the attenuation of psychophysiological reactivity during stress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Background: We examined the relation between cardiovascular reactivity (the response of the cardiovascular system to psychological stress) and the severity and progression of carotid atherosclerosis. Methods: Using duplex ultrasonography, we measured the change in the area of all detectable plaques in the extracranial carotid arteries during 2 years. Cardiovascular reactivity was assessed by measuring changes in hemodynamics during a frustrating cognitive task (the Stroop Color Word Interference Task). Established risk factors for atherosclerosis were measured by interviewing patients, a physical examination, and blood assays for 351 subjects with a wide range of types of atherosclerotic disease. Results: Atherosclerotic plaques were present in the carotid arteries of 273 (78%) subjects. In a forward stepwise multiple regression analysis, it was found that greater age (β = 0.46), a history of hypertension (β = 0.20), use of lipid level-lowering agents (β = 0.18), a longer history of smoking (β = 0.13), a larger cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein ratio (β = 0.13), a smaller change in heart rate during the task (β = -0.12), and a higher resting systolic blood pressure (SBP; β = 0.11) were associated significantly with a greater plaque area (R2 = 0.35). In 136 untreated subjects who were followed up for 2 years, a greater change in SBP during the task (b = 0.28), a higher total cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein ratio (β = 0.23), a shorter resting preejection period (β = -0.19), and a lower body mass index (β = -0.17) were significant predictors of the change in atherosclerosis, after controlling for age and initial plaque area in a stepwise multiple regression analysis (R2 = 0.24). Conclusions: These results support the hypothesis that hemodynamic responses under conditions of mental stress may influence the progression of atherosclerosis.
Article
The role of endogenous opioids in aerobic fitness-induced decrements in cardiovascular stress reactivity was examined by comparing the effects of opioid antagonism with naltrexone on responses to stress in young adults with high versus low levels of aerobic fitness. Two hundred forty subjects were given an activity questionnaire and males with the highest (Fit) and lowest (Nonfit) aerobic activity profiles were recruited for maximal oxygen consumption (Vo2max) treadmill testing and psychological stress testing (final sample N=28). Heart rate and blood pressures were measured during performance on a computer-controlled arithmetic task after pretreatment with either naltrexone (Trexan, DuPont) or a placebo. During placebo challenges, Fit subjects, compared with Nonfit, showed lower heart rate reactivity during stress and lower mean arterial blood pressures immediately before and during recovery from stress. Naltrexone eliminated these reactivity differences by increasing heart rate reactivity and raising mean arterial blood pressure in Fit subjects. These data suggest that aerobic fitness is associated with enhanced opioidergic inhibition of circulatory stress reactivity. Opioidergic modulatory effects on stress reactivity may comprise an important mechanism in fitness-associated risk reduction for cardiovascular disease.
Article
We evaluated the experimental hypothesis that an acute bout of aerobic exercise (AE) serves as a buffer to psychosocial stress responses in low to moderate physically fit women. Forty-eight (24 White, 24 Black) 25- to 40-year-old women participated in two counterbalanced experimental conditions: an attention control and a 40-min bout of AE at 70% heart rate (HR) reserve. The attention control and AE treatments were followed by (a) 30 min of quiet rest, (b) exposure to mental and interpersonal threat, and (c) 5 min of recovery. Blood pressure (BP) and HR were monitored at baseline, during the stressors, and throughout recovery. Self-reported distress was assessed before each stressor and upon completion of the recovery period. The results provided clear evidence that exercise dampens BP reactivity to psychosocial stress. Additionally, compared with the attention placebo control, AE reduced both the frequency and intensity of anxiety-related thoughts that occur in anticipation of interpersonal threat and challenge.
Article
Because the correspondence between laboratory measures of blood pressure and heart rate responses to stress and ambulatory measures is less than optimal, this study tested two hypotheses: Are ambulatory measures of blood pressure elevated during periods of perceived stress, relative to no stress? Are ambulatory blood pressures elevated during perceived stress among those individuals who exhibit elevated blood pressure and heart rate responses to laboratory stress? These questions were addressed in a sample of employed, middle-aged men and premenopausal and postmenopausal women, who vary in reproductive hormone status, and in risk for coronary heart disease. All participants performed a series of laboratory studies while their physiological parameters were monitored and then wore an ambulatory blood pressure monitor for a day and a half. This monitor recorded blood pressure every half hour during the waking hours and at the same time the participants assessed their mood states. After excluding participants who reported no variability in stress levels, those who were cardiovascular reactors to a laboratory speech task exhibited elevated ambulatory blood pressure levels during periods of perceived stress. Furthermore, in general, periods of perceived stress were associated on a within subject basis with elevated ambulatory blood pressure. These results suggest that the correspondence between laboratory and field measures of blood pressure would be improved by taking into account the environmental circumstances during the ambulatory assessments and the person characteristics of reactor-nonreactor to laboratory stress.
Article
The effects of exercise on subsequent psychophysiological responses to mental stress were assessed in a study of 30 normotensive male volunteers. Participants were randomly allocated to three experimental conditions--20-min exercise at 100 Watts (high exercise), 20-min exercise at 25 Watts (low exercise), or 20-min no exercise (control). After a recovery period of 20 min, all subjects performed a mental arithmetic task for four 5-min trials. Blood pressure and heart rate were monitored continuously using a Finapres, and respiration and electrodermal activity were also recorded. Baroreceptor reflex control of heart rate was assessed using power spectrum analysis. Exercise produced consistent increases in systolic blood pressure, heart rate, and subjective tension, together with reductions in systemic resistance and baroreflex sensitivity. The systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate reactions to mental arithmetic were significantly blunted in the high exercise compared with control conditions, with the low exercise group showing an intermediate pattern. Subjective responses to mental stress were unaffected by prior exercise. The pattern of hemodynamic response was not a result of changes in baroreflex sensitivity. The mechanisms underlying this result are discussed in relation to the discrepancies between subjective and physiological responses to mental stress, and the implications for the use of exercise in stress management.
Article
The experiment was conducted to test the effects of an acute bout of aerobic exercise on cardiovascular arousal and mood during a subsequent period of cognitive work. Each subject participated in two testing sessions, one that followed exercise and one that did not. In each session the subjects studied for 40 minutes, and arousal during the study period was assessed. The results indicated that prior exercise resulted in higher pulse rate (10%; p = 0.02), slightly lower systolic blood pressure (2%; p = 0.09), and higher feelings of vigor (59%; p = 0.01) than did no-exercise. The results are somewhat inconsistent with anecdotal reports concerning the effects of acute exercise, and possible reasons for the inconsistencies are discussed.
Article
An experiment was conducted to examine the acute emotional and psychophysiological effects of a single bout of aerobic exercise. Forty active and 40 inactive college students were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise or a waiting-period control condition. Self-report measures of mood and cardiovascular response measures to challenging cognitive tasks were collected before and after the 20-min exercise/control period to examine any exercise-induced changes. The results indicated that mood was significantly altered by the exercise activity, with reductions in tension and anxiety specifically evident. Exercise was not found to have any effects on cardiovascular reactivity. A test of aerobic fitness confirmed fitness differences between active and inactive participants, but no mood or reactivity effects related to activity status were obtained. These results suggest that both active and inactive individuals experience acute reductions in anxiety following single bouts of exercise, even in the absence of changes in cardiovascular reactivity. Implications for the continued investigation of the acute effects of exercise are discussed.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a 2 h cycle exercise (50% VO2max) on heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), and on plasma epinephrine (E) and norepinephrine (NE) concentrations, during the recovery period in seven normotensive subjects. Measurements were made at rest in supine (20 min) and standing (10 min) positions, during isometric exercise (hand-grip, 3 min, 25% maximal voluntary, contraction), in response to a mild psychosocial challenge (Stroop conflicting color word task) and during a 5-min period of light exercise (42 +/- 3% VO2max). Data were compared to measurements taken on another occasion under similar experimental conditions, without a previous exercise bout (control). The results showed HR to be slightly elevated in all conditions following the exercise bout. However, diastolic and systolic BP during the recovery period following exercise were not significantly different from the values observed in the control situation. Plasma NE concentrations in supine position and in response to the various physiological and/or psychosocial challenges were similar in the control situation and during the recovery period following exercise. On the other hand plasma E (nmol.1-1) was about 50% lower at rest (0.11 +/- 0.03 vs 0.23 +/- 0.04) as well as in response to hand-grip (0.21 +/- 0.04 vs 0.41 +/- 0.20) and the Stroop-test (0.21 +/- 0.05 vs 0.41 +/- 0.15) following the exercise bout.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Article
The effects of aerobic fitness on resistance to psychosocial stressors are reviewed. To unravel the inconsistent results in studies examining the relationship between aerobic fitness and psychosocial stress response, a meta-analysis was conducted. The results of 34 studies having 92 effect size estimates from 1,449 subjects were statistically combined to compare psychosocial stressor tasks and arousal measures. The average effect size estimate of 0.48 was significantly different from zero (P less than 0.01), indicating that aerobically fit subjects had a reduced psychosocial stress response compared to either control group or baseline values. The test for the homogeneity assumption showed that it could not be rejected, and thus none of the proposed moderating variables altered the aerobic fitness-psychosocial reactivity relationship. Various underlying mechanisms which may contribute to this response are discussed, and future research directions are presented.
Article
Endogenous opiate peptides can regulate neuroendocrine and circulatory responses to behavioral stress and may be important in the pathogenic effects of sympathoadrenal reactivity. We tested this hypothesis by examining the effect of the opiate antagonist naloxone on blood pressure responses to behavioral stress in young adults with high, medium, or low casual blood pressures. Naloxone increased mean arterial pressure responses to stress in subjects with low casual pressure, but had no significant effect on responses in subjects with high casual pressure. These results suggest opioidergic inhibition of sympathetic nervous system responses may be deficient in persons at risk for essential hypertension.
Article
Cardiovascular and sympathetic profiles in response to a series of physical and mental challenges were examined during recovery from an acute bout of aerobic exercise performed at 60% VO2,max for 30 min. 9 healthy men were tested on two occasions, once under an experimental (exercise) and once under a control (video watching) condition, in a counter-balanced order, one week apart. Although no differences in blood pressure were found in the two conditions, heart rate and plasma catecholamine concentrations were higher in the exercise than in the control session. These findings were partly attributed to elevated physiological levels 'carried over' from exercise. State anxiety and anger-hostility, however, were lower in the post-experimental period than in the pre-experimental period. The results are discussed in terms of their relevance to exercise and stress psychophysiology.
Article
Psychological stress is associated with the development of hypertension. Exercise is purported to have a prophylactic effect on stress. Immediately after a single bout of aerobic exercise there is a transient decrease in blood pressure. We sought to examine the cardiovascular responses to a psychological stressor, the Stroop color word task during the postexercise hypotensive period. Eight borderline hypertensive subjects (resting blood pressure 137 +/- 1.9/85 +/- 1.8 mmHg) participated in three randomly assigned experimental trials: Stroop color word task without prior exercise (Stroop); Stroop color word task administered 10 min after 60 min exercise at 60% maximal oxygen uptake (E + Stroop); and 60 min exercise at 60% maximal oxygen uptake followed by 20 min seated recovery (Ex). Blood pressure and heart rate were monitored at the start and end of exercise and at every 2 min of recovery. During the Stroop trial there were significant increases in mean arterial (MAP), systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). During the Ex+Stroop trial the increases in MAP, SBP and DBP during the Stroop color word task were significantly less than the increases without prior exercise. During recovery in the Ex trial there were significant decreases in MAP and SBP. However, there were no significant changes in DBP during the Ex trial. These results suggest that following an acute bout of exercise there is a reduction in blood pressure, and during this postexercise hypotensive period the blood pressure response to a psychological stressor is attenuated.
Article
Investigations of the progression of atherosclerosis in human arteries suggest that changes in the thickness of the arterial intima-media complex, observable with B-mode ultrasonography, may precede development of atherosclerotic lesions. For epidemiological studies and clinical trials, B-mode ultrasound has the advantage that it is noninvasive, can be used in nonsymptomatic subjects, and can be carried out repeatedly, thus reducing the necessary sample size. In the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, we have assessed the reliability of B-mode ultrasound through studying intraobserver and interobserver variability. We have also investigated its predictive value by associating ultrasound observations with clinical end points, risk factors for common carotid and femoral atherosclerosis, and predictors of progression of common carotid atherosclerosis. The study of B-mode ultrasound reliability was conducted in 10 middle-aged men, with initial and two repeat scannings. The between-observer coefficient of variation was 10.5% for the first assessments by four observers. The intraobserver variability, described as the mean of the absolute difference between the first and third observations, was 0.087 mm, or 8.3% of the mean intimal-medial thickness (IMT). Ultrasonographic assessment of 1,257 men was compared with diagnostic information obtained from a prospective registry for acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The presence of any atherosclerotic findings was associated with a 3.0-fold risk of AMI. For each 0.1 mm of common carotid IMT, AMI risk increased by 11% (p < 0.001). Common carotid artery and femoral artery atherosclerosis, as assessed by mean maximal IMT, had different risk factor profiles. Age, serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol, smoking, platelet aggregability, serum copper, serum selenium (inversely), and blood hemoglobin were the strongest predictors of 2-year increase of common carotid IMT. On the basis of our experience and findings, the ultrasonographic assessment of common carotid atherosclerosis appears to be a feasible, reliable, valid, and cost-effective method for both population studies and clinical trials of atherosclerosis progression and regression.
Article
Thirty-six competitive sportsmen and 36 inactive men participated in a two-session experiment. Session 1 involved exercise to exhaustion so as to assess maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max). In Session 2, both groups were randomized into three experimental conditions: 20 min of exercise at high intensity (70% VO2max) or moderate intensity (50% VO2max) or a light exercise control. Following 30 min of recovery, all subjects performed mental arithmetic and public speech tasks in a counterbalanced order. Cardiovascular, electrodermal, respiratory, and subjective variables were recorded. Sportsmen had higher VO2max, lower body fat, and lower resting heart rate (HR) than inactive men. A postexercise hypotensive response was observed among subjects in the 70% and 50% VO2max conditions, accompanied by baroreceptor reflex inhibition in the 70% condition. Systolic pressure was lower during mental arithmetic and during recovery from the speech task in the high-intensity than in the control group. Diastolic pressure was lower following mental arithmetic in the high-intensity group. No differences in HR reactivity, electrodermal, or respiratory parameters were observed, but baroreceptor reflex sensitivity was inhibited during mental arithmetic. The results are discussed in relation to previous reports of suppressed cardiovascular reactivity to mental stress tests following vigorous exercise and the role of stress-related processes in the antihypertensive response to physical training.
Article
Observations on the adverse effect of chronic environmental stress on blood pressure in individuals, and the incidence of hypertension in populations, have raised the possibility that aberrant physiological responses to stressful stimuli may play a role in the development of human hypertension. A variety of investigations, both clinical and experimental, have been conducted to explore a neurogenic dimension in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Reactivity is defined as the change in blood pressure, heart rate, or other hemodynamic parameters in response to physical or mental stimuli. Data from clinical studies have shown that reactivity is a stable measurement within individuals. Augmented reactivity is observed in patients with hypertension compared with normotensive subjects, and can also be detected in the young, often associated with other risk factors for hypertension. Racial differences in reactivity have been shown, with enhanced vascular reactivity observed among blacks compared with greater cardiac reactivity in whites. Neither stress, nor reactivity to stress has been shown to have a causal role in the development of hypertension. Although augmented stress-induced reactivity is strongly associated with groups having a greater risk for future hypertension, the role that reactivity plays in this process remains to be delineated.
Article
The effect of 30 min of cycling exercise at 60% VO2max on hemodynamic responses to the Stroop and cold pressor tests in 12 normotensive males was examined. Subjects were randomly assigned in a counterbalanced design to perform the stressors pre- and postexercise and served as their own controls. Cardiac output (CO), heart rate (HR), and stroke volume were measured continuously by impedance cardiography. Blood pressure was measured beat to beat using a photoplethysmographic volume transducer. Total peripheral resistance (TPR) was calculated. The systolic blood pressure response (elevation) to the Stroop test was significantly attenuated postexercise (4.2 +/- 1.4%, p < 0.05) as compared to preexercise and control (10.1 +/- 1.8%). Postexercise HR reactivity was also significantly attenuated to the Stroop test postexercise (0.3 +/- 1.7%) compared to preexercise and control (6.5 +/- 2.3%, p < 0.05). Hemodynamic variables among treatment groups, with the possible exception of HR, appeared to be unaffected during the cold pressor postexercise. Neither central (i.e., CO) nor peripheral (i.e., TPR) responses appeared to be solely responsible for the attenuated blood pressure response to the Stroop stressor.
Article
Exaggerated cardiovascular reactivity to mental stress is hypothesized to increase atherosclerotic risk. We examined this hypothesis using cross-sectional data from the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease study, a population-based epidemiological sample. 901 Eastern Finnish men from four age cohorts (age, 42 to 60 years) were administered a standardized testing battery to assess cardiovascular reactivity to mental stress. Ultrasound measures of intima-medial thickness (IMT) and plaque height from the common carotid arteries were used as noninvasive markers of atherosclerosis. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) responses to mental stress were significantly associated with mean IMT (b=.021, P=.006), maximum IMT (b=.026, P=.013), and mean plaque height (b=.017, P=.041). Significant associations were also shown between stress-related systolic blood pressure (SBP) reactivity and mean IMT (b=.0151, P=.042). When examined separately by age, associations with IMT were significant only in the youngest half of the sample (age, 46 and 52 years, n=433; for mean IMT, DBP b=.033, P=.0002, SBP b=.0266, P=.003; for maximum IMT, DBP b=.039, P=.002, SBP b=.032, P=.011). Results remained significant in the younger subjects after adjustment for smoking, lipid profiles, fasting glucose, and resting blood pressure (b=.024, P=.011); results also remained significant in a subgroup of unmedicated younger subjects without symptomatic cardiovascular disease (n=135; for SBP reactivity, b=.031, P=.036; for DBP, b=.037, P=.007). The tendency to show exaggerated pressor responses to mental stress is a significant independent correlate of atherosclerosis in this population sample of Finnish men. The effect does not appear to be accounted for by the confounding influence of other risk factors or preexisting clinical disease.
Article
Regular physical exercise is known to reduce cardiovascular risk. We examined the effects of a single bout of moderate bicycle exercise on hemodynamic measures at rest and in response to the foot cold pressor (CP) and mental arithmetic (MA). Sedentary males and females (N = 32) were tested twice, following 20 minutes of moderate exercise (exercise day) versus 20 minutes of quiet rest (control day). Although resting blood pressure was no lower 20 minutes after exercise relative to the same time point on the control day, diastolic blood pressure responses to CP (p = .05) and MA (p = .06) were attenuated on the exercise day. Furthermore, recovery from moderate exercise versus control rest was also associated with reduced vascular resistance index (VRI) at rest and during exposure to both stressors (p's < or = .02). VRI reductions were largest in subjects with elevated vascular tone on the control day and were accompanied by increases in heart rate throughout the postexercise period (p's < or = .004) and higher cardiac index during exercise recovery and in response to CP (p's < or = .05). Thus, the cardiovascular benefit of exercise may in part be due to reduced VRI and attenuated cardiovascular responses to stress during the acute postexercise period.
Article
To examine the relationship between body fat distribution and hemodynamic stress responses, cardiovascular responses to a speech task and a forehead cold pressor task were evaluated with 24 premenopausal women classified a priori as either centrally or peripherally obese. Results showed that women with central adiposity exhibited greater stress-related increases in diastolic blood pressure and total peripheral resistance, whereas women with peripheral adiposity exhibited greater stress-related increases in cardiac output. Depression, self-consciousness, hostility, and mood scores did not explain significant variance in the stress response differences between regional adiposity groups. The findings suggest that central adiposity may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in women at least in part by enhancing vascular responses to stress.
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of exercise and weight loss on cardiovascular responses during mental stress in mildly to moderately overweight patients with elevated blood pressure. Ninety-nine men and women with high normal or unmedicated stage 1 to stage 2 hypertension (systolic blood pressure 130 to 179 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure 85 to 109 mm Hg) underwent a battery of mental stress tests, including simulated public speaking, anger recall interview, mirror trace, and cold pressor, before and after a 6-month treatment program. Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments: (1) aerobic exercise, (2) weight management combining aerobic exercise with a behavioral weight loss program, or (3) waiting list control group. After 6 months, compared with control subjects, participants in both active treatment groups had lower levels of systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total peripheral resistance, and heart rate at rest and during mental stress. Compared with subjects in the control group, subjects in the exercise and weight management groups also had greater resting stroke volume and cardiac output. Diastolic blood pressure was lower for the weight management group than for the exercise-only group during all mental stress tasks. These results demonstrate that exercise, particularly when combined with a weight loss program, can lower both resting and stress-induced blood pressure levels and produce a favorable hemodynamic pattern resembling that targeted for antihypertensive therapy.
Article
This study was designed to assess the effect of performance feedback on stress reactivity after recovery from maximal exercise. Forty competitive athletes were recruited to complete a maximal exercise test. Performance feedback was manipulated after the exercise test to give four groups: (1) high performance, (2) low performance, (3) accurate feedback and (4) no exercise control. Cardiovascular reactivity was assessed during psychological stress. The results indicate that accurate feedback participants experienced lower relative reactivity to stress (lower mean arterial pressure) than their no-exercise counterparts. These results demonstrate that the stress-buffering effect of exercise extends to maximal exercise. In addition, high-performance participants experienced lower relative reactivity than low-performance participants. Thus, low-performance feedback was sufficient to remove the buffering effect of exercise. There were no differences between the high-performance and accurate feedback conditions, or between the low-performance and control conditions.
Article
Post-exercise hypotension is common after moderate-intensity dynamic exercise. It results from persistent reductions in vascular resistance mediated by the autonomic nervous system and vasodilator substances. These effects appear more pronounced and last longer in hypertensive individuals. Post-exercise hypotension may also play an important role in plasma volume recovery after exercise.
Article
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of exercise training and weight loss on blood pressure (BP) associated with physical activity and emotional stress during daily life. One hundred twelve participants with unmedicated high normal or stage 1 to stage 2 hypertension were randomized to one of three conditions: a combined exercise and behavioral weight management group (WM), an exercise-only group (EX), or a wait list control group (CON). BP was assessed in the clinic and during 15 h of daytime ambulatory BP monitoring at baseline and after 6 months of treatment. Increased levels of physical activity and emotional distress measured during daily life were associated with increases in systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR), and rate pressure product (RPP). After treatment, the WM group had significantly lower DBP, HR, and RPP responses during both high and low levels of physical activity and emotional distress compared with the CON group. The EX group had similar BP levels as the WM group, although the EX group had significantly lower BP than the CON grou