Effect of Upper Body Aerobic Exercise on Arterial Stiffness in Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The authors evaluated the effects of acute arm-cycling exercise on arterial stiffness of the brachial artery (BA: working limb) and posterior tibial artery (PTA: nonworking limb) in healthy older participants. Eleven participants were tested to evaluate BA and PTA stiffness. Blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and arterial stiffness indices of the BA and PTA measured by Doppler ultrasound were determined before and 10 min after graded arm-cycling exercise to volitional fatigue on 2 separate days. After the exercise, although BA diameter, brachial systolic BP, pulse pressure, and HR increased significantly (all p < .05), arterial stiffness indices of the BA remained unchanged. Similarly, arterial stiffness indices of the PTA remained unchanged after the exercise, whereas HR increased significantly (p < .05). These results show that acute arm-cycling exercise failed to modify arterial stiffness of the BA and PTA, suggesting that it has no systemic effect on arterial stiffness in healthy older adults.

Aizawa and Mendelsohn are with the School of Kinesiology, and Overend, the School of Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada. Petrella is with the Aging, Rehabilitation and Geriatric Care Research Centre, the Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada.