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Alexei Wong and Arturo Figueroa

The present study examined the effects of a 12-week low-intensity resistance exercise training (LIRET) regimen on heart rate variability, strength, and body composition in obese postmenopausal women. Participants were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of either LIRET (n = 10) or nonexercising control group (n = 10). Heart rate variability, leg muscle strength, and body composition were measured before and after 12 weeks. There were significant decreases (p < .05) in sympathovagal balance (LnLF/LnHF) and sympathetic tone (nLF), as well as significant increases (p < .05) in parasympathetic tone (nHF) and strength following LIRET compared with no changes after control. There were no significant changes in body composition after LIRET or control. LIRET may be an effective therapeutic intervention for improving sympathovagal balance and strength in obese postmenopausal women. As obese postmenopausal women are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and physical disability, they could potentially benefit from LIRET.

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Alexei Wong, Arturo Figueroa, Marcos A. Sanchez-Gonzalez, Won-Mok Son, Oksana Chernykh, and Song-Young Park

The present study examined the effects of a 12-week Tai Chi (TC) training regimen on heart rate variability (HRV), symptomatology, muscle fitness and body composition in women with fibromyalgia. Participants were randomly assigned to either a TC training group (n = 18) or a control group (n = 19). HRV, symptomatology, muscle fitness and body composition were measured before and after 12 weeks. There were significant decreases (p < 0.05) in sympathovagal balance (LnLF/LnHF), sympathetic tone (LnLF, nLF), pain, and fatigue, and significant increases (p < 0.05) in parasympathetic tone (LnHF, nHF), strength and flexibility following TC compared with no changes after control. The changes in LnLF and LnLF/LnHF were correlated with changes in pain. There were no significant changes in HR, sleep quality and body composition after TC or control. TC may be an effective therapeutic intervention for improving sympathovagal balance, pain, fatigue, strength and flexibility in women with fibromyalgia.

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Gregory Severino, Marcos Sanchez-Gonzalez, Michelle Walters-Edwards, Michael Nordvall, Oksana Chernykh, Jason Adames, and Alexei Wong

The present study examined the effects of a 6-week whole-body vibration training (WBVT) regimen on heart rate variability (HRV) and body composition in obese Hispanic postmenopausal women. Participants were randomly assigned to either WBVT (n = 13) or a nonexercising control group (n = 14). HRV and body composition were measured before and after 6 weeks. There was a significant group by time interaction (P < .05) for heart rate, sympathovagal balance, and body fat percentage (BF%) such that all significantly decreased (P < .05); and R-R intervals significantly increased (P < .05) following WBVT compared to no changes after control. The changes in sympathovagal balance were correlated with changes in BF% (r = .63, P < .05). Our findings indicate that WBVT improves HRV and BF% in obese Hispanic postmenopausal women. The improvement in BF% partially explained the decrease in sympathovagal balance. Since obese and older individuals are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, they could potentially benefit from WBVT.