11:36am Tuesday 22 October 2019

Doing regular exercise at different intensities favours control of blood pressure

Thus, amongst different groups analysed for the research over a period of eight weeks, the group subjected to supervised physical exercise at different intensities was that which achieved greater benefits for levels of blood pressure and physiological parameters.

The research, led by Dr Sara Maldonado-Martín of the Physical Education and Sports Department at the UPV/EHU, aims to provide continuity to that first research work by means of new investigations every year which are designed to more precisely identify the benefits of exercise for high blood pressure patients. Thus, for the new round of research prepared for this year, an increase from eight to sixteen weeks in the period of monitored training is anticipated.

With this widening of the research, the aim is to find out what influence greater periods of research have on the results; and, moreover, to ascertain if it is sufficient with less volume of training and obtain similar improvements. For this final aim, it is expected to include a new study group that will alternate moderate and intense sessions of exercise, but with sessions having less duration than the rest of the groups.

In this way, the study will randomly distribute the participants thereof in four groups:

1. A non-supervised group with general recommendations for healthy lifestyle.

2. A supervised group of programmed continuous physical exercise of moderate intensity.

3. A supervised group of physical exercise programmed with different intensities (intervaled), alternating moderate and intense sessions and with a volume of minutes less than the continuous group.

4. A supervised group of physical exercise programmed with different intensities (intervaled), alternating moderate and intense sessions and with the same volume of minutes than the continuous group.

Participation in the research

The UPV/EHU research team, at the same time as disseminating the benefits involved in undertaking exercise for controlling blood pressure, would ask those members of the public in the Basque Country who suffer from high blood pressure and who are interested in taking part in this new research to contact the lead researcher of the project: Sara Maldonado-Martín (945013534 /sara.maldonado@ehu.es). It is important to remember that the more participants taking part in the research, the more precise and reliable will be the results obtained on those suffering from high blood pressure.

Moreover, for each one of the participants in the research on those suffering from high blood pressure, taking part in the study will enable them to have more precise information on their general physical condition, the personal progress in their blood pressure levels over the duration of the research, and the changes that have taken place by the end. In short, the study will enable better control of behaviour in different situations of high blood pressure levels, the medical team supervising the personalised data.

Evaluation trials

All participants for the groups supervised will attend the centre where the physical exercise is to carried out; a total of 32 sessions involving 2 sessions a week over a total of 16 weeks, and supervised by students from the Faculty of Physical Activity Sciences and Sports.

Those with high blood pressure participating in the research have to undergo preliminary stress tests at the Faculty’s Physiology Laboratory. Then, over sixteen subsequent weeks, the participants in the supervised exercise groups mainly do the treadmill belt and static bicycle in exercises the intensity of which is designed individually depending on the results of the stress tests previously undertaken. After this period is finished, the initial tests are repeated in order to compare both, for blood pressure and for other physiological and anthropometric variables.

The principal trials to be undertaken are:

1. By means of a portable device, on-the-spot monitoring of the mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) is undertaken at the beginning and end of the programme, taking various measurements over a 24-hour period. The test enables confirming the diagnosis of high blood pressure or if the participant is only responding to this condition due to a transitory emotional state during certain times of the day.

2. Stress tests with a rowing machine (ergometer) and static bicycle with measurement of the variables in rest mode, sub-maximum mode and at peak values, in order to evaluate the functional cardiorespiratory capacity and blood pressure.

3. Test aimed at evaluating the functional cardiorespiratory capacity and blood pressure.

4. Questionnaire on the quality of life.

Kirola eta aisia, Osasuna, Unibertsitateak

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