Chronic Conventional Resistance Exercise Reduces Blood Pressure in Stage 1 Hypertensive Men

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Moraes, MR, Bacurau, RFP, Casarini, DE, Jara, ZP, Ronchi, FA, Almeida, SS, Higa, EMS, Pudo, MA, Rosa, TS, Haro, AS, Barros, CC, Pesquero, JB, Würtele, M, and Araujo, RC. Chronic conventional resistance exercise reduces blood pressure in stage 1 hypertensive men. J Strength Cond Res 26(4): 1122–1129, 2012—To investigate the antihypertensive effects of conventional resistance exercise (RE) on the blood pressure (BP) of hypertensive subjects, 15 middle-aged (46 ± 3 years) hypertensive volunteers, deprived of antihypertensive medication (reaching 153 ± 6/93 ± 2 mm Hg systolic/diastolic BP after a 6-week medication washout period) were submitted to a 12-week conventional RE training program (3 sets of 12 repetitions at 60% 1 repetition maximum, 3 times a week on nonconsecutive days). Blood pressure was measured in all phases of the study (washout, training, detraining). Additionally, the plasma levels of several vasodilators or vasoconstrictors that potentially could be involved with the effects of RE on BP were evaluated pre- and posttraining. Conventional RE significantly reduced systolic, diastolic, and mean BP, respectively, by an average of 16 (p < 0.001), 12 (p < 0.01), and 13 mm Hg (p < 0.01) to prehypertensive values. There were no significant changes of vasoactive factors from the kallikrein-kinin or renin-angiotensin systems. After the RE training program, the BP values remained stable during a 4-week detraining period. Taken together, this study shows for the first time that conventional moderate-intensity RE alone is able to reduce the BP of stage 1 hypertensive subjects free of antihypertensive medication. Moreover, the benefits of BP reduction achieved with RE training remained unchanged for up to 4 weeks without exercise.

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