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Einstein (Sao Paulo). 2013 Jul-Sep;11(3):324-30.

Short-term effects of moderate intensity physical activity in patients with metabolic syndrome.

[Article in English, Portuguese]



To evaluate whether a short-term moderate intensity exercise program could change inflammatory parameters, and improve different components of metabolic syndrome in sedentary patients.


Sixteen patients completed the 12-week program of supervised exercise, which consisted of a 40 to 50 minutes of walking, 3 times a week, reaching 50 to 60% of the heart rate reserve. The parameters evaluated before and after intervention were waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, C-reactive protein and interleukin 8.


There was a significant reduction in waist circumference (102.1±7.5cm to 100.8±7.4cm; p=0.03) and in body mass index (29.7±3.2kg/m² versus 29.3±3.5kg/m²; p=0.03). Systolic blood pressure dropped from 141±18 to 129±13mmHg and diastolic from 79±12 to 71±10mmHg (with p<0.05 for both). No changes were observed on total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, although HDL cholesterol levels improved, from 45.5±6.0 to 49.5±9.8mg/dL (p=0.02). There was a trend toward reduction of C-reactive protein (8.3%; p=0.07) and interleukin 8 levels (17.4%; p=0.058). The improvement in cardiovascular capacity was demonstrated by an increase of 13% in estimated volume of oxygen (p<0.001).


Benefits of aerobic exercise of moderate intensity were seen within only 12 weeks of training in sedentary patients with metabolic syndrome. Considering the easy self-applicability and proven metabolic effects, an exercise program could be a first approach to sedentary patients with metabolic syndrome.

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