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J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2014 Jun;18(2):181-8. doi: 10.5717/jenb.2014.18.2.181. Epub 2014 May 14.

Effects of low calorie diet-induced weight loss on post-exercise heart rate recovery in obese men.

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Department of Physical Education, Kyungpook University, Daegu, Korea.



Heart Rate Recovery (HRR) after maximum exercise is a reactivation function of vagus nerve and an independent risk factor that predicts cardiovascular disease and mortality. Weight loss obtained through dietary programs has been employed as a therapy to reduce risks of cardiovascular disease and obesity.


Eighteen subjects of middle aged obese men (age 44.8 ± 1.6 yrs, BMI 29.7 ± 0.5 kg/m(2)) were selected for this study. As a weight loss direction, the nutritional direction of low-calorie diet mainly consisted of carbohydrate, protein, and fat has been conducted for 3 months. Blood pressure was measured after overnight fasting, and blood samples were collected from the antecubital vein before and after weight loss program. All the pre- and post-exercise 'HRR decay constant's were assessed by using values of HRR (heart recovery rate; 2 minutes) and HR measured after reached to the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) exploited the bicycle ergometer.


After the completion of weight loss program, body weight and BMI were significantly decreased, but the Heart Rate (HR) after maximum exercise and in steady state were not changed significantly (p > 0.05). The post-exercise HRR after the weight loss did not show significant changes in perspectives of 30 seconds (-16.6 ± 2.3 to -20.2 ± 2.1 beats/min, p > 0.05) and 60 seconds (-33.5 ± 3.4 to -34.6 ± 2.8 beats/min, p > 0.05) respectively but in perspectives of 90 seconds (-40.9 ± 2.6 to -48.1 ± 3.1 beats/min, p < 0.05) and 120 seconds (-48.6 ± 2.6 to -54.3 ± 3.5 beats/min, p < 0.05), they were decreased significantly. Pre-'HRR decay constant's of 0.294 ± 0.02 %/second were significantly increased to post-values of 0.342 ± 0.03 %/second (p = 0.026). Changes in 'HRR decay constant' were significantly correlated with changes in blood glucose (r = -0.471, p < 0.05) and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max, r = 0.505, p < 0.05) respectively.


The low-calorie diet directed to obese middle aged men for 3 months significantly improved the HRR after maximum exercise, and this improvement in cardiovascular autonomic nerve system was estimated to be involved with improvements in blood glucose and maximal oxygen consumption.


Maximal oxygen consumption; Obesity; Post-exercise heart rate recovery; Weight loss

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