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J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Feb 1. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001833. [Epub ahead of print]

Effect of Moderate Versus High-Intensity Interval Exercise Training on Heart Rate Variability Parameters in Inactive Latin-American Adults: A Randomised Clinical Trial.

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1 Centro de Estudios para la Medición de la Actividad Física «CEMA». Escuela de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá D.C, Colombia. 2 Grupo GICAEDS, Facultad de Cultura Física, Deporte y Recreación, Universidad Santo Tomás, Bogotá, D.C, Colombia. 3 Laboratorio de Ciencias de la Actividad Física, el Deporte y la Salud, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, USACH, Santiago, Chile. 4 Departamento de Ciencias de la Actividad Física, Universidad de Los Lagos, Osorno, Chile. 5 Núcleo de Investigación en Salud, Actividad Física y Deporte; Laboratorio de Medición y Evaluación Deportiva, Universidad de Los Lagos, Osorno, Chile. 6 Unidad de Fisiología Integrativa, Laboratorio del Ciencias del Ejercicio, Clínica MEDS, Santiago, Chile. 7 Public University of Navarra, Department of Health Sciences, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain.


We investigated the effect of moderate versus high-intensity interval exercise training on the HRV indices in physically inactive adults. Twenty inactive adults were randomly allocated to receive either moderate intensity training (MCT group) or high-intensity interval training (HIT group). The MCT group performed aerobic training at an intensity of 55-75%, which consisted of walking on a treadmill at 60-80% of the maximum heart rate (HRmax) until the expenditure of 300 kcal. The HIT group ran on a treadmill for 4 minutes at 85-95% peak HRmax and had a recovery of 4 minutes at 65% peak HRmax until the expenditure of 300 kcal. Supine resting HRV indices (time domain: SDNN, standard deviation of normal-to-normal intervals; rMSSD, Root mean square successive difference of RR intervals and frequency domain: HFLn, high-frequency spectral power; LF, low-frequency spectral power and HF/LF ratio) were measured at baseline and 12 weeks thereafter. The SDNN changes were 3.4 (8.9) ms in the MCT group and 29.1 (7.6) ms in the HIT group (difference between groups 32.6 [95% CI, 24.9 to 40.4 (P = 0.01)]. The LF/HFLn ratio change 0.19 (0.03) ms in the MCT group and 0.13 (0.01) ms in the HIT group (P between groups = 0.016). No significant group differences were observed for the rMSSD, HF and LF parameters. In inactive adults, this study showed that a 12-week HIT training program could increase short-term HRV, mostly in vagally mediated indices such as SDNN and HF/LFLn ratio power.

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