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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2019 Sep;59(9):1571-1576. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.09077-1. Epub 2018 Nov 8.

Combined aerobic and resistance training improves microcirculation in metabolic syndrome.

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Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy -
Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.
Department of Medicine, Healthy Lifestyle Institute CURIAMO, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA.



Exercise intervention improves macrovascular function in metabolic syndrome (MeS) patients, but few studies have evaluated the effect of exercise on microcirculatory dysfunction, which plays a key role in the development of MeS and its correlated organ damage. We carried out this intervention study to evaluate the influence of an aerobic and resistance training on skin microvascular reactivity in MeS patients.


Postocclusive reactive hyperemia (PORH) of the forearm skin was evaluated, by laser-Doppler flowmetry, before and after a 12-week program of aerobic and resistance training in 15 MeS patients referring to our Lipid Metabolism Outpatients Clinic, together with anthropometric, fitness and metabolic parameters; 15 matched MeS patients who did not exercise, served as a control group. The exercise training consisted of 2 sessions/week of aerobic and resistant exercise.


Following exercise program, we observed a significant reduction in body weight, fat mass, fasting blood glucose, serum HbA1c and triglycerides, while HDL-cholesterol significantly increased. The exercise-treated group experienced a significant improvement in the area of hyperemia (AH) after PORH, and in all fitness parameters: VO2max, strength on the pulldown lat machine, chest press, leg press and leg extension. A significant correlation emerged between the increase in AH and the reduction in HbA1c and between increase in AH and strength at the chest press, and at the leg extension.


Our study showed that a short-term combined aerobic-resistance training positively affects microvascular reactivity in MeS patients. This improvement is correlated with the reduction of HbA1c and fitness parameters, and particularly with increased muscle strength at the upper and lower limbs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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