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Association between heart rate variability and training response in sedentary middle-aged men.

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Department of Biomedical Science, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.


The effect of exercise training on heart rate variability (HRV) and improvements in peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) was examined in sedentary middle-aged men. The HRV and absolute and relative VO2peak of training (n = 19) and control (n = 15) subjects were assessed before and after a 24-session moderate intensity exercise training programme. Results indicated that with exercise training there was a significantly increased absolute and relative VO2peak (P < 0.005) for the training group (12% and 11% respectively) with no increase for the control group. The training group also displayed a significant reduction in resting heart rate; however, HRV remained unchanged. The trained subjects were further categorized into high (n = 5) and low (n = 5) HRV groups and changes in VO2peak were compared. Improvements in both absolute and relative VO2peak were significantly greater (P > 0.005) in the high HRV group (17% and 20% respectively) compared to the low HRV group (6% and 1% respectively). The groups did not differ in mean age, pretraining oxygen consumption, or resting heart rate. These results would seem to suggest that a short aerobic training programme does not alter HRV in middle-aged men. Individual differences in HRV, however, may be associated with VO2peak response to aerobic training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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