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Am J Cardiol. 1994 Jun 1;73(15):1124-8.

Moderate- and high-intensity exercise lowers blood pressure in normotensive subjects 60 to 79 years of age.

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Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610.


To investigate the effects of exercise intensity on resting blood pressure (BP) in normotensive elderly subjects, 44 sedentary healthy subjects aged 60 to 79 years of age were studied during 6 months of walking exercise. Subjects were ranked according to maximal oxygen consumption and randomly stratified to groups that trained at 70% (n = 19) or 80% to 85% (n = 14) of maximal heart rate reserve, or to a control group (n = 11) that did not train. Initial BP was established during a 2- to 3-week control period. During the first 3 months, both exercise groups progressed to 70% of heart rate reserve for 40 minutes 3 times each week. The moderate-intensity group continued to train at 70% (45-minute duration) for an additional 3 months, whereas the high-intensity group progressed to training at 85% of heart rate reserve (35-minute duration). Maximal oxygen consumption increased (p < or = 0.05) during the initial 3 months in both exercise groups (25.2 to 28.1 and 26.3 to 29.3 and continued to increase (p < or = 0.05) after 3 additional months of training, but the increase was greater (p < or = 0.05) in the high-intensity group (28.1 to 29.4 and 29.3 to 32.8 Systolic BP decreased (p < or = 0.05) similarly at 6 months in both training groups (120 to 111 mm Hg and 120 to 112 mm Hg).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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