Exercise training-induced changes in heart rate recovery in obese men with metabolic syndrome

Heart rate recovery (HRR) as a function of vagal reactivation, which is an independent risk predictor for cardiovascular disease and mortality, is strongly associated with metabolic syndrome. Middle-aged obese men classified on the basis of Adult Treatment Panel III criteria were investigated in this study. Postexercise HRR and the HRR decay constant following a symptom-limited bicycle exercise test were evaluated before and after a 12-week exercise training program. Although the peak HR remained unchanged, HR at anaerobic threshold significantly decreased for both groups after exercise training; HR at rest was significantly decreased in the metabolic syndrome group after training. HRR significantly improved in the metabolic syndrome group with no change for the non-metabolic syndrome group. HRR decay constant values showed significant improvement in the metabolic syndrome group after exercise training but not the non-metabolic syndrome group.

This study demonstrated that moderate-intensity physical training without caloric restrictions improves HRR in obese men with metabolic syndrome, possibly due to a reduction in the resting HR. Therefore, weight loss-induced exercise training would help in improving the resting HR, and the responsiveness of the autonomic nervous system in obese men with metabolic syndrome.

Kim MK, Tanaka K, Kim MJ, Matsuo T, Ajisaka R. Exercise training-induced changes in heart rate recovery in obese men with metabolic syndrome. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2009 Oct;7(5):469-76

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