Bed rest results in marked vascular adaptations, and resistive vibration exercise (RVE) has been shown to be an effective countermeasure. As vibration exercise has practical and logistical limitations, the use of resistive exercise (RES) alone has the preference under specific circumstances. However, it is unknown if RES is sufficient to prevent vascular adaptations to bed rest. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of RES and RVE on the vascular function and structure of the superficial femoral artery in young men exposed to 60 days of bed rest. Eighteen healthy men (age: 31 +/- 8 yr) were assigned to bed rest and randomly allocated to control, RES, or RVE groups. Exercise was applied 3 times/wk for 5-7 min/session. Resting diameter, blood flow, flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and dilator capacity of the superficial femoral artery were measured using echo-Doppler ultrasound. Bed rest decreased superficial femoral artery diameter and dilator capacity, which were significantly attenuated in the RVE group but not in the RES group. Bed rest significantly increased FMD, an effect that was abolished by RVE but not RES. Resting and hyperemic blood flow did not change in any of the groups.
Thus, RVE abolished the marked increase in FMD and decrease in baseline diameter and dilator capacity normally associated with prolonged bed rest. However, the stimulus provided by RES alone was insufficient to counteract the vascular adaptations to bed rest.
van Duijnhoven NT, Thijssen DH, Green DJ, Felsenberg D, Belavy DL, Hopman MT. Resistive exercise versus resistive vibration exercise to counteract vascular adaptations to bed rest. J Appl Physiol. 2010 Jan;108(1):28-33