Isometric exercise training (IET) appears to be a good long-term intervention in managing resting blood pressure (BP), reports a recent study. IET delivers clinically important, chronic BP adaptations in patients at risk of
“Importantly, this work also demonstrates impressive long-term adherence rates, further supporting the implementation of IET as a means of effective BP management in clinical populations,” the investigators said.
Twenty-four unmedicated patients with high-normal BP were randomly assigned to either a 1-year wall squat IET intervention or a nonintervention control group.
The investigators then measured the participants’ resting BP and various clinically important haemodynamic variables, including heart rate (HR), stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), and total peripheral resistance (TPR) before and after the 1-year study period.
IET for 1 year resulted in statistically significant reductions in resting systolic (‒8.5 mm Hg; p<0.001) and diastolic (‒7.3 mm Hg; p<0.001) BP compared with the control group.
A significant decrease was noted in resting HR (‒4.2 b/min; p=0.009), while a significant increase was seen in SV (11.2 ml; p=0.012); no significant change occurred in CO (0.12 l/min; p=0.7). In addition, TPR decreased significantly after IET (‒246 dyne·s/cm5; p=0.011).
Notably, adherence to the IET intervention was 77 percent across all participants (3 x IET sessions per week). None of the participants withdrew from the intervention.
“IET over 4–12 weeks is an effective antihypertensive intervention,” the investigators said. “However, BP reductions are reversible if exercise is not maintained.”