High-intensity single-leg cycling improves cardiovascular disease risk factor profile
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
School of Medical and Health Sciences
INTRODUCTION: Regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease through risk factor modification, with high-intensity exercise and more recently small muscle mass training providing alternatives to moderate-intensity exercise.
METHODS: This study randomly assigned 53 healthy middle-age adults (age, 62 ± 6 yr) to complete 24 sessions (8 wk; 3 d·wk-1) of exercise training, using either high-intensity double-leg cycling (n = 17; HITDL), high-intensity single-leg cycling (n = 18; HITSL), or moderate-intensity double-leg cycling (n = 18; MCTDL). Biomarkers of cardiovascular risk (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-c, LDL-c, apo-B48, and glucose), anthropometry measures (body mass, body mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio), resting blood pressure, and aerobic capacity were assessed pre- and postintervention.
RESULTS: Total work completed was greater (P < 0.01) in MCTDL (5938 ± 1462 kJ) compared with the HITDL (3462 ± 1063 kJ) and HITSL (4423 ± 1875 kJ). Pre- to posttraining differences were observed for waist-to-hip ratio (0.84 ± 0.09 vs 0.83 ± 0.09; P < 0.01), resting systolic blood pressure (129 ± 11 vs 124 ± 12 mm Hg; P < 0.01), total cholesterol (5.87 ± 1.17 vs 5.55 ± 0.98 mmol·L; P < 0.01), and LDL-c (3.70 ± 1.04 vs 3.44 ± 0.84 mmol·L; P < 0.01), with no differences between conditions. In addition, aerobic capacity increased after training (22.3 ± 6.4 vs 24.9 ± 7.6 mL·kg·min; P < 0.01), with no differences between conditions.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that all three modes of exercise can be prescribed to achieve cardiovascular risk reduction in an aging population.
Exercise, nutrition, lifestyle and other interventions for optimal health across the lifespan