Effect of passive heat stress and exercise in the heat on arterial stiffness
Exercise training elevates arterial compliance at rest, but the effects of acute exercise in this regard are unknown. This study investigated the effects of a single, 30-min bout of cycling exercise at 65% of maximal oxygen consumption on indexes of arterial compliance. Whole body arterial compliance determined noninvasively from simultaneous measurements of aortic flow and carotid pressure was elevated (66 +/- 26%) at 0.5 h postexercise (P = 0.04), followed by a decline to baseline 1 h after exercise. Aortic pulse-wave velocity, which is inversely related to compliance, was reduced (4 +/- 2%; P = 0.04) at 0.5 h postexercise. Pulse-wave velocity in the leg decreased by 10 +/- 4% at this time (P = 0.01). Mean arterial pressure was unchanged; however, central systolic blood pressure was reduced postexercise (P = 0.03). Cardiac output was elevated after exercise (P = 0.007) via heart rate elevation (P = 0.001), whereas stroke volume was unchanged. Total peripheral resistance was therefore reduced (P = 0.01) and would be expected to contribute to an elevation in arterial compliance. In conclusion, a single bout of cycling exercise increased whole body arterial compliance by mechanisms that may relate to vasodilation.