In a nutshell
This study investigated if aquatic exercise had an effect on blood pressure levels in older women with hypertension (high blood pressure). The study determined that aquatic exercise caused a greater reduction in blood pressure compared to land-based exercise in the short-term.
Hypertension is a serious condition that can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (heart and circulatory system). Exercise has been shown to be very effective in managing blood pressure levels. It can cause both short-term and long-term reductions in blood pressure. Following exercise, a short-term reduction in blood pressure is called post-exercise hypotension (PEH).
Aquatic (water-based) exercise is recommended for older or overweight/obese adults due to a lower risk of injuries. It is unclear whether aquatic exercise can benefit patients with hypertension either in the short or long-term.
Methods & findings
This study investigated the effects of aquatic exercise on short-term blood pressure levels in older women. This study included 24 women with hypertension aged between 65 and 80. Patients were assigned to complete either an aquatic or land-based (control) exercise session lasting 45 minutes. Following this, patients were fitted with a blood pressure (BP) monitor that measured blood pressure for 21 hours. Ambulatory (moving) BP was recorded during this period measuring systolic (pressure when heart forces blood out) and diastolic (pressure when blood returns to heart) BP. From these readings, PEH was determined.
Patients that completed the aquatic exercise program had reduced systolic and diastolic BP (-5.1 mmHg (systolic); -1.2 mmHg (diastolic)) compared to the control exercise program.
The bottom line
This study concluded that aquatic exercise caused a greater reduction in blood pressure compared to land-based exercise in the short-term.
The fine print
This study examined a small number of patients. Much larger studies are needed to confirm the beneficial effects of aquatic exercise on PEH.
If you have any concerns regarding exercise and blood pressure management, please consult with your physician.
Published By :
American journal of hypertension
Jan 12, 2018