Effects of endurance, circuit, and relaxing training on cardiovascular risk factors in hypertensive elderly patients

Massimo Venturelli, Emiliano Cè, Eloisa Limonta, Federico Schena, Barbara Caimi, Stefano Carugo, Arsenio Veicsteinas, Fabio Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recommendations for prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) risk factors among older adults highlighted the importance of exercise-based interventions, including endurance training (ET). However, the evidence of efficacy of other interventions based on short-bouts of exercise (circuit training, CT), and the practice of breath-control and meditation (relaxing training, RT) is growing. The aim of this study was to elucidate if CT or RT are equally effective in CVD risk factors reduction compared to ET. To this purpose, in 40 elderly participants, with clinically diagnosed grade 1 hypertension, resting blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels, peak oxygen uptake (V˙o2peak), mechanical efficiency and quality of life were evaluated before and after 12 weeks of ET, CT, and RT treatments. Resting blood pressure reduced significantly in all groups by ∼11 %. In ET, blood cholesterol levels (−18 %), V˙o2peak (+8 %), mechanical efficiency (+9 %), and quality of life scores (+36 %) ameliorated. In CT blood glucose levels (−11 %), V˙o2peak (+7 %) and quality of life scores (+35 %) were bettered. Conversely, in RT, the lower blood pressure went along only with an improvement in the mental component of quality of life (+42 %). ET and CT were both appropriate interventions to reduce CVDs risk factors, because blood pressure reduction was accompanied by decreases in blood glucose and cholesterol levels, increases in V˙o2peak, mechanical efficiency, and quality of life. Although RT influenced only blood pressure and quality of life, this approach would be an attractive alternative for old individuals unable or reluctant to carry out ET or CT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 25 2015


  • Aging
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Circuit training
  • Endurance training
  • Relaxing training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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