Although research unanimously maintains that exercise can ward off cardiovascular disease (CVD), the optimal type, duration, intensity, and combination of forms are yet not clear. In our review of existing rodent-based studies on exercise and cardiovascular health, we attempt to find the optimal forms, intensities, and durations of exercise. Using Scopus and Medline, a literature review of English language comparative journal studies of cardiovascular benefits and exercise was performed. This review examines the existing literature on rodent models of aerobic, anaerobic, and power exercise and compares the benefits of various training forms, intensities, and durations. The rodent studies reviewed in this article correlate with reports on human subjects that suggest regular aerobic exercise can improve cardiac and vascular structure and function, as well as lipid profiles, and reduce the risk of CVD. Findings demonstrate an abundance of rodent-based aerobic studies, but a lack of anaerobic and power forms of exercise, as well as comparisons of these three components of exercise. Thus, further studies must be conducted to determine a truly optimal regimen for cardiovascular health.
Keywords: aerobic; anaerobic; cardiac; lipid profile; physical activity; training; vascular.