Background: Exercise training may reduce blood pressure.
Aim: To determine the effects of a high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise protocol on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive subjects.
Material and methods: Eleven men and 27 women aged 46.4 ± 9.8 years were divided in two groups according to their blood pressure. Sixteen were classified as normotensive and 22 as hypertensive. All attended an exercise program with 3 sessions per week for a total of 24 sessions. Each session consisted of one minute of intense exercise performed on a stationary bike, followed by an inactive pause lasting two minutes. This cycle was repeated 10 times and it was thus called 1 * 2 * 10. Blood pressure, weight (kg) and body fat were assessed.
Results: In the hypertensive group, there was a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure from 145.4 ± 9.0 to 118.3 ± 15.6 mm Hg (p < 0.05). No significant change was observed in diastolic blood pressure (84.9 ± 3.9 and 85.8 ± 17.6 mmHg. Thus, there was a mean reduction in systolic pressure of 27. 7 ± 18.9 mmHg. Therefore, 73% of patients achieved systolic pressures within normal range, without medication.
Conclusions: The 1 * 2 * 10 exercise method is effective to improve and restore normal blood pressure in persons with hypertension in a period of two months and 24 sessions.