Objectives: This study tested whether high-intensity interval training is a time-efficient strategy for improving visceral adiposity tissue and inflammatory markers in obese postmenopausal women when compared with combined training. Moreover, we tested whether change in visceral adiposity tissue is associated with alterations in these inflammatory markers.
Methods: Postmenopausal women were randomized in two groups: combined training (n = 13) and high-intensity interval training (n = 13). The combined training group performed 60 minutes of walking at 70% of maximum heart rate and resistance exercises at 70% of one repetition maximum. The high-intensity interval training group performed 28 minutes of high-intensity exercises (> 80% of maximum heart rate). Both groups trained three times a week for 12 weeks. Body composition and inflammatory markers were analyzed with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scanning and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively.
Results: All groups reduced body fat percentage (P = 0.026), visceral adiposity tissue (P = 0.027), leptin (P = 0.043), and increased interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist (P < 0.01). The high-intensity interval training group reduced visceral adiposity tissue (P = 0.021) in a greater magnitude and increased interleukin-6 (P = 0.037) level when compared with the combined training group. Moreover, the visceral adiposity tissue changes explained the changes in IL-6 (56%; P = 0.002) only in the high-intensity interval training group.
Conclusions: These results suggest that high-intensity interval training is a time-efficient strategy for improving visceral adiposity tissue and inflammatory markers in obese postmenopausal women. Moreover, we observed that serum cytokine changes, at least in part, depend on visceral adiposity tissue alterations.