J Sports Sci. 2016 Dec 28;:1-9
This study investigated the autonomic and haemodynamic responses to different aerobic exercise loads, with and without blood flow restriction (BFR). In a crossover study, 21 older adults (8 males and 13 females) completed different aerobic exercise sessions: low load without BFR (LL) (40% VO2max), low load with BFR (LL-BFR) (40% VO2max + 50% BFR) and high load without BFR (HL) (70% VO2max). Heart rate variability and haemodynamic responses were recorded during rest and throughout 30 min of recovery. HL reduced R-R interval, the root mean square of successive difference of R-R intervals and high frequency during 30 min of recovery at a greater magnitude compared with LL and LL-BFR. Sympathetic-vagal balance increased the values for HL during 30 min of recovery at a greater magnitude when compared with LL and LL-BFR. Post-exercise haemodynamic showed reduced values of double product at 30 min of recovery compared to rest in LL-BFR, while HL showed higher values compared to rest, LL-BFR and LL. Reduced systolic blood pressure was observed for LL-BFR (30 min) compared to rest. Autonomic and haemodynamic responses indicate lower cardiovascular stress after LL-BFR compared to HL, being this method, besides the functional adaptations, a potential choice to attenuate the cardiovascular stress after exercise in older adults.