2003 Volume 1 Issue 2 Pages 202-206
Large arteries (central arteries such as aortas) and medium-sized arteries (peripheral arteries such as upper limb arteries) provide buffer function to level off fluctuations in blood pressure and blood flow. When upper limb arterial stiffness increases, buffer functions deteriorate, thereby increasing the blood pressure and reducing the blood flow efficiency. Intense aerobic exercise training helps to decrease stiffness in central arteries and peripheral arteries. We have demonstrated whether continuous aerobic exercise in elderly women can help to reduce stiffness in peripheral arteries, even when the exercise is relatively mild. Arterial pulse wave velocity (PMV) method was used to measure peripheral (upper arm- forearm) arterial stiffness in test subjects; eight healthy elderly women (age 62±1) who perform moderate exercises continuously and six healthy women (age 61±3) who do not exercise regularly. Findings demonstrate that stiffness in peripheral arteries is significantly lower in the elderly women who participate in continuous aerobic exercise training compared to those with no such exercise routine. These findings show that aerobic exercise on cycle ergometer that mainly uses lower limbs helps to reduce stiffness in upper limb arteries. Therefore, this study suggests that aerobic exercise training in peripheral arteries may have an effect on arteries where lower loads are to be applied.