The effect of exercise training on circulatory responses to cold stress is not well established. To determine these responses, the authors measured mean systemic blood pressure (by sphygmomanometry), forearm blood flow (by plethysmography), and calculated forearm vascular resistance changes induced by a cold pressor test in 15 sedentary men (S), in 10 men engaged in low-level exercise training (Lx), in seven male marathon runners (Hx), and in seven male postcoronary artery bypass patients engaged in a cardiac rehabilitation exercise program (Cx). Resting blood pressure was normal and not different among the groups. The blood pressure elevation in response to cold pressor was attenuated in cardiac rehabilitation patients and in exercise-trained individuals (S: 16 ± 2 mmHg; Lx: 11 ± 2 mmHg; Hx: 6 ± 2 mmHg; Cx: 11 ± 2 mmHg; P < 0.02 for exercise groups). Forearm vascular resistance at rest and with cold pressor was similar in the four groups. Exercise training is associated with alterations in the blood pressure response to cold pressor. Reduced blood pressure lability during nonexercise stress may be one of the beneficial responses of exercise training. These effects extend to patients in a cardiac rehabilitation program.
ASJC Scopus subject areas