Cardiovascular and Metabolic Responses to Combined Upper and Lower Body Exercise


Venters, E., Mason, S., Peterson, M., Timmons, K., Hoover, K., Crehan, L., McCole, S.D., and McKenzie, J.A. Department of Exercise Science & Physical Education, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare cardiovascular and metabolic responses during combined upper body and lower body exercise to lower body exercise performed at the same exercise equipment setting. Methods: Healthy, physically active females (n = 10) and males (n = 10) each performed a VO2max test and two elliptical exercise sessions, one using combined upper and lower body (ARMS) and one using just the lower body (NO ARMS), on separate occasions at least 48 hours apart. Each test was preceded by 10 minutes of quiet rest for measurement of baseline values. VO2, caloric expenditure, and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were measured throughout the sessions using the ParvoMedics TrueOne metabolic measurement system, whereas cardiac output (Q), stroke volume (SV), and heart rate (HR) were measured every 10 s using the PhysioFlow Enduro impedance cardiography system. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and blood pressure, via the Tango+ Automated Blood Pressure Monitor, were measured every 5 minutes. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), arterio-venous oxygen difference (A-VO2D) and total peripheral resistance (TPR) were calculated using standard formulae. The overall averages (calculated from the 5, 10, 15, and 20 minute values) from the exercise sessions were analyzed for significant differences (p < 0.05) using paired samples t-tests. Results: Data are means ± SEM. Participants averaged 23 ± 1 yr, 78.3 ± 4.5 kg, 1.73 ± 0.02 m, with a VO2max of 49.8 ± 2.0 mL/kg/min. Resting values did not differ between ARMS and NO ARMS (data not shown; all p > 0.05). In addition, the average speed (6.5 ± 0.3 vs. 6.5 ± 0.3 mph) and distance (2.2 ± 0.1 vs. 2.2 ± 0.1 miles) did not differ for the ARMS and NO ARMS sessions, respectively. HR (157 ± 3 vs. 152 ± 3 bpm; p < 0.02), VO2 (27.6 ± 1.4 vs. 26.2 ± 1.5 mL/kg/min; p = 0.001), and caloric expenditure (207 ± 13 vs. 196 ± 14 kcal; p < 0.04) were slightly higher during the ARMS elliptical session than during the NO ARMS session. None of the other variables differed between the exercise sessions. Conclusion: Although exercise intensity and duration were consistent, exercising using ARMS evoked a slightly greater metabolic demand than exercising with NO ARMS.

Research supported by the McDaniel College Student-Faculty Collaborative Summer Research Fund

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