Increased parasympathetic tone achieved with endurance training may provide cardioprotection after menopause. To compare heart rate variability (HRV) from rest through maximal exercise and recovery in trained postmenopausal women. Thirtysix postmenopausal women who self-reported training at either moderate (MOD; 3-5.9 METS; 58.9±4.4 year) or vigorous (VIG; >6 METS; 59.7±5.2 year) intensities participated. HRV was measured for 5 min in the supine position, in the last minute of the VO2max test and after 2 min of active recovery. HRV in MOD and VIG was compared using a factorial ANOVA with repeated measures on time. MOD and VIG responded similarly over the three time periods for root mean square of sequential deviations (rMSSD), and high (HF) and low frequency (LF) power (p>0.05). Maximal exercise lowered rMSSD (3.3±0.08 vs. 1.2±0.06) and lnLF (4.1±0.05 vs. 3.3±0.13) and increased lnHF (3.3±0.14 vs. 4.0±0.10; p<0.01) from resting. However, active recovery restored lnHF (3.3±0.11) and lnLF (4.1±0.08) from maximal values (p<0.01). Our findings suggest that moderate and vigorous exercise training may enhance HRV recovery following one bout of maximal exercise in older women.
Orri, Julia; Hughes, E. M.; Mistry, D. G.; and Scala, A., "Assessment of HRV After Maximal Exercise in Trained Postmenopausal Women" (2018). Kinesiology (Formerly Exercise and Sport Science). 49.