A new study performed in the Faroe Islands suggests that it is as effective for cardio-vascular health to do 3-5 minutes of (effective) high-intensity swimming, as it is to swim for an hour at a more moderate pace.
To test the hypothesis that high-intensity swim training improves cardiovascular health status in sedentary premenopausal women with mild hypertension, sixty-two women were randomized into high-intensity (; HIT), moderate-intensity (; MOD), and control groups (; CON). HIT performed 6â€“10 Ã— 30â€‰s all-out swimming interspersed by 2 min recovery and MOD swam continuously for 1â€‰h at moderate intensity for a 15-week period completing in total and sessions, respectively. In CON, all measured variables were similar before and after the intervention period. Systolic BP decreased () by and â€‰mmHg in HIT and MOD; respectively. Resting heart rate declined () by bpm both in HIT and MOD, fat mass decreased () by and â€‰kg, respectively, while the blood lipid profile was unaltered. In HIT and MOD, performance improved () for a maximal 10â€‰min swim (% and %), interval swimming (% and %), and Yo-Yo IE1 running performance (% and %). In conclusion, high-intensity intermittent swimming is an effective training strategy to improve cardiovascular health and physical performance in sedentary women with mild hypertension. Adaptations are similar with high- and moderate-intensity training, despite markedly less total time spent and distance covered in the high-intensity group.
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