Effects of steady state exercise on the power spectrum of heart rate variability
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The effects of steady state exercise on the power spectrum of heart rate variability were studied in 19 healthy subjects. Continuous ECG signals were recorded during 1) 15 min of rest in the supine state, 2) 10 min of standing, 3) 10 min of steady state exercise at 50% of maximum predicted power output on a cycle ergometer, and 4) 15 min of post-exercise recovery in the supine state. Autoregressive modeling was used to determine the power spectrum of heart rate variability. While orthostatic stress produced a significant 51% increase in the ratio of low to high frequency peak spectral power, steady state exercise caused a significant suppression of both low and high frequency components. The low frequency peak power rose to significantly high levels throughout 15 min of the post-exercise recovery period. There was a significant leftward shift in the frequency of the low frequency peak with exercise and a rightward shift during the recovery supine state. These results suggest that neuroregulatory control of heart rate plays a major role in adaptive responses to orthostatic stress and post-exercise recovery, while humoral factors are probably more important in maintaining heart rate during steady state exercise.
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