Chien (2020) Land versus water HIIE (HIIT) effects on muscle oxygenation and physiological parameter responses in postmenopausal women (Scientific Reports by Nature)

Introduction to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has gained popularity for its efficiency in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity, particularly among postmenopausal women. This study explores the differences between water-based HIIT (WHIIE) and land-based bike ergometer HIIT (LBEHIIE) in terms of muscle oxygenation (MO) and physiological responses.

Study Design and Methodology
Eleven postmenopausal women participated in this crossover study, performing both WHIIE and LBEHIIE in a counterbalanced order. Each session consisted of eight sets of high-intensity exercises followed by dynamic recovery, with heart rate, perceived exertion (RPE), and MO being measured.

Key Findings

  • WHIIE resulted in lower RPE compared to LBEHIIE, indicating less perceived exertion in water.
  • During dynamic recovery, WHIIE showed higher muscle tissue oxygenation, total hemoglobin (tHb), and oxy-hemoglobin (O2Hb) than LBEHIIE.
  • A negative correlation was observed between changes in MO and lactate concentration, suggesting better lactate clearance in water-based exercises.
  • Faster heart rate recovery was noted in WHIIE, highlighting potential benefits in post-exercise recovery.

Discussion and Implications
The study underscores the efficacy of WHIIE in achieving similar exercise intensity as LBEHIIE but with additional advantages like reduced perceived exertion, enhanced MO during recovery, and quicker heart rate normalization post-exercise. These findings suggest that WHIIE could be a more comfortable and potentially more effective HIIT mode for postmenopausal women, with implications for exercise prescription and cardiovascular health promotion in this demographic.

Water-based HIIT offers a viable alternative to traditional land-based HIIT for postmenopausal women. Combining efficiency with lower perceived exertion and enhanced physiological benefits. This study contributes to the understanding of aquatic exercises’ potential in managing postmenopausal health concerns. Advocating for their inclusion in fitness programs tailored to older adults.

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