Arterial compliance increases after moderate-intensity cycling

Bronwyn A. Kingwell, Karen L. Berry, James D. Cameron, Carry L. Jennings, Anthony M. Dart

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227 Citations (Scopus)


Exercise training elevates arterial compliance at rest, but the effects of acute exercise in this regard are unknown. This study investigated the effects of a single, 30-min bout of cycling exercise at 65% of maximal oxygen consumption on indexes of arterial compliance. Whole body arterial compliance determined noninvasively from simultaneous measurements of aortic flow and carotid pressure was elevated (66 ± 26%) at 0.5 h postexercise (P = 0.04), followed by a decline to baseline 1 h after exercise. Aortic pulse-wave velocity, which is inversely related to compliance, was reduced (4 ± 2%; P = 0.04) at 0.5 h postexercise. Pulse-wave velocity in the leg decreased by 10 ± 4% at this time (P = 0.01). Mean arterial pressure was unchanged; however, central systolic blood pressure was reduced postexercise (P = 0.03). Cardiac output was elevated after exercise (P = 0.007) via heart rate elevation (P = 0.001), whereas stroke volume was unchanged. Total peripheral resistance was therefore reduced (P = 0.01) and would be expected to contribute to an elevation in arterial compliance. In conclusion, a single bout of cycling exercise increased whole body arterial compliance by mechanisms that may relate to vasodilation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 42-5
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Aorta
  • Arterial stiffness
  • Blood pressure
  • Pulse-wave velocity

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