AEROBIC TRAINING IS BETTER THAN STRESS MANAGEMENT FOR AFFECTING PHYSIOLOGICAL REACTIONS TO PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS
Spalding, T. W., Lyon, L. W., & Hatfield, B. D. (2004). Relative efficacy of aerobic training and stress management in lowering cardiovascular activity during psychological stress. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 611.
"Aerobic exercise training has been shown to lower cardiovascular (CV) activity during psychological stress. However, the efficacy of aerobic training (AT) relative to other interventions such as cognitive-behavioral stress management (SM) education in lowering CV stress levels is not well understood" (p. S90).
Ss (M = 25; F = 20) were assigned to 6 weeks of aerobic training, stress management training, or no-training. Heart rate and blood pressures were measured after two minutes of rest, a six-minute mental arithmetic task, and 90 seconds of recovery. Tests occurred before, immediately after and 14 days after training. Aerobic fitness was measured as total time to exhaustion for a graded treadmill run.
Total run time was significantly greater and heart rate was significantly lower immediately after aerobic training when compared to stress management and no-training. The effects of aerobic training were still evident two weeks after cessation of training. Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the aerobic training group when compared to the no-training group. Diastolic blood pressures did not change.
Implication. Aerobic training was effective in lowering heart rate and systolic blood pressure during rest, psychological stress, and recovery, whereas stress management training was not.
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