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Blood pressure study seeks volunteers

Can something as simple and easy as isometric handgrip exercises lower blood pressure?

Some intriguing evidence previously discovered by Miami researchers indicates significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after exercising only minutes a week with a handgrip.

Volunteers are being sought to participate in a new study that will look at the effect of isometric exercise training on blood lipid profiles and blood antioxidant levels, both of which are related to aging and hypertension.

"Blood lipid and antioxidant levels are important risk factors that physicians monitor as indicators of cardiovascular health problems," said Helaine Alessio (physical education, health and sport studies).

"We’re also looking at the impact of isometric exercise training on a person’s ability to take part in more rigorous exercise such as jogging, brisk walking, swimming or aerobics," explained physiologist Ronald Wiley (zoology). "The question is what is the mechanism by which isometric exercise may reduce blood pressure."

Assisting in the research project are graduate students Matt Beaty and Paul Peters.

Previous research at Miami and other research centers has demonstrated that regular isometric exercise can lower and control blood pressure. The new research aims to expand those findings and probe the physiological reasons for the results.

Men and women of any age who are borderline or mild hypertensive are being sought for the project, which involves four 15-minute sessions per week for seven weeks.

Date Published: 09/15/1999
Volume: 19   Number: 8

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