Martial Arts Training Attenuates Arterial Stiffness in Middle Aged Adults
Asian Journal of Sports Medicine: 4 (3); 201-207
May 20, 2013
Article Type: Research Article
December 6, 2012
March 23, 2013
P C, Ingenito
J, et al. Martial Arts Training Attenuates Arterial Stiffness in Middle Aged Adults,
Asian J Sports Med.
Online ahead of Print
Arterial stiffness increases with age and is related to an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Poor trunk flexibility has been shown to be associated with arterial stiffness in middle-aged subjects. The purpose of our research study was to measure arterial stiffness and flexibility in healthy middle-aged martial artists compared to age and gender matched healthy sedentary controls.
Ten martial artists (54.0 2.0 years), who practice Soo Bahk Do (SBD), a Korean martial art, and ten sedentary subjects (54.7 1.8 years) for a total of twenty subjects took part in this cross-sectional study. Arterial stiffness was assessed in all subjects using pulse wave velocity (PWV), a recognized index of arterial stiffness. Flexibility of the trunk and hamstring were also measured. The independent variables were the martial artists and matched sedentary controls. The dependent variables were PWV and flexibility.
There were significant differences, between the SBD practitioners and sedentary controls, in PWV ( P = 0.004), in trunk flexibility ( P= 0.002), and in hamstring length ( P= 0.003).
The middle-aged martial artists were more flexible in their trunk and hamstrings and had less arterial stiffness compared to the healthy sedentary controls. The flexibility component of martial art training or flexibility exercises in general may be considered as a possible intervention to reduce the effects of aging on arterial stiffness.
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