Remotely Supervised Home-Based Resistance Training and Orthostatic Tolerance in Young Physically Inactive Women During COVID-19

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Caroline Merguerian
Annika Smith
Stephen Ives


Resistance bands, autonomic nervous system, cardiovascular


Introduction: Orthostatic intolerance (OI) is the inability of the cardiovascular system to adequately adjust to gravity upon standing, resulting in lightheadedness or syncope. OI can be characteristic of pathology (e.g. postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), which disproportionately affect women, and is compounded by inactivity. Thus, we tested the effects of remotely supervised home-based, 4-week resistance training (RT) program vs. control on the orthostatic stress response of previously inactive young females using the NASA Lean Test (NLT).

Methods:  Systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressures, and heart rate (HR) were assessed during the NLT, pre- and post-training, along with fitness and body composition in females randomized to RT or control (n=7).

Results: RT improved fitness (group*intervention, p=0.047) and fat-mass (-3.4±2.9 vs. +0.3±0.7Δlbs, p=0.037) over control. The NLT significantly altered SBP, DBP, and HR (all, p<0.01). For SBP, the interaction of group*intervention approached significance (p=0.071), lowering SBP in the RT group with the intervention. In DBP, the group*intervention was not significant (p=0.558). For HR, the group*intervention interaction approached significance (p=0.066).

Conclusions: In the current study, short-term remotely-supervised RT using bands tended to decrease SBP and HR during orthostatic stress in young, otherwise healthy, previously inactive females, suggesting improved health but perhaps not orthostatic tolerance.

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