Korean J Sports Med.  2020 Sep;38(3):129-136. 10.5763/kjsm.2020.38.3.129.

Comparison of Effects of Acute Tabata-Styled and Moderate Intensity Continuous Exercise on Vascular Function in Healthy Young Men

  • 1Department of Sport Science, University of Seoul, Seoul, Korea


Regular moderate-intensity aerobic exercise confers immense vascular benefits, yet the lack of time remains the most common barrier to a regular exercise routine. A Tabata exercise is a type of high-intensity interval training exercise that is time efficient and has recently been demonstrated to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and metabolic profiles, but its benefits on vascular function still remain unclear. We tested the hypothesis that the Tabata-styled exercise would be as effective as moderate-intensity continuous exercise (MICE) in improving vascular function in young healthy adults.
Using a randomized, cross-over design, fourteen healthy men (age, 23.8±2.3 years; body mass index, 23.7±2.2 kg/m2 ) performed two acute exercise trials, separated at least by 72 hours: a modified Tabata-styled exercise (eight sets of 20-second exercise at 120% of maximal power output using a bike and 10-second rest, total 4 minutes) or a MICE for 30 minutes at a heart rate reserve of 40%–60%. Vascular function was assessed via brachial artery flow-mediated dilation and arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity and augmentation index) at baseline and again at 60 minutes and 120 minutes after exercise.
Compared with MICE, a Tabata-styled exercise increased heart rate at 60 minutes (p< 0.05). Both exercises improved vascular function to a similar extent, as evidenced by an increase in flow-mediated dilation and a reduction in arterial stiffness at 60 minutes and 120 minutes (p< 0.05).
These findings demonstrate that the Tabata-styled exercise is a time-efficient exercise strategy that is as effective as MICE in enhancing vascular function in healthy young men.


Exercise; High intensity interval exercise; Vascular function
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