Relationship between Aerobic Exercise Training and Nocturnal Blood Pressure Non-dipping Status in Normotensive Adults


Background: The absence of blood pressure decrease during the night (non-dipping) is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. Lack of exercise or sedentary lifestyle has been recognized as a risk factor for CVD and most recommendations suggest aerobic exercise as a strategy for prevention. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between aerobic exercise training (AEXT) and non-dipping type of blood pressure in normotensive individuals.

METHODS: The study population included 22 sedentary healthy individuals with normal blood pressure but had a nocturnal fall of systolic BP < 10% of the daytime values (non-dipping). All of them underwent ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for 24 hours before and after 6 months moderate-intensity AEXT (40 min/day, 3 sessions/week). An ambulatory BP monitor was worn on the non-dominant arm and the BP measurement interval was set at 30-min during the daytime (6 AM to 11 PM) and 60-min during the night time (11 PM to 6 AM).

RESULTS: No significant difference was observed with regard, office blood pressure, plasma concentrations of cholesterol, or inflammatory status following the 6 months exercise training. The values of BMI, glucose, and triglyceride were significantly decreased and VO2max was significantly improved at the final tests. Compared to baseline (N=22), there were fewer subjects categorized as non-dipper (N=15). For the entire group, the percentage of nocturnal fall of systolic BP following aerobic exercise training was significantly increased (Baseline: 5.0 ± 3.1 % vs. Final: 8.0 ± 3.4 %, P=0.02).

CONCLUSION: The deficiency of the nocturnal fall of systolic BP can be improved by moderate-intensity AEXT. AEXT can decrease the risk factor of CVD through amplifying the night time reduction of BP in normotensive individuals.



Publication Date


Journal Title

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise


Wolters Kluwer

Document Type



© 2013 American College of Sports Medicine