Int J Sports Med
DOI: 10.1055/a-1268-8607

Under-appreciated and Overlooked Modes of Exercises on Key Vascular Functions

Hirofumi Tanaka
1  Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin TX USA
› Author Affiliations


The arterial system has two primary functions. The conduit function is to transport adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and the cushioning function is to buffer and cushion the pulsatile pressure exerted by intermittent ventricular contractions. The impairments in these two functions often result from physiological changes characterized by endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffening. Habitual physical exercise has been advocated to combat these physiological dysfunctions. However, exercise is remarkably diverse, as it can be performed in different media (water, land or snow), seasons (winter or summer), and settings (individual, pair or team). In contrast to mainstream modes of exercise including walking and running, many of the alternative or “minor” forms of exercise have been under-researched by investigators in research fields and overlooked by clinicians and practitioners in clinical settings. It remains largely unknown whether these alternative forms of exercise are associated with favorable changes in arterial stiffness and endothelium-dependent vasodilation. The current review introduces and summarizes research investigations that evaluated the impacts of these under-appreciated and overlooked exercises and their impacts on key markers of vascular functions in humans.

Publication History

Received: 09 June 2020

Accepted: 14 September 2020

Publication Date:
19 October 2020 (online)

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