Year of Publication

2015

Date of Thesis

08-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Exercise and Sport Sciences

Abstract

Hypertension (HTN) is a highly influential risk factor for developing chronic disease, particularly cardiovascular disease (CV). Exercise has both an acute and chronic effect on blood pressure (BP) and can cause hypotension 5 min post-activity that can last for hours. Meditation is another effective HTN treatment but there are no existing studies testing the acute effects of combining meditation with exercise on BP. The main purpose of this study was to examine the acute effect of practiced mindfulness meditation combined with exercise on both systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). A secondary purpose was to evaluate the difference between experienced and nonexperienced meditators. Thirty men and women volunteered for this study and were divided into experienced (E) and non-experienced (NE) meditators with NE practicing mindfulness meditation for two weeks. Both E and NE completed four conditions in a partially randomized, balanced order: Exercise plus meditation, exercise, meditation, and a control condition. BP was measured 10 min before and 5, 10, 15, 30, 45, and 60 min post-trial. Data were analyzed using a two-way repeated measure ANOVA. A significant interaction (time × condition) was found for both SBP and DBP. However, post-hoc analyses did not determine any significant differences between conditions. Yet, the control condition was the only condition that failed to show a significant reduction in DBP from baseline and also failed to show a reduction in BP longer than 5 min post intervention. To conclude, the intervention conditions both showed a similar reduction in blood pressure. In addition, the reduction in the meditation condition was seen with only a short-term learning phase. There was no advantage for integrating meditation into exercise.

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