Protective Effects of Accumulated Aerobic Exercise in Infarcted Old Rats

Abstract Background: Aerobic exercise exerts cardioprotective effects on myocardial infarction. However, there is lack of information about the possible protective effects of continuous or accumulated aerobic exercise performed prior to myocardial infarction in aging. Objective: To evaluate the preventive effects of continuous or accumulated aerobic exercise on physical capacity, pulmonary congestion and ventricular weight in rats submitted to myocardial infarction. Methods: Old male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: sham control, sedentary infarcted, continuous aerobic exercise submitted to myocardial infarction, and accumulated aerobic exercise submitted to myocardial infarction. Body weight and maximum speed were evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the protocol. Trained groups performed continuous (1 h a day) or accumulated (30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon) exercise. All groups, except the sham control, were submitted to myocardial infarction surgery at the end of the protocol. Heart, skeletal muscles, as well as wet and dry lung were weighed. The significance level in statistical analysis was established at p < 0.05. Results: Both continuous and accumulated exercise caused an increase in physical capacity in rats, as well as prevented its further impairment after myocardial infarction, and in the accumulated exercise group this prevention was greater. The continuous exercise group demonstrated an increase in lung water content, while the accumulated exercise group presented a reduction in body weight and an increase in left ventricle relative weight. Conclusion: In conclusion, the data of the present study indicate that accumulated aerobic exercise present a better protective effect than continuous aerobic training in the context of myocardial infarction and aging.