Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

A Brief Review of Chronic Exercise Intervention to Prevent Autonomic Nervous System Changes During the Aging Process

By Rogério Brandão Wichi, Kátia De Angelis, Lia Jones and Maria Claudia Irigoyen


The aging process is associated with alterations in the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems. Autonomic changes related to aging involve parasympathetic and sympathetic alterations leading to a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Several studies have suggested that physical exercise is effective in preventing deleterious changes. Chronic exercise in geriatrics seems to be associated with improvement in the cardiovascular system and seems to promote a healthy lifestyle. In this review, we address the major effects of aging on the autonomic nervous system in the context of cardiovascular control. We examine the use of chronic exercise to prevent cardiovascular changes during the aging process

Topics: Review
Publisher: Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

Suggested articles


  1. A physiological comparison of young and older endurance athletes.
  2. Aging and baroreflex control of RSNA and heart rate in rats.
  3. (1995). Aging effects on human sympathetic neuronal function.
  4. (1992). Aging reduces cardiovascular and sympathetic responses to NTS injections of serotonin in rats. Exp Gerontol.
  5. (1997). Autonomic differences between athletes and nonathletes: spectral analysis approach. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
  6. Beat to beat variability in cardiovascular variables: noise or music?
  7. (1997). Broadband spectral analysis of blood pressure and heart rate variability in very elderly subjects. Hypertension.
  8. Cardiac arrhythmias in a healthy elderly population: detection by 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography.
  9. (1998). Cardiac muscarinic receptors decrease with age. In vitro and in vivo studies.
  10. Cardiovascular neural regulation explored in the frequency domain.
  11. Change in post-exercise vagal reactivation with exercise training and detraining in young men.
  12. (1995). Changes in blood pressure control in aged rats.
  13. (1995). Changes in physical fitness and all-cause mortality. A prospective study of healthy and unhealthy
  14. Decreased cardiopulmonary reflexes with aging in normotensive humans.
  15. Decreased heart rate variability and its association with increased mortality after acute myocardial infarction.
  16. Defective cardiac parasympathetic control in patients with heart disease.
  17. Differential changes of autonomic nervous system function with age in man.
  18. Differential effects of aging on the heart rate and blood pressure influences of arterial baroreceptors in awake rats.
  19. Does low frequency power of arterial blood pressure reflect sympathetic tone?
  20. Dose-response relationship of endurance training for autonomic circulatory control in healthy seniors.
  21. (1999). Effect of aging on gender differences in neural control of heart rate.
  22. Effect of endurance exercise on autonomic control of heart rate. Sports Med.
  23. (1999). Effect of exercise training on heart rate variability in healthy older adults. Am Heart
  24. Effect of training on the decline of VO2max with aging. Fed
  25. Effects of aerobic exercise training on heart rate variability during wakefulness and sleep and cardiorespiratory responses of young and middle-aged healthy men.
  26. Effects of aging on blood pressure variability in resting conditions.
  27. Effects of aging on cardiovascular responses to parasympathetic withdrawal.
  28. (1971). Effects of atropine on the electrocardiogram in different age groups. Clin Pharmacol Ther.
  29. (1998). Elevated heart rate variability in physically active young and older adult women. Clin Sci (Lond).
  30. Enhanced neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression is central to cardiac vagal phenotype in exercise-trained mice.
  31. Estimating a cardiac age by means of heart rate variability.
  32. European guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practise. Third Joint Task Force
  33. Exercise cardiac output is maintained with advancing age in healthy human subjects: cardiac dilatation and increased stroke volume compensate for a diminished heart rate.
  34. Exercise training alters the effect of chronic hypoxia on myocardial adrenergic and muscarinic receptor number.
  35. (1989). Exercise training bradycardia: the role of autonomic balance. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
  36. Exercise training changes autonomic cardiovascular balance in mice.
  37. Exercise training in aging: hemodynamic, metabolic, and oxidative stress evaluations.
  38. Exercise training increases baroreceptor gain sensitivity in normal and hypertensive rats.
  39. Greater rate of decline in maximal aerobic capacity with age in physically active vs. sedentary healthy women.
  40. habitual exercise, and dynamic arterial compliance.
  41. (1986). Human Circulation: Regulation During Physical Stress. In
  42. (1996). Impact of reduced heart rate variability on risk for cardiac events. The Framingham Heart Study. Circulation.
  43. Influence of age and end-stage renal disease on the stiffness of carotid wall material in hypertension.
  44. Limb blood flow and vascular conductance are reduced with age in healthy humans: relation to elevations in sympathetic nerve activity and declines in oxygen demand.
  45. Low-intensity exercise training attenuates cardiac beta-adrenergic tone during exercise in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
  46. Maximal oxygen uptake in athletes.
  47. Meta-analysis of the age-associated decline in maximal aerobic capacity in men: relation to training status.
  48. (2002). Neuronal nitric oxide synthase gene transfer promotes cardiac vagal gain of function. Circ Res.
  49. Noradrenaline release and clearance in relation to age and blood pressure in man.
  50. (1985). Parasympathetic contribution to bradycardia induced by endurance training in man. Cardiovasc Res.
  51. Peak aerobic power is an important component of physical performance in older women.
  52. (2004). Physical training and heart rate and blood pressure variability: a 5-yr randomized trial. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol.
  53. (1998). Power spectral analysis of heart rate in subjects over a hundred years old.
  54. Power spectrum analysis of heart rate variability to assess the changes in sympathovagal balance during graded orthostatic tilt.
  55. Regular aerobic exercise modulates age-associated declines in cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity in healthy men.
  56. Sympathetic and parasympathetic cardiac control in athletes and nonathletes at rest.
  57. (1995). Sympathetic dysregulation in heart failure: mechanisms and therapy.
  58. Sympathetic-adrenal medullary and cardiovascular responses to acute cold stress in adult and aged rats.
  59. The influence of aging on the human sympathetic nervous system and brain norepinephrine turnover.
  60. The prognostic importance of comorbidity for mortality in patients with stable coronary artery disease.
  61. (1939). The Wisdom of the Body.
  62. Tonic sympathetic support of metabolic rate is attenuated with age, sedentary lifestyle, and female sex in healthy adults.
  63. Vagal function impairment after exercise training.
  64. (1998). Vagal modulation of heart rate during exercise: effects of age and physical fitness.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.