The Effect of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Measures of Stress and Inflammation in Healthy Young Adults Direct Original Research

Main Article Content

Julien Tartar
Anthony Ricci
Jonathan Banks
Hannah Murphy
Cassandra Evans
Jose Antonio
Jaime Tartar

Keywords

Aerobic exercise, cortisol, CRP, IL-1β, sAA

Abstract

Introduction: While the effects of long-term measures of inflammation and stress are well studied, less is known about the effects of an acute exercise challenge on exercise in young healthy individuals.


Methods:  This was a randomized crossover design (mean age = 19.25, SD = 1.45) that measured biomarkers of stress (cortisol and salivary alpha amylase, sAA) and inflammation (IL-1β, CRP) in an exercise and control condition. In the exercise condition, participants walked or ran on a treadmill at 75-85% of their maximum heart rate for 40 minutes. Under the control condition, participants stood for 40 minutes to control for orthostatic effects. Biomarkers were quantified from saliva collected before, 1 minute after, and 45 minutes after the exercise and control condition.


Results: The change in biomarkers from baseline values (+1 min and + 45 min) between exercise and control conditions showed that compared to the control condition, the acute exercise bout significantly increased sAA CRP at +1min at +45 min and in IL-1β +45 min. Cortisol levels significantly decreased at both time points in the control condition


Conclusions: Ultimately, the results of this study show how small and realistically achievable amounts of exercise can acutely strengthen the body’s physiological responses to immune challenges.

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