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Background and Objective: Regular exercise may improve pulmonary function (PF) and cardiac autonomic function (CAF). This study aimed to investigate PF and CAF following 12 weeks of an exercise program involving brisk walking with swaying hips and hand weight loading (BWSHL) in overweight and obese Thai adults.
Methods: Sixty-three Thai adults subjects aged between 20-35 years old were assigned to two groups. Overweight subjects (BMI ≥ 25 to 29.9 kg/m2) were assigned to control group (C) (n=15) and exercise group (E) (n=16). Similarly, obese subjects (BMI ≥ 30 to 39.9 kg/m2) were divided into C group (n=15) and E group (n=17). The PF and CAF (Heart rate variability, HRV) were measured before and after 12 weeks of exercise. The exercise consisting of BWSHL (hand weight load of 0.9 - 2.26 kg) for 40 min/session (5 min warm-up, 30 min exercise of 60 to 80% HRmax, 5 min cool-down) with a hand weight load between 0.9 to 2.26 kg, performed at least 3 days per week for 12consecutive weeks.
Results: Following BWSHL, there were no significant differences in PF between Groups C and E, but CAF in Group E was significantly reduced in HR, SDNN, LF and LF/HF, while HF and RMSSD increased (p<0.001) on supine and tilted 70 degrees positions.
Conclusions: This study shows that 12 weeks of BWSHL improves CAF but not the PF in overweight and obese Thai adults aged between 20 to 35 years old.