A Randomized Control Trial of a High Intensity Interval Training Program on Psychological Outcomes
Young, Richard Lewis
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A RANDOMIZED CONTROL TRIAL OF A HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING PROGRAM ON PSYCHOLOGICAL OUTCOMES Abstract by RICHARD LEWIS YOUNG, PhD Washington State University June 2017 Chair: Janet Beary The aim of this study was to determine if contrasting forms of exercise intensities promote differing psychological outcomes that bolster tolerance and recovery from acute distressing events through the cross-stressor adaptation. Repeated successions of physiologic stress that accompanies exercise may result in neurobiological adaptations that lead to a reduction in sensitivity to subsequent similar stimuli. These adaptations may also lead to the reduction in differing stimuli, such as a distressful event. Therefore, the intent of the study was to determine if high intensity interval training compared to moderate intensity continuous training lead to contrasting psychological and physiological outcomes when exposed to acute distress. Twenty -five participants between 18-55 years of age were randomized into high intensity interval training or moderate intensity continuous training for 6 weeks with 3 exercise sessions per week. Before exercise intervention, participants were subjected to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) while Blood Pressure (BP) and Heart Rate (HR) were monitored and salivary cortisol (SA) samples taken directly before and after the TSST. Additionally, Perceived Stress Scale -10 (PSS-10), and Strait Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were completed by each participant. The same procedures were conducted post intervention to determine approximate change. There was no significant difference between group comparisons for PSS-10, STAI, BP, or SA. However when comparing measures across time for both groups together as an independent variable, there was significant difference in the aforementioned excluding only BP. Additionally there was significant difference in HIIT HR during TSST and a more robust SA response to stress compared to MICT across 4 measure collecting periods (29.3% ± .026) suggesting that exercise supports cross stressor adaptation to heterolytic stress and that HIIT is as efficacious as MICT showing trends towards significant differences. There can be many pre-existing provisions that contribute to an individual’s ability to tolerate distressing pressure that include personality, a challenge mindset, and a facilitative environment. Exercise may additionally help facilitate this recipe for stress resilience. Data from this study may directly impact the current methods prescribed for stress tolerance and recovery, and can lead to additional queries investigating the mechanisms that drive stress perception.