BACKGROUND: Aerobic exercise is an important ally in the fight against cardiovascular risk factors. However, the effects of high-intensity exercise on these factors are still poorly known. OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise protocols on cardiac risk factors. METHODS: 22 individuals with mean age of 40±8 years were distributed into the following groups: control (CO), endurance training (ET) and interval training (IT). The protocols lasted 12 weeks, three times a week, with intensities of 10% below and 20% above the anaerobic threshold (AnT). The following measurements were taken: total body mass (TBM), body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), and body composition, in addition to plasma concentrations of glucose (GLU), total cholesterol (CHO), and triglycerides (TG). Waist-hip ratio (WHR) and conicity index (C index) were also calculated. RESULTS: The TBM, BMI, WC, GLU, and body composition variables showed significant changes in the ET and IT groups. CHO and HC values were significantly reduced in the ET group, whereas WHR showed a significant reduction in the IT group. AnT and C index in the IT group were significantly different in relation to ET. CONCLUSION: In view of the differences found in the results of the variables studied in relation to the training performed, we conclude that an exercise program that includes both high and low-intensity activities is more efficient to ensure the reduction of a greater number of cardiac risk variables.
Body mass index; cholesterol; body composition; overweight; abdominal circunference; adult; exercise