Numerous clinical studies have already demonstrated that a long-term regimen of physical exercise decreases viscosity, as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Exercise helps inhibit the progression of cardiovascular disease if driven by an efficiently functioning heart.
- Endurance training has been shown to result in better delivery of oxygen to muscles by lowering blood viscosity .
- A study of elite athletes demonstrated positive relationships between hydration, blood viscosity, and fitness .
What is less well-known is that dividing the proportion of blood cells (hematocrit) of an athlete’s blood by viscosity (i.e., Hct / BV) provides a key index for circulatory efficiency—the oxygen delivery index.
Controlling blood viscosity reduces traffic in the blood vessels and aerobic fatigue. The oxygen delivery index provides a way for athletes to monitor how much oxygen their blood can actually deliver, not just how much oxygen the blood can carry.
- El Sayed MS. Effects of exercise and training on blood rheology. Sports Med 1998; 26:281-92.
- Monnier JF, Benhaddad AA, Micallef JP, et al. Relationships between blood viscosity and insulin-like growth factor I status in athletes. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc 2000; 22:277-86.