The effect of 12-week high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on lung function, serum leptin level and lipid profiles in inactive obese men


Background and Objective: Obesity and body fat percentage seem to be associated with respiratory problems, although the mechanism of this correlation is not very clear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 12-week HIIT training on lung function, serum leptin level and lipid profile in inactive obese men.

Materials and Methods: Twenty-two inactive obese men aged 18 to 30 years voluntarily participated in the study and randomly divided into two exercise (n = 11) and control (n = 11) groups. Subjects in the exercise group performed high-intensity interval training for 12 weeks, 3 sessions per week with a heart rate of 70 to 85% HRmax. Serum leptin level, lipid profile and lung (pulmonary) function were measured before and after 12 weeks of HIIT training. All statistical tests (paired sample T-test, Pearson correlation coefficient and regression analysis) were performed and considered significant at a p≤0.05.

Results: The results indicated a significant decrease in levels of leptin (p=0.001) and cholesterol (p=0.001) after 12 weeks of HIIT. Also, HDL non-significantly increased and triglycerides, LDL and VLDL were non-significantly decreased after 12 weeks of HIIT training (P>0.05). In the case of lung function, this type of exercise significantly increased FVC (p=0.003).

Conclusion: In conclusion, 12-week HIIT training decreased cholesterol and serum leptin in obese men and this decrease was associated with increased lung function and profound changes in body fat.


Abdi J, Eftekhar H, Mahmoodi M, Shojayezadeh D, Sadeghi R, SaberM, Beglarineshat E. The effect of theory and new communication technologies based lifestyle intervention on the weight control of the employees with overweight and obesity. Iranian Journal of Health Education and Health Promotion 2015; 3: 188-197. Salehi AA, Abdollahzad H, Bameri Z, Esmaillzadeh A. Underweight, overweight and obesity among zaboli adolescents: a comparison between international and Iranians’ national criteria. International Journal of Preventive Medicine 2013; 4: 523-30. Bahreini N, Noor MI, Koon PB, Talib RA, Lubis SH, Dashti MG, et al. Weight status among Iranian adolescents: Comparison of four different criteria. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences 2013; 18: 641-646. Plinta R, Olszanecka GM, Drosdzol CA, Chudek J, Skrzypulec PV. The effect of three-month pre-season preparatory period and short-term exercise on plasma leptin, adiponectin, visfatin and ghrelin levels in young female handball and basketball players. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation 2011; 35: 595-601. Parastesh M, Heidarianpour A, Saremi A. The Effect of 12 weeks of aerobic training on lung function and serum leptin levels in obese men. Journal of Ilam University of Medical Sciences 2014; 22: 139-146. Spathopoulos D, Paraskakis E, Trypsianis G, Tsalkidis A, Arvanitidou V, Emporiadou M, et al. The effect of obesity on pulmonary lung function of school aged children in Greece. Pediatric Pulmonology 2009; 44: 273-780. Varraso R, Siroux V, Maccario J, Kauffmann F. Asthma severity is associated with body mass index and early menarche in women. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2005; 171: 334-339. Johnston RA, Theman TA, Shore SA. Augmented responses to ozone in obese carboxypeptidase E-deficient mice. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 2006; 290: 126-133. Garcia AJ, Lange P, Benet M, SP, Antó JM. Regular physical activity modifies smoking-related lung function decline and reduces risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a population-based cohort study. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2007; 175: 458- 63. Simoes RP, Deus AP, Auad MA, Dionísio J, Mazzonetto M, Borghi-Silva A. Maximal respiratory pressure in healthy 20 to 89 year-old sedentary individuals of central São Paulo State. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy 2010; 14: 60- 7. Jonesm RL.The effects of body mass index on lung volumes. Chest Journal 2006; 130: 827-33. Mahajan S, Arora AK, Gupta P. Obesity and spirometric ventilatory status in adult male population of Amritsar. National Journal of Physiology, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2012; 2: 93-8. Trapp EG, Chisholm DJ, Freund J, Boutcher SH. The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International Journal of Obesity 2008; 32: 684-691. Babraj J, Vollaard N, Keast C, Guppy F, Cottrell G, Timmons J. Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males.‌‌Bio Medicine Journal Endocrine Disorders 2009; 9: 1-8. Guenette JA, Witt JD, McKenzie DC, Sheel AW. Respiratory mechanics during exercise in endurance trained men and women. Journal of Physiology 2007; 581: 1309-22. Mehrabi E, Kargarfard M, Kelishadi R, Mojtahedi H. Effects of Obesity on Pulmonary Function in Obese, Overweight, and Normal Students. Journal of Isfahan Medical School 2012; 4: 130-183. Hong Y, Ra SW, Shim TS, Lim CM, Koh Y, Lee SD, et al. Poor interpretation of pulmonary function tests in patients with concomitant decreases in FEV1 and FVC. Official Journal of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology 2008; 13: 569-74. Ochs-Balcom HM, Grant BJ, Muti P, Sempos CT, Freudenheim JL, Trevisan M, et al. Pulmonary function and abdominal adiposity in the general population. Chest Journal 2006; 129: 853-62. Sowmya TK, Shrilaxmi B, Manjunatha A. Effect of Body Fat Distribution on Pulmonary Functions in Young Healthy Obese Students. Journal of Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences University 2015; 4: 18-26. Steele RM, Finucane FM, Griffin SJ, Wareham NJ, Ekelund U. Obesity is associated with altered lung function independently of physical activity and fitness. International Journal of Obesity 2009; 17: 578-584. Van Huisstede A, Cabezas MC, Birnie E, van de Geijn GJ,Rudolphus A, Mannaerts G, et al. Systemic inflammation andlung function impairment in morbidly obese subjects with themetabolic syndrome. International Journal of Obesity 2013; 2013:131-349. Trapp E, Chisholm D, Freund J, Boutcher S. The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International Journal of Obesity 2008; 32: 684-91. Abuzenadah AM, El-Kader SM, Aldahr MS. Impact of mild versus moderate intensity aerobic exercise training on leptin and selected innate immune system response in obese asthmatic patients. Middle East Journal of Scientific Research 2010; 5: 1-5. Soori R, Rezaeian N, Salehian O. Effects of high and low intensity endurance training on levels of leptin, cortisol, testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin resistance index in sedentary obese men. Journal of Sport in Biomotor Sciences 2011; 6: 17-28. Ferdosi M, Asad M. The effect of endurance, resistance and concurrent trainings on plasma leptin levels of non-athlete males. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences Journal 2012; 46: 311-315. Piri M, Bqrabady V, Amirkhani Zo, Hijazi Ma. Impact of aerobic training on cortisol, testosterone levels in obese and lean men. Sports Science Research Jounal 2009; 22: 87-96. Racil G, Coquart JB, Elmontassar W, Haddad M, Goebel R, Chaouachi A, Amri M, Chamari K. Greater effects of high- compared with moderate-intensity interval training on cardio-metabolic variables, blood leptin concentration and ratings of perceived exertion in obese adolescent females. Biology of Sport 2016; 33:145-152. Ravasi AA, Falahi AA, Abasi A. The effect of different intensities of short-term exercise on leptin, insulin, cortisol and lipid profiles in overweight and obese adolescents. Journal of Sport Biosciences 2013; 4: 87-110. Hulver MW, Houmard JA. Plasma Leptin and Exercise. Journal of Sports Medicine 2007; 33: 473-82. Ara I, Prerez GJ, Vicente RG, Chavarren J, Dorado C, Calbet JA. Serum free testosterone, leptin and soluble leptin receptor changes in a 6 week strength-training programme. British Journal of Nutrition 2006; 96: 1053-9. Lee MK, Jekal Y, Im FJ, Kim E, Lee SH. Reduced serum vaspin concentrations in obese children following short-term intensive lifestyle modification. International Journal of Clinical Chemistry 2010; 411: 381-5. Gordon LA, Morrison EY, McGrowder DA, Young R, Fraser YT, Zamora EM, et al. Effect of exercise therapy on lipid profile and oxidative stress indicators in patients with type 2 diabetes. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2008; 13; 8-21. Ravasi AA, Falahi AA, Abasi A. The Effect of Different Intensities of Short-Term Exercise on Leptin, Insulin, Cortisol and Lipid Profiles in Overweight and Obese Adolescents. Journal of Sport Biosciences 2013; 4: 87-110. Nikroo H, Barancheshme MA. The Comparison of Effects of Aerobic Interval and Continuous Training Program on Maximal Oxygen Consumption, Body Mass Index, and Body Fat Percentage in Officer Students. Journal of Military medicine 2014; 15: 245-51. Fu TC, Wang CH, Lin PS, Hsu CC, Cherng WJ, Huang SC, et al. Aerobic interval training improves oxygen uptake efficiency by enhancing cerebral and muscular hemodynamics in patients with heart failure. International journal of cardiology 2013; 167: 41-50. Soori R, Rezaeian N, Salehian O. Effects of Interval Training on Leptin and Hormone levels affecting Lipid Metabolism in Young Obese/Overweight Men. Iranian Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism 2012; 14: 248-256. Valle VS, Mello DB, Fortes MR, Dantas EH, Mattos MA. Effect of diet and indoor cycling on body composition and serum lipid. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia 2010; 95: 173-8. Sugiura H, Sugiura H, Kajima K, Mirbod SM, Iwata H, Matsuoka T. Effects of long-term moderate exercise and increase in number of daily steps on serum lipids in women: randomized controlled trial. Biomed Central Women's Health 2002; 2: 1-8.