Increasing physical activity has been shown to reduce physiological markers of cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, vascular endothelial cell reactivity and arterial stiffness. In this issue of Clinical Science, Hägg and colleagues have chosen the spontaneously hypertensive rat model to investigate the effect of exercise on vascular function. They found that spontaneous running increased aortic compliance and antioxidant capacity with decreased oxidative stress in mesenteric arteries, presenting support for the cardiovascular protective effects of physical activity. Two important aspects of their study include the magnitude of the running stimulus and the choice of artery to evaluate.

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