The long-term research goals of the Cardiorespiratory and Physiology of Exercise Research Lab are to promote health, reduce disability, morbidity, and mortality improving people well being and quality of life.


  • 227 Active Living Centre
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, MB
    R3T 2N2

Cardiorespiratory and Physiology of Exercise Research Lab

Areas of focus

The integrative cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular responses to exercise and postural challenges to determine the control and regulation of blood flow, oxygen uptake, and muscle metabolism in healthy and unhealthy individuals, how sex, aging, frailty, and chronic disease plays a role in the cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular systems, development of interventions strategies to improve cardiovascular and respiratory health, and create solutions to improve health.

Current research projects

  • Effects of lower leg graduated compression socks on cardiorespiratory responses and performance to incremental exercise in young adults.
  • The impact of dynamic warm-up on anaerobic performance of ice hockey players.
  • The effects of body position on recovery after repeated acute high intensity exercise bouts.
  • Sex differences in the cardiorespiratory responses and performance: effects of lower graduated compression.
  • Effect of altered perfusion pressure on cardiovascular and respiratory dynamic responses during cycling exercise in humans.

Primary investigator

Rodrigo Villar, PhD

Dr. Villar’s research focuses on determining the underlying mechanism involved in the cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular integrative regulation of physiological challenges. More specifically, he uses exercise and postural changes as a framework to elucidate the role of perfusion pressure, O2 availability, vascular conductance/resistance in the regulation of blood flow and O2 uptake and the implication for the muscular system especially the muscle pump and metabolism. He is also interested in using his research to develop target interventions to preserve, regain, or improve cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular health.



Villar, R. Hughson, RL. Vascular conductance and muscle blood flow during exercise are altered by inspired oxygen fraction and arterial perfusion pressure. Physiol Rep. 2017 Mar; 5:5 2017. pii: e13144. doi: 10.14814/phy2.13144.

Villar, R, Gillis, J, Santana, G, Almeida, ALRA. Association between anaerobic metabolic demand during simulated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu combat and specific Jiu-Jitsu anaerobic test. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Feb;32(2):432-440 doi: 10.1519/JSC. 0000000000001536.

Villar, R, Beltrame, T. Hughson, RL. Validation of the Hexoskin wearable body metrics vest during lying, sitting, standing and walking activities. Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 40: 1–6 (2015) dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2015-0140.

Villar R, Hughson RL. Effect of altered arterial perfusion pressure on vascular conductance and muscle blood flow dynamic response during exercise in humans. J Appl Physiol, 114(5):620-627, 2013.

Villar R, Hughson RL. Lower limb vascular conductance and resting popliteal blood flow during head-up and head-down postural challenges. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging, 33(3):186-191, 2013.

Villar R, Hughson RL. Repeatability of popliteal blood flow and lower limb vascular conductance at rest and exercise during body tilt using Doppler ultrasound. Physiol Meas., 34(3):291-306, 2013.

Greenwald, R., Havat MJ, Dons E, Giles L, Villar R, Jakovljevic DG, Good N. Estimating minute ventilation and air pollution inhaled dose using heart rate, breath frequency, age, sex and forced vital capacity: A pooled-data analysis. Plos One, 2019 Jul 9; 14(7):e0218673. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218673. eCollection 2019.

Beltrame T, Villar, R, Hughson, RL. Sex differences in the oxygen delivery, extraction and uptake during moderate walking exercise transition. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2017 Sept;42(9):994-1000 doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0097.

Beltrame T, Amelard R, Villar R, Shafiee MJ, Wong A, Hughson RL. Estimating oxygen uptake and energy expenditure during treadmill walking by neural network analysis of easy-to-obtain inputs. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2016 Nov 1;121(5):1226-1233. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00600.2016.