|Title of the paper:||A Novel, Interactive, Body-Weight Exercise Program for Older Adults - Is it effective?|
|Authors:||Crognale D., Krause M., Egan B., Newsholme P., De Vito G.|
|Institution:||University College Dublin|
|Department:||Institute for Sport & Health|
There is strong scientific evidence that regular physical activity, even of moderate intensity, produces major and extensive health benefits in both adults and in older individuals. However, in many cases research has focused on a single modality of training or machine-based training programs. Although these training modalities are effective, they can be difficult to implement due to lack of equipment, higher cost, boredom and repetitiveness. In addition, the feasibility of these training programs in the long term is not well-described. In light of this, we developed an interactive, full-body training program consisting of body-weight and elastic band exercises, athletics drills, yoga/martial arts stretching and positions to maximise group interaction and increase exercise variety.
Thirty-nine medically-stable, older adults (age: 63.5±4 years) were randomly allocated to either 12-week (3 times per week) exercise program (EXE, n=21), or non-training control (CON, n=18) consisting of 1 to 3 multi-joint/core exercises, 1-2 assistance exercises for upper and lower body for 2-4 sets per exercise, 8-12 reps per set. Additionally, we included interactive athletics drills (15 min) during warm up and martial arts/yoga stretching exercises (10 min) during cool-down phases. All sessions were supervised by an experienced instructor to ensure proper intensity and appropriate exercise technique. Total duration of each session was 45-55 min. Outcome measures included functional performance (repeated chair rise tests), lean mass and body fat. Body composition was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Blood samples were assessed for Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, Calcium, Vitamin D, Glucose and Insulin.
Body Fat Percentage (-1.5%; P<0.05), whole-body lean mass (2%; P<0.001) and legs lean mass (1.7%; P<0.001), increased significantly after training in EXE group but not in CON. Significant improvement (P<0.05) also occurred in the chair raise tests (reps in 30s, 21%; and time for 5 reps, -20%) in EXE group. There were no significant changes in Total Cholesterol, Tryglicerides, Calcium, Vitamin D, Glucose and Insulin in both EXE and CON groups.
This interactive, progressive exercise program has beneficial effects on lean body mass and functional performance in older adults and should be considered to improve body composition. After this intervention, the EXE group continued to meet twice weekly, with many of the original participants in regular attendance. This suggests a need for more interactive, age appropriate opportunities to engage older people, sustain motivation and generate long lasting results.
|Topic:||Health and Fitness|