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Background and Objective: Elderly people, in general, demonstrate decreases in functional exercise capacity and physical performance. It has been established that aerobic exercise help provide health benefits in every age group including elderly people. The present study investigated the changes in anthropometry, functional exercise capacity and physical performance as a consequence of brisk marching training in elderly Thai women.
Methods: It was carried out in 41 subjects with no history of neuromuscular or cardiopulmonary or metabolic disorders aged between 55 to 76 years. They were divided into two groups: control group (C, n=20), and exercise group (E, n=21) engaging to brisk marching at 79.71±3.05% of HRmax, 30 min/session, 4.83±0.40 sessions/week for 12 consecutive weeks.
Results: Brisk marching training significantly (p<0.05) reduced body weight (1.8%), body mass index (BMI) (1.7%), waist (4.0%) and hip circumferences (3.4%), waist to hip ratio (WHR) (1.1%) and %total body fat (3.5%). Moreover, back and leg strength, trunk flexibility representing physical performance and distance of a 6MWT representing functional exercise capacity were significantly increased by 5.4%, 12.6%, 14.2% and 11.0 % respectively (p<0.05) after training.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that brisk marching at moderate intensity improvements in functional exercise capacity, physical performance and anthropometric variables. Therefore, regular exercise should be recommended to the elderly in order to decrease risks of health deterioration.
Key words: brisk marching, functional exercise capacity, physical performance, elderly
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