Our results showed that both the MCT and HIIT group performed an equal amount of exercise sessions alone and together with others, suggesting that both individual and group-related exercise intervention strategies may be attractive to older adults. However, women exercised more frequently together with others than men. This result is in line with previous findings that women aged 60–67 years are less likely than men to prefer physical activity that can be done alone , and that more women than men express a need for social support to maintain an exercise program .
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The positive trend shown here is an encouraging result in this population in relation to the possibility of increasing their ability in performing daily activities, reducing the occurrence of falls and potential femoral fractures. Further research is needed to understand how to design a vigorous exercise protocol, which may focus not only on aerobics but also on the different skills assessed by the SFT and which may include specific training sessions to enhance those particular skills, such as 8-foot up and go test. To maximize the functional/physical capacities of those over 65, a close link between high-intensity exercise and functional exercises is required. A mixed circuit training program including both kinds of the aforementioned exercises and measurable by SFT should be followed.
Circuit Training. Some gyms are set up to move people from machine to machine or exercise to exercise with little rest. This keeps the heart pumping and the muscles working. Work at each station for 30 to 45 seconds, or a certain number of reps, and keep the rest periods short, just the time it takes to walk from station to station. Like with supersets, this method combines the benefits of strength training and a bit of cardio at the same time Similarity in adaptations to high-resistance circuit vs. traditional strength training in resistance-trained men. Alcaraz, P.E., Perez-Gomez, J., Chavarrias, M., et al. Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; 2011 Sep;25(9):2519-27. Physical performance and cardiovascular responses to an acute bout of heavy resistance circuit training versus traditional strength training. Alcaraz, P.E., Sanchez-Lorente, J., Blazevich, A.J. Kinesiology and Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia, Guadalupe, Murcia, Spain. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; 2008 May;22(3):667-71.. It's easy to do a simple circuit at home, too: Lunges from wall to wall, sit ups in front of the TV, incline push ups on the coffee table, lateral hops over the sleeping puppy — work hard, move quick, get fit!
All workout programs require a fair amount of commitment in order to achieve maximum results, so factors such as the duration, frequency, location and types of classes available may help you decide which one is a good fit for you. Your level of commitment to any fitness program hinges greatly upon your level of enjoyment with the exercise methods employed. Although any amount of physical activity is positive, the more you exercise the better the results you will see.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.