In line with the previous literature, our study showed that walking was the most common exercise type among older adults [24, 25]. This result is not surprising as walking is among the most cost effective and accessible means of exercise [26]. In addition, walking has been identified as a relatively safe exercise alternative to older adults [25]. We found that walking was the most common exercise type in both training groups. However, the MCT group had a higher proportion of walking sessions than the HIIT group, while the HIIT group had a higher proportion of sessions with for instance jogging and cycling. This might indicate that some older adults in the HIIT group feel that it is easier to achieve a high-intensity level when performing jogging and cycling compared to walking. Absolute workload at a given intensity varies greatly among individuals with different levels of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) [27], so that e.g. walking at 5 km/h corresponds to moderate intensity for an individual with relatively high CRF level, while the same speed exhibits near-maximal intensity for an individual with low CRF. Therefore, the type of exercise an individual need to perform in order to achieve a feeling of high intensity varies from one individual to another [27]. Since ageing often results in CRF decline [28], it is likely that many older adults will reach a feeling of high-intensity when walking. However, those with a high CRF level might need to perform other exercise types, for instance jogging and cycling, to reach the same intensity level during their workout session.
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Frequency, intensity, type, location and social setting (alone vs. together with others) of exercise were assessed using exercise logs from 618 older adults (aged 70–77 years) randomized to MCT or HIIT. All participants completed exercise logs after each exercise session they performed during one year. Pearson Chi-square tests were run to assess the association between intensity, type, location and social setting of exercise with training group.
Limitation of the Study. One potential limit of the present study undoubtedly regards the limited number of subjects involved in the study and the operating loss of the control group. Unfortunately, too many participants of the latter did not satisfy the requirements during the study, thus impeding a comparative statistical approach. Further studies are therefore needed to confirm our conclusions, in particular with a larger sample and control group.
Recruitment criteria were one or both of sedentariness and dysmetabolism. Thus, we selected subjects who were not physically active or involved in any exercise program; that is, they had a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, before entering the study, they were carefully screened for metabolic problems which attested a dysmetabolic status, as increased levels of plasma glucose, free fatty acids, triglyceride, and urate in fasting state. Both criteria were verified by means of family doctor databases of subjects.
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