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In 1937, Randell’s number-two Thomas was sent to Australia to lecture on the St Thomas Project, teach the exercises, and assist local physiotherapists with the program’s implementation.35 Evans EP. The history of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Aust J Physiother. 1955;1(2):76–8.10.1016/S0004-9514(14)60817-5[Crossref] [Google Scholar] There are multiple indications of an unknown video Thomas made during this visit, and it was reported later that as a result of the visit, the St Thomas method was implemented in maternity hospitals in Sydney and Melbourne; the exercises were used by physiotherapists on an individual basis and that Thomas was remembered as a pioneer of Australian antenatal physiotherapy.29,35,36 Sydney Morning Herald [Internet]. Thomas BM: Obituary (1940). 2014 Oct 23 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: http://www.tiveyfamilytree.com/Barbara-Mortimer-Thomas-Death-Article-SMH-11-9-1940.htm.
Conclusions: Rediscovering the Western mind–body exercise movement is hoped to facilitate official healthcare establishment recognition of this kind of training as an integral entity. This may widen research opportunities and consolidate approaches toward: optimal musculoskeletal rehabilitation and injury prevention, promotion of a healthy active lifestyle environment in the modern world, and enhancement of the natural pain-free human athletic look, feel, and performance.
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.