The baseline testing included clinical examinations, physical tests and questionnaires about health and lifestyle. Age and sex were obtained from the National Population Registry. A previously described questionnaire provided information on physical activity level and sedentary time at baseline [19]. Detailed protocol for assessment of body weight (kg), body height (cm) and body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) is described elsewhere [19]. Testing of peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak; mL/kg/min) was performed either as walking on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary bike. The test started with 10 min at a chosen warm-up speed. Approximately every two minutes, either the incline of the treadmill was increased by 2%, or the speed was increased by 1 km/h. The test protocol ended when participants were no longer able to carry a workload due to exhaustion or until all the criteria for a maximal oxygen uptake were reached [22].
KE EMG RMS corresponds to the sum of EMG RMS of the following muscles: Vastus Lateralis, Rectus Femoris and Vastus Medialis. Isokinetic KE MVCs were performed at 60 (panel, A), 100 (panel B) and 140 (panel C) deg/s. Isokinetic KE MVCs were measured pre-exercise (pre, average of all three sessions pre-exercise values), shortly after exhaustion (13 ± 4 s after exhaustion), 20 s following exhaustion test (P20) and 40 s following exhaustion test (P40). Data are presented as mean (SE).
It is well known that exercise in the older population may prevent several diseases [1–4]. Reduced physical activity impairs the quality of life in elderly people with Alzheimer's Disease [4], Parkinson's Disease [5], and Depressive Disorders [6]. Moreover, musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and cerebrovascular decline are associated with poor physical fitness because of the cumulative effects of illness, multiple drug intake, fatigue, and bed rest [7, 8]. The effects of physical activity and exercise programs on fitness and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in elderly adults have been widely studied by several authors [9–11]. De Vries et al. [11] conducted a meta-analysis focusing on elderly patients with mobility problems and/or multimorbidity. Eighteen articles describing a wide variety of actions were analyzed. Most used a multicomponent training program focusing on the combination of strength, balance, and endurance training. In 9 of the 18 studies included, interventions were supervised by a physical therapist. Intensity of the intervention was not reported and the duration of the intervention varied from 5 weeks to 18 months. This meta-analysis concluded that, considering quality of life, the exercise versus no-exercise studies found no significant effects. High-intensity exercise appears to be somewhat more effective in improving physical functioning than low-intensity exercise. These positive effects are of great value in the patient population but the most effective type of intervention remains unclear. Brovold et al. [7] recently examined the effects of high-intensity training versus home-based exercise programs using the Norwegian Ullevaal Model [12] on a group of over-65-year-olds after discharge from hospital. These authors based their study on the Swedish Friskis-Svettis model [13] which was designed by Johan Holmsater for patients with coronaropathy to promote their return to work and everyday activities and improve their prognoses. This model includes three intervals of high intensity and two intervals of moderate intensity, each one lasting for 5 to 10 minutes. Included in each is coordination. Exercises consist of simple aerobic dance movements and involve the use of both upper and lower extremities to challenge postural control [13]. Exercise intensity was adjusted using the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale. Moderate intensity was set between 11 and 13, and high intensity was set between 15 and 17 on the Borg Scale.
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