The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of 6 months of endurance training on resting plasma (PV) and blood volume (BV), and resting hormone and electrolyte concentrations in the elderly. Thirty-eight elderly men and women (ages 60-82 yr) were assigned to endurance exercise training (N = 29) or to control (N = 9) groups. Resting plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone, vasopressin, aldosterone, norepinephrine, epinephrine, sodium, potassium, and protein were measured at the start (T1) and end (T2) of 26 wk of training. PV measurement was performed using the Evan's blue dye technique. Endurance training consisted of uphill treadmill walking or stairclimbing exercise 3 times[middle dot]wk-1, 30-45 min[middle dot]d-1, at 75-84% of maximal heart rate reserve. The exercise group increased VO2max by 11.2% (P <= 0.05) and increased resting PV and BV by 11.2% and 12.7% (P <= 0.05), respectively. Hormone and electrolyte levels in the exercise group remained unchanged; all variables were unchanged in the control group. These results are similar to findings in younger individuals. Because plasma hormone concentrations were maintained despite a chronically elevated BV, endurance training in healthy, elderly subjects may be associated with a resetting of volume receptors.
(C)1995The American College of Sports Medicine