PURPOSE: The ACSM guideline recommends for older adults to adopt resistance training in enhancing ADL and improving health. The purpose of this study was to identify whether resistance exercise with electrical loading machines, which were developed for the elderly out of consideration for their safety, can enhance their ADL related physical fitness and attenuate atherosclerotic risks.
METHODS: Twenty two Japanese females voluntarily participated in this 12-week and twice a week program of resistance exercise. Ten older people (75.2± 4.5 year-old; E-G) out of the participants were engaged in muscular training with electrically loading system machines, while the other youngers (62.3 ± 3.9 year-old; P-G) do the similar intensity and frequency program with conventional weight-plate system machines.
RESULTS: With respect to single knee joint muscle strength, E-G showed an improvement in only knee flexor power output, while P-G in both flexor and extensor muscle outputs (p<0.05, respectively). The score of functional reach test, which contains leg muscle strength and flexibility of trunk, was improved only in P-G (p<0.05). The number of CS-30 consisted with systemic agility and muscular endurance and compound muscle strength of hip, knee and ankle joint, increased in both E-G and P-G at 12th week (p<0.01 respectively). Improved results of Timed-up and Go test, which could represent comprehensive physical fitness in the elderly, were observed in E-G as well as P-G (p<0.01 respectively). Neither injury nor exercise-induced event was found throughout the intervention program. As to atherosclerotic risk factors, E-G demonstrated significant decreases in waist girth (p<0.01), glycohemoglobin A1c (p<0.01) and LDL cholesterol levels (p<0.05), whereas P-G in waist girth (p<0.05) and glycohemoglobin A1c (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Resistance training by using electrical-loading machines can safely improve ADL related comprehensive fitness and coronary risks in Japanese elderly women.