The aging process leads to a series of body alterations that may reduce functional capacity in the elderly and affects microcirculation significantly.
This RCT was conducted with 60 elderly sedentary women of 65–85 years of age, who were evaluated the under the effect of a strength training workout program on functional independence, muscle fatigue and microcirculation. The participants were allocated of two groups, the women in the intervention group participated in a strength-training program, while the women in the control group were given no intervention. The following characteristics were evaluated: the functional balance (Berg Balance Scale and the Timed Up and Go test); the fear of an elderly person falls (Falls Efficacy Scale-International); functional independence (test developed by GDLAM); muscle function (electromyography and 30 seconds support chair test - CST) and microvascular function by assessing post-occlusive reactive hyperemia using a laser Doppler flow meter. NCT 02516189.
Functional independence in the intervention group improved. Muscle performance improved at the end of the training program period, with an increase in muscle strength, there was a reduction in muscle fatigue, as well as an increase in the angular coefficient of the median frequency obtained with surface electromyography. There was an increase in maximum blood flow and in the ratio between maximum flow and resting flow in the intervention group.
Strength-training programs can promote an increase of blood perfusion and muscle strength with a reduction in peripheral fatigue, an improvement in functional capacity and a consequent reduction in fall risk.
Institute of Integrative Medicine Professor Fernando Figueira, Campina Grande, Brazil
Financial Disclosure: The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.