Clinical research
The influence of systematic pulse-limited physical exercise on the parameters of the cardiovascular system in patients over 65 years of age
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Submission date: 2012-05-23
Final revision date: 2012-11-08
Acceptance date: 2012-11-30
Online publication date: 2013-04-12
Publication date: 2013-04-30
Arch Med Sci 2013;9(2):201–209
Introduction: The influence of physical exercise on the parameters of the cardiovascular system of elderly persons has not been sufficiently investigated yet. The aim of the study was to assess the influence of regular 6-week physical exercise using the Nordic walking (NW) method in a group of elderly persons on their physical performance and regulation of selected parameters assessing the cardiovascular system.
Material and methods: Fifty patients over 65 years of age participated in the study. The study encompassed: medical interview, physical examination, resting ECG, spiroergometry examination, 6MWT (6-minute walk test) and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). During the exercise programme, the pulse was monitored using pulsometers. After the completion of the training, check-up tests assessing the same parameters were performed. The control group consisted of 18 persons over 65 years of age with similar cardiovascular problems.
Results: In the test group, duration of the physical effort increased by 1.02 min (p = 0.0001), the maximum load increased by 10.68 W (p = 0.0001), values of VO2max by 2.10 (p = 0.0218), distance improved in 6MWT by 75.04 m (p = 0.00001), systolic blood pressure decreased by 5.50 mm Hg (p = 0.035) and diastolic blood pressure by 3.50 mm Hg (p = 0.054) as compared to the control group.
Conclusions: Systematic NW physical exercise limited by the pulse had a beneficial effect on the physical performance of elderly persons as assessed with main parameters. A short 6-week programme of endurance exercises had a hypotensive effect in elderly persons over 65 years of age.