Psychological and physiological effects of physical conditioning on the elderly.
A decline in cardiovascular functioning is generally thought to occur with advancing age. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of regular aerobic exercise on a group of 24 young-old (65-69) and old-old (70-85 yr) volunteers. Comprehensive physiological and psychological assessments were conducted in the one week preceding the 11-week conditioning program, and in the one-week period following the conclusion of the program. The conditioning program consisted of 30 min of continuous exercise on a stationary bicycle ergometer three times weekly for 11 consecutive weeks. The results of the study document the presence of significant training effects: subjects achieved longer exercise times and increased exercise workloads. Despite these changes, however, psychological changes were generally small and nonsignificant. The present data would appear to qualify the assumption that exercise is beneficial for the elderly.
Blumenthal, JA; Schocken, DD; Needels, TL; Hindle, P
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