Exercise training and aerobic fitness in the elderly

R. Boileau, E. McAuley, D. Demetriou, N. Devabhaktuni, G. Dykstra, J. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A randomized control trial was conducted to examine the effect of a moderate aerobic exercise training program (AET) on cardiorespiratory (CR) fitness parameter. Previously sedentary subjects (N=84), aged 60-75 yr., were randomly assigned to treatments with 32 AET and 38 control subjects completing the six month program. The aerobic exercise program consisted of walking at an intensity designed to elevate heart rate to 60% of the age-predicted maximum for 30 min., three days per week. The control group performed a supervised stretching program for 30 min per day, three days per week. CR fitness was assessed both prior to and following the 6 month treatments during a grade incremented treadmill walking test to voluntary termination. The peak VO2 significantly increased when expressed by either liters/min or milliliters/kg BW/min, respectively, in the AET group (22.9% and 23.8%) relative to the control group (14% and 14%). While treadmill endurance performance time increased about 235% more in the AET group (1.24 min) relative to the control group (.37 min) the difference was not statistically significant(p=.08). Moreover, the decrease in submaximal heart rate observed in both groups was not statistically different. These results indicate mat cardiorespiratory fitness as measured by the peak VO2 can be substantially improved with a moderate relatively long term aerobic exercise program in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A1038
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 20 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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