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J Aging Phys Act. 2011 Apr;19(2):99-116.

The impact of high-calorie-expenditure exercise on quality of life in older adults with coronary heart disease.

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  • 1Dept. of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA.


The acceptability of a high-calorie-expenditure (HCE) exercise program in older coronary heart disease patients participating in a behavioral weight-control program was evaluated. Seventy-four overweight patients (median age 63 yr) were randomly assigned to a 5-mo intervention of HCE exercise (3,000-3,500 kcal/wk daily walking) or standard cardiac-rehabilitation (CR) exercise (700-800 kcal/wk). Both groups received counseling to achieve a dietary caloric deficit of 3,500 kcal/ wk. Assessments at baseline and 5 mo included self-reported measures of quality of life and psychosocial variables. The HCE group experienced significantly greater weight loss (8.2 ± 4 vs. 3.7 ± 5 kg, p < .001). Changes from baseline to 5 mo on scores of physical, emotional, and social functioning were greater for the HCE than CR group (p < .05). HCE exercise also resulted in greater positive change in exercise enjoyment (p = .05), which was mediated by weight change. Even high-risk older adults can be successful in an HCE exercise program and experience no adverse physical or emotional changes.

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