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Exp Gerontol. 2013 Mar;48(3):326-33. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2013.01.002. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Differential responses of adiposity, inflammation and autonomic function to aerobic versus resistance training in older adults.

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  • 1Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal.



Increased body fat, autonomic dysfunction and low-grade chronic inflammation are interrelated risk factors implicated in the etiology of several chronic conditions normally presented by older adults.


This study aims to assess the effectiveness of different training protocols on reducing body fat, improving autonomic function, and decreasing low-grade systemic inflammation in community-dwelling elderly adults.


Fifty participants (11 men, 68±5.5years) were randomly allocated into resistance or aerobic training or control groups. Evaluations were done at baseline and following the 8-month intervention period on their body composition (assessed by DXA), inflammatory biomarkers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hs-CRP], tumor necrosis-alpha [TNF-α], interferon-gamma [IFN-γ], interleukins-6 and -10 [IL-6, IL-10]), lipoproteic profile, fasting glycemia, blood pressure, heart rate variability (HRV; frequency and time domains) and aerobic fitness (assessed by six-minute walk distance [6MWD]). A paired t-test was used to detect changes (%Δ=[(post-test score-pretest score)/pre-test score]×100) within groups, while between-group differences were analyzed using the one-way ANOVA or General Linear Models.


A significant change (Δ%) both in total (-5.4±6.3% and -3.3±2.9%, respectively) and central body fat (8.9±11.3% and -4.8±4.5%) was observed in resistance and aerobic training groups, respectively; along with a change in resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures (-9.2±9.8% and -8.5±9.6%), heart rate (-4.6±6.5%), hs-CRP (-18.6±60.6%), and 6MWD (9.5±6.9%) in response to aerobic training.


The present findings provide further evidence for the benefits of aerobic and resistance training on reducing body fat. Aerobic training was demonstrated to reduce hs-CRP and blood pressure in community-dwelling elderly participants with no serious medical conditions.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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