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Aging (Milano). 1991 Jun;3(2):129-39.

Effects of a low intensity exercise program on selected physical performance characteristics of 60- to 71-year olds.

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Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.


The effects of a low intensity exercise program on strength, flexibility, balance, gait and muscular endurance were determined in sixty-two 60- to 71-year-old men and women. Subjects exercised for 1 hour daily 5 days a week for 3 months. Before and after the exercise program, each participant underwent lower extremity range of motion (ROM) determinations, isometric and dynamic strength testing (Cybex) of the knee and ankle musculature, standing balance tests, a gait examination and a fatigue test for the quadriceps. Thirteen control subjects who did not exercise also were tested at two time periods, 3 months apart. Significant improvements in strength occurred for exercise subjects, particularly at the fastest speed settings on the Cybex. ROM measures of the hip and trunk, and standing balance times improved, but no change in endurance or gait parameters was found. With the exception of muscular endurance, no changes were observed among the controls. Exercise subjects frequently reported improvements in functional capacity and activities of daily living. These results suggest that a low intensity exercise program can improve strength, balance and flexibility in sedentary healthy older people.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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