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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1990 Mar;71(3):241-3.

Endurance training in the elderly nursing home patient.

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1
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA.

Abstract

Endurance training in nursing home patients was evaluated by selecting 15 of 150 patients for a conditioning program eliminating those patients with dementia and/or significant cardiac disease. After a medical and laboratory screen, all had a symptom-limited exercise test (SLXT) using arm and leg ergometry. Only two patients were able to use the treadmill and many had difficulty with leg cycling. Exercise capacities averaged 2-3METs in most patients. The exercise (E) group included eight randomly selected subjects who participated in a three times weekly upper and lower conditioning program using target heart rates based on the SLXT. The control (C) group continued in the daily nursing home routine. The SLXT was repeated at the end of one year. Two patients in each group expired from unassociated medical problems. Three patients in group E were hospitalized for brief periods. In group E there was a small but significant training effect in the arms (p = 0.05) but not in the legs. It would appear that a small training effect can occur in elderly nursing home patients with a conditioning program. The magnitude is limited by the low intensity of the program as well as the detraining effect of intercurrent illness. Functional limitations of the legs may be responsible for the lack of a training effect in these muscle groups.

PMID:
2317144
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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