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Exp Gerontol. 2013 Aug;48(8):727-33. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

A randomized 9-month study of blood pressure and body fat responses to aerobic training versus combined aerobic and resistance training in older men.

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Research Center in Sport Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal.


This randomized study evaluated the impact of different exercise training modalities on blood pressure and body fat responses in apparently healthy older men. Forty-eight elderly men (aged 65-75 years) were randomly assigned to an aerobic training group (ATG, n=15), a combined aerobic and resistance training group (CTG, n=16), or a control group (n=17). Both exercise training programs were moderate-to-vigorous intensity, three days/week for 9-months. Strength, aerobic endurance, body fat and blood pressure were measured on five different occasions. The data were analyzed using a mixed-model ANOVA, and the independence between systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and group was tested. A significant main effect of group (p<0.001) was observed in strength and aerobic endurance, with higher performance observed in the CTG. A significant main effect of group (p<0.001) and time (p=0.029) was observed in body fat percentage, with a 2.3% decrease in CTG. A significant main effect of time was observed in SBP (p=0.005) and in DBP (p=0.011) for both ATG and CTG. Mean decreases in SBP and DBP, respectively, were 15 and 6 mmHg for ATG and 24 and 12 mmHg for CTG. There was a significant association for SBP (p=0.008) and DBP (p=0.005) in the CTG, with significant individual BP profile modifications. Both exercise-training programs reduce resting blood pressure. However, only the combined exercise training was effective at reducing body fat percentage; consequently, there were larger changes in blood pressure, which result in a significant reduction in hypertensive subjects.


Blood pressure; Body composition; Cardiovascular disease; Exercise; Long-term effects

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