Chronic effects of two different exercise environments on self-chosen intensity and physiological adaptations were examined in postmenopausal women. Twenty-three healthy to overweight (body mass index [BMI] 22–29 kg/m2) postmenopausal women performed three weekly training sessions during 12 weeks and were assigned to either: (1) indoor training or (2) outdoor training. Body composition, metabolic profile, and physical fitness (including Vo2max, maximal strength, and endurance) were assessed pre- and postintervention. Exercise intensity was measured every week during the training. Maximum intensity decreased significantly in time only in outdoor training (p ≤ .05). Body composition and VO2max were significantly improved indoors (p ≤ .05), whereas resting blood pressure and upper body maximal strength and endurance were improved outdoors (p ≤ .05). Indoor training is associated with maintaining intensity over time and slightly higher physiological improvements than outdoor training. However, outdoor training seems promising from a long-term perspective, due to its positive effects on health parameters and exercise adherence.
Marianne Lacharité-Lemieux and Isabelle J. Dionne
Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre, Eric D.B. Goulet and Isabelle J. Dionne
Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) attenuates the menopause-associated alterations in body composition. It is not known, however, whether this effect is a result of a concomitant increase in energy expenditure. The authors examined whether women submitted to a long-term HRT treatment presented greater energy expenditure than women who had never used HRT. We compared 13 postmenopausal women using HRT (>1 yr) with 13 age- (±2 yr) and body-mass-index-matched (BMI; ±1.5kg/m2) postmenopausal women not using HRT. Resting energy expenditure (REE; indirect calorimetry), body composition, and daily (DEE) and physical activity (PAEE) energy expenditure (accelerometry) were obtained. Although BMI, fat mass, fat-free mass, DEE, and PAEE were similar between groups, the HRT group displayed a significantly greater REE than the no-HRT group (Δ +222 kcal/day). In conclusion, the authors observed that a long-term treatment with HRT is associated with a greater REE in postmenopausal women. These results need to be confirmed.
Eric D.B. Goulet, Michel O. Mélançon, Mylène Aubertin Leheudre and Isabelle J. Dionne
It is unclear whether long-term aerobic (AT) or resistance (RT) training can improve insulin sensitivity (IS) beyond the residual effect of the last training bout in older women (54–78 years). Therefore, a group of nonobese, healthy older women underwent 6 months of AT (n = 8) or RT (n = 10), and the authors measured IS 4 days after the last training bouts using the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique. Women trained 3 days/week. AT consisted of 25- to 60-min sessions of walking/jogging at 60–95% of maximal heart rate. RT consisted of three sets of nine exercises repeated 10 times at 80% of 1 repetition maximum. AT decreased fat mass, whereas both AT and RT increased fat-free mass. Neither training program, however, improved absolute or relative rates of glucose disposal. The authors therefore concluded that nonobese, healthy older women should perform AT or RT on a daily basis in order to improve IS and maintain the improvement.
Serge Beliaeff, Danielle R. Bouchard, Christophe Hautier, Martin Brochu and Isabelle J. Dionne
This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between arm and leg muscle mass and isometric muscle strength in 465 well-functioning women and 439 well-functioning men from the NuAge cohort, age 67–84 years. Leg and arm muscle mass and body fat were measured by dual-X-ray absorptiometry. Maximum voluntary isometric strength of knee extensors and elbow flexors was measured using the belt-resisted method and a handheld dynamometer, respectively. The regression model including leg muscle mass, physical activity level, age, height, and body fat explained 14% of the variance in quadriceps strength in men and 11% in women (p < .001), whereas the model including arm muscle mass and the same covariates elucidated 40% and 28%, respectively, of the variance in biceps strength (p < .001). These results suggest that muscle mass does not play a crucial role in the variations of isometric muscle strength in well-functioning elderly.