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Sarah A. Gordon, Tom J. Overend, and Anthony A. Vandervoort

Country line dancing (CLD) is a popular activity among older women. The American College of Sports Medicine and Health Canada recommend that aerobic exercise be performed for 20–60 min, 3–5 times/week, at an intensity of 65–90% of maximal heart rate (HR). The study measured responses to a bout of CLD in older women to determine whether it might be considered an aerobic activity for this population. Twenty healthy older women performed a 12-min walk lest (12WT) and a 1-hr CLD class. Heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and breathlessness (RPB) were compared between the 12WT and a representative 12-min period of the CLD class. Mean HR during CLD and the 12WT were not different. Mean RPE and RPB values were also similar between CLD and 12WT. The results suggest that CLD meets the guidelines for aerobic activity and can be considered an acceptable form of aerobic exercise for older women.

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Karen J. Winegard, Audrey L. Hicks, and Anthony A. Vandervoort

The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability of measuring voluntary isometric strength, evoked isometric twitch properties (peak torque, time to peak torque, half-relaxation time), M-wave amplitude, and passive tension in very old adults (73-92 years). Five male and 5 female subjects were tested on two different test occasions that were 1 week apart. Using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) method, the mean reliability coefficient of all measurements on the dorsiflexor (DF) and plantar flexor (PF) muscle groups was .91 ± .05. Similar ICC values were found for DF and PF muscles (.92 ± .04 and .90 ± .05, respectively). Resting PF half-relaxation time was the least reliable measure, with an ICC value of .80, while maximum voluntary strength was the most reliable with ICC values of .98 for DF and .97 for PF. The variation ranged from 0.2 to 12.3%. It was concluded that ankle muscle function (both voluntary and evoked) can be reliably assessed in this very old age group.

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Edited by Gareth R. Jones and Anthony A. Vandervoort

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Edited by Anthony A. Vandervoort and Gareth R. Jones

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Deanna L. Huggett, Ian D. Elliott, Tom J. Overend, and Anthony A. Vandervoort.

The authors compared heart-rate and blood-pressure responses to typical isometric (ISO) and isokinetic (90°/s) eccentric (ECC) resistance-training protocols in older adults. Twenty healthy older adults (74 ± 5 years old) performed randomly ordered ISO and isokinetic ECC exercise (3 sets of 10 repetitions) at a target intensity of 100% of their peak ISO torque value. Heart rate and systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressures were recorded continuously, and mean arterial pressure (MAP) and rate-pressure product (RPP) were calculated. ECC peak torque (139 ± 33 N · m) was significantly greater than ISO peak torque (115 ± 26 N · m; p < .001). All variables increased significantly (p < .001) during both ISO and ECC exercise. Changes in SBP, DBP, MAP, and RPP were significantly greater during ISO exercise than during ECC exercise (p < .001). Clinically, an isokinetic ECC exercise program enables older adults to work at the same torque output with less cardiovascular stress than ISO exercise.

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Elizabeth Thompson, Theo H. Versteegh, Tom J. Overend, Trevor B. Birmingham, and Anthony A. Vandervoort

Our purpose was to describe heart rate (HR), mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), and perceived exertion (RPE) responses to submaximal isokinetic concentric (CON) and eccentric (ECC) exercise at the same absolute torque output in older adults. Peak torques for ECC and CON knee extension were determined in healthy older males (n = 13) and females (n = 7). Subjects then performed separate, randomly ordered, 2-min bouts of CON and ECC exercise. Heart rate and MAP increased (p < .001) from resting values throughout both exercise bouts. CON exercise elicited a significantly greater cardiovascular response than ECC exercise after 60 s. Peak HR, MAP, and RPE after CON exercise were greater than after ECC exercise (p < .01). At the same absolute torque output, isokinetic CON knee extension exercise resulted in a significantly greater level of cardiovascular stress than ECC exercise. These results are relevant to resistance testing and exercise in older people.

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T. Brock Symons, Anthony A. Vandervoort, Charles L. Rice, Tom J. Overend, and Greg D. Marsh

Because of the need for efficient, consistent strength measurements, the test–retest reliability of concentric, isometric, and eccentric strength; concentric work; and concentric power was determined in older women without a familiarization session. The reliability of measures derived from a single peak score were compared with those derived from an averaged score. On 2 occasions 25 older women with a mean age of 72 ± 6 years performed 3 submaximal knee extensions and 5 maximal contractions on an isokinetic dynamometer at 90°/s (CON), 0°/s, and –90°/s on both lower limbs. Statistical analyses for peak and averaged values (best 3 contractions of 5) exhibited good relative reliability (ICCs > .88), except for CON power. Typical error as a coefficient of variation and ratio limits of agreement for peak and averaged score values were larger than desired, with CON power scores demonstrating unacceptable error ranges. Although relative reliability of this 1-session assessment protocol was acceptable, further research is needed to determine whether additional practice trials could enhance absolute reliability.

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Gareth R. Jones, Jennifer M. Jakobi, Albert W. Taylor, Rob J. Petrella, and Anthony A. Vandervoort

Community-based rehabilitative exercise programs might be an effective means to improve functional outcomes for hip-fracture patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a community exercise program (CEP) for older adults recovering from hip fracture. Twenty-five older adults (mean age 80.0 ± 6.0 years; 24 women; 71 ± 23 days post–hip fracture) participated in this pilot study (17 exercise, 8 control). The CEP involved functional stepping and lower extremity–strengthening exercises. Control participants received only standard outpatient therapy. Measures of functional mobility, balance confidence, falls efficacy, lower extremity strength, and daily physical activity were evaluated at baseline and at 16 weeks. Improvements for self-reported physical activity, mobility, balance, and knee-extensor strength were observed for the CEP group. This study demonstrated that a CEP is beneficial for community-dwelling older adults post–hip fracture.