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  • Author: Tom J. Overend x
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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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Kunihiko Aizawa, Marissa E. Mendelsohn, Tom J. Overend and Robert J. Petrella

The authors evaluated the effects of acute arm-cycling exercise on arterial stiffness of the brachial artery (BA: working limb) and posterior tibial artery (PTA: nonworking limb) in healthy older participants. Eleven participants were tested to evaluate BA and PTA stiffness. Blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and arterial stiffness indices of the BA and PTA measured by Doppler ultrasound were determined before and 10 min after graded arm-cycling exercise to volitional fatigue on 2 separate days. After the exercise, although BA diameter, brachial systolic BP, pulse pressure, and HR increased significantly (all p < .05), arterial stiffness indices of the BA remained unchanged. Similarly, arterial stiffness indices of the PTA remained unchanged after the exercise, whereas HR increased significantly (p < .05). These results show that acute arm-cycling exercise failed to modify arterial stiffness of the BA and PTA, suggesting that it has no systemic effect on arterial stiffness in healthy older adults.

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Marissa E. Mendelsohn, Denise M. Connelly, Tom J. Overend and Robert J. Petrella

Although popular in clinical settings, little is known about the utility of all-extremity semirecumbent exercise machines for research. Twenty-one community-dwelling older adults performed two exercise trials (three 4-min stages at increasing workloads) to evaluate the reliability and validity of exercise responses to submaximal all-extremity semirecumbent exercise (BioStep). Exercise responses were measured directly (Cosmed K4b2) and indirectly through software on the BioStep. Test–retest reliability (ICC2,1) was moderate to high across all three stages for directly measured METs (.92, .87, and .88) and HR (.91, .83, and .86). Concurrent criterion validity between the K4b2 and BioStep MET values was moderate to very good across the three stages on both Day 1 (r = .86, .71, and .83) and Day 2 (r = .73, .87, and .72). All-extremity semirecumbent submaximal exercise elicited reliable and valid responses in our sample of older adults and thus can be considered a viable exercise mode.

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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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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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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.