Novel all-extremity high-intensity interval training improves aerobic fitness, cardiac function and insulin resistance in healthy older adults

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Aging is associated with decreased aerobic fitness and cardiac remodeling leading to increased risk for cardiovascular disease. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the treadmill has been reported to be more effective in ameliorating these risk factors compared with moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) in patients with cardiometabolic disease. In older adults, however, weight-bearing activities are frequently limited due to musculoskeletal and balance problems. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility and safety of non-weight-bearing all-extremity HIIT in older adults. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that all-extremity HIIT will be more effective in improving aerobic fitness, cardiac function, and metabolic risk factors compared with all-extremity MICT. Fifty-one healthy sedentary older adults (age: 65 ± 1 years) were randomized to HIIT (n = 17), MICT (n = 18) or non-exercise control (CONT; n = 16). HIIT (4 × 4 min 90% of peak heart rate; HRpeak) and isocaloric MICT (70% of HRpeak) were performed on a non-weight-bearing all-extremity ergometer, 4 ×/week for 8 weeks under supervision. All-extremity HIIT was feasible in older adults and resulted in no adverse events. Aerobic fitness (peak oxygen consumption; VO2peak) and ejection fraction (echocardiography) improved by 11% (P < 0.0001) and 4% (P = 0.001), respectively in HIIT, while no changes were observed in MICT and CONT (P ≥ 0.1). Greater improvements in ejection fraction were associated with greater improvements in VO2peak (r = 0.57; P < 0.0001). Insulin resistance (homeostatic model assessment) decreased only in HIIT by 26% (P = 0.016). Diastolic function, body composition, glucose and lipids were unaffected (P ≥ 0.1). In conclusion, all-extremity HIIT is feasible and safe in older adults. HIIT, but not MICT, improved aerobic fitness, ejection fraction, and insulin resistance.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles