Health benefits associated with exercise habituation in older Japanese men

Institute of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan.
Aging clinical and experimental research (Impact Factor: 1.22). 03/2004; 16(1):53-9. DOI: 10.1007/BF03324533
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of exercise habituation (3-32 years, mean 13.2 years) on physical vitality among five different groups.
One hundred and two independent, community-dwelling elderly Japanese men, aged 64.6 +/- 6.6 years, were recruited as subjects. The vital age test battery consisted of various coronary heart disease risk factors and physical fitness elements.
The results of analysis of variance revealed that vital age as an index of physical vitality was youngest in joggers (47.9 yr, N=18), intermediate in trekkers (55.8 yr, N=20) and walkers (59.1 yr, N=18), and oldest (69.6 yr, N=20) in patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD). The difference between chronological age and vital age was approximately 15 years (p<0.05) in joggers, and 8 years (p<0.05) in trekkers and walkers. The vital age of sedentary persons (N=26) was only 1.9 years (NS) younger than their chronological age, which was similar to the difference (vital age of 64.1 +/- 8.5 yr vs chronological age of 65.7 +/- 5.4 yr) previously observed in similarly aged exercising IHD patients.
These results indicate that exercise habituation significantly affects the overall health status of most individuals, irrespective of mode of exercise. Among the three modes of exercise, jogging may be most beneficial. Furthermore, regularly exercising coronary patients may have physical vitality similar to that of sedentary men.

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