Previous studies have found that strength training alone- or combined with AT was associated with a 11 to 20% increase in distance walked in 6 min in older women with CAD or heart failure. We found that 8 weeks of AT or COMT was associated with a 10% increase in the distance walked in 6 min. Thus, the heightened V02peak that occurs with AT or COMT also increases aerobic endurance, which allows older women with CAD to increase the distance that they can walk during a 6-min period.
Effects of Exercise Training on Maximal Strength and QOL
An unexpected finding in this investigation was that 8 weeks of AT or COMT resulted in a significant improvement in lower-extremity maximal muscular strength (Fig 3). However, the absolute change in leg extension (AT, + 3.3 kg, vs COMT, + 6.6 kg) and leg curl (AT, + 3.6 kg, vs COMT, + 7.1 kg) strength was twofold greater after COMT compared to AT. Also, 8 weeks of COMT resulted in a 15 to 29% increase in upper-extremity strength, which remained unchanged with AT (Table 2). These results confirm the findings by Ades et al and others, who found that 3 to 6 months of strength or COMT was associated with an increase in upper-extremity (18 to 29%) and lower-extremity (23 to 68%) strength in older women with CAD or heart failure. The consequence of the heightened muscle strength is that it is associated with an increased ability to perform activities of daily living, resulting in an improvement in QOL. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that the subjects who performed COMT had a greater absolute change in emotional, physical, social, and global QOL compared to the AT subjects. This is an important finding, because older women with CAD have been shown to have reduced social support, greater emotional difficulties, and impaired functional capacity (Fig 1). Moreover, this finding confirms and extend previous cardiac exercise rehabilitation intervention studies demonstrating that in order to attain optimal gains in overall fitness and QOL, older women with CAD should be encouraged to perform an exercise regimen that incorporates both strength training and AT. alta white teeth whitening
A limitation of our study is the small sample size. However, older women with CAD are less likely to be referred to or adhere to a cardiac exercise rehabilitation program. This is the first prospective study to examine the effects of AT or COMT on V02peak, distance walked in 6 min, upper- and lower-extremity maximal strength, and QOL in women with CAD in their seventh decade of life. Moreover, the improvement in overall physical fitness may make the difference between living independently vs becoming a resident of a seniors’ home in the near future after having a myocardial infarction.
Eight weeks of AT or COMT were equally effective in improving Vo2peak, distance walked in 6 min, lower-extremity strength, and emotional and global QOL in older women with CAD. Moreover, COMT resulted in a significant increase in upper-extremity strength, and physical and social QOL, which remain unchanged after AT. Thus, older women who participate in a cardiac exercise rehabilitation program should perform AT and strength training to attain optimal improvements in overall physical fitness and QOL.