2016, Volume 8, Issue 4

Diversified health-related Nordic walking training programs and physical fitness of elderly women



Monika Wiech1, Krzysztof Prusik1, Zbigniew Ossowski1, Katarzyna Prusik2, Jakub Kortas1, Hanna Słomska1, Łukasz Bielawa2

1Department of Recreation and Adventure Tourism, Faculty of Tourism and Recreation, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport
2Department of Biomedical Background of Health, Faculty of Tourism and Recreation, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport


Author for correspondence: Monika Wiech; Department of Recreation and Adventure Tourism, Faculty of Tourism and Recreation, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport; email: monika.wiech@awf.gda.pl


Full text

Abstract

Background: Aging of societies results in the growing number of disabled individuals, although the development of medicine and increasing awareness induce such changes as the modification of eating habits and lifestyle, which help to preserved independence for a longer period of time. Due to this, proposals of effective training programs to maintain physical fitness at a level enabling the efficient functioning in everyday life are sought.

Material/Methods: The study group consisted of 60 women aged 60–74 years, participating in 6-month Nordic walking training. The respondents were divided into two groups: GE1, realizing endurance training with strengthening and flexibility exercises and GE2 – stricte endurance training program. To determine the level of physical fitness, selected trials of the Eurofit for adults and the Fullerton Functional Fitness Test were used.

Results: There was significant improvement in endurance in both groups (GE1 – 4.6%, GE2 – 7.1%). The benefits of exercise have also been reported in the lower limbs muscle strength (GE1 – 13.3%, GE2 – 7.7%). The increase in flexibility (7.3%) was noted only in GE1.

Conclusions: The conducted experiment confirms the efficiency of both training programs in all analyzed components. GE1 group's program was more effective in improving the lower limbs muscle strength and flexibility of the spine, while the of GE2 – endurance.


Key words: health-related training, Nordic walking, women aged 60–74 years, endurance, strength, flexibility