School of Physical Education and Sport, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Exercise training (ET) can reduce blood pressure (BP) and prevent functional disability. However, the effects of low volumes of training have been poorly studied, especially in elderly hypertensive patients.
To investigate the effects of a multi-component ET program (aerobic training, strength, flexibility, and balance) on BP, physical fitness, and functional ability of elderly hypertensive patients.
Thirty-six elderly hypertensive patients with optimal clinical treatment underwent a multi-component ET program: two 60-minute sessions a week for 12 weeks at a Basic Health Unit.
Compared to pre-training values, systolic and diastolic BP were reduced by 3.6% and 1.2%, respectively (p<0.001), body mass index was reduced by 1.1% (p<0.001), and peripheral blood glucose was reduced by 2.5% (p=0.002). There were improvements in all physical fitness domains: muscle strength (chair-stand test and elbow flexor test; p<0.001), static balance test (unipedal stance test; p<0.029), aerobic capacity (stationary gait test; p<0.001), except for flexibility (sit and reach test). Moreover, there was a reduction in the time required to perform two functional ability tests: "put on sock" and "sit down, stand up, and move around the house" (p<0.001).
Lower volumes of ET improved BP, metabolic parameters, and physical fitness and reflected in the functional ability of elderly hypertensive patients.