Other Subject Area

Physical Activity


International Journal of Exercise Science 16(3): 620-637, 2023. Older adults (³ 65 years) are recommended to participate in regular exercise to maintain health in late adulthood. The impact of long-term (20+ years) exercise training that align with the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) recommended guidelines has not been evaluated for older adults. To address this, a systematic review and meta-analyses were performed regarding the effects of long-term exercise training on older adult aerobic capacity, muscular fitness, and body composition that meet the ACSM’s recommendation for weekly training volume. Ten studies with individuals that performed cardiorespiratory or resistance exercise met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review. Data from five included studies were analyzed in meta-analyses to determine the relationship between the effects of cardiorespiratory training on fitness and body composition measured in the same subjects. Main findings include higher cardiorespiratory fitness (MD: +11.36 mL/kg/min, 95% CI: 5.63 to 17.09 mL/kg/min, p < 0.01) in older adults who performed long-term cardiorespiratory exercise that was found in conjunction with lower percent body fat (MD: -5.41%, 95% CI: -7.65 to -3.17%, p < 0.01). Higher volume of cardiorespiratory exercise beyond the minimum recommendations did not impact benefits. Additionally, resistance-trained older adults showed greater muscular strength and lower percent body fat with comparable cardiorespiratory fitness to sedentary older adults. These findings primarily highlight a preservation of cardiorespiratory fitness and lower risk of mortality and cardiometabolic disease risk for older adults who participate in long-term cardiorespiratory and exercise that meet the ACSM’s recommended weekly training volume.