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Effects of a 12-week, short-interval, intermittent, low-intensity, slow-jogging program on skeletal muscle, fat infiltration, and fitness in older adults: randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Purpose

We developed a short-interval, low-intensity, slow-jogging (SJ) program consisting of sets of 1 min of SJ at walking speed and 1 min of walking. We aimed to examine the effects of an easily performed SJ program on skeletal muscle, fat infiltration, and fitness in older adults.

Methods

A total of 81 community-dwelling, independent, older adults (70.8 ± 4.0 years) were randomly assigned to the SJ or control group. The SJ group participants were encouraged to perform 90 min of SJ at their anaerobic threshold (AT) intensity and 90 min of walking intermittently per week. Aerobic capacity at the AT and sit-to-stand (STS) scores were measured. Intracellular water (ICW) in the legs was assessed by segmental multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis. Subcutaneous (SAT) and intermuscular (IMAT) adipose tissue and muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) were measured at the mid-thigh using computed tomography.

Results

A total of 75 participants (37 SJ group, 38 controls) completed the 12-week intervention. The AT and STS improved in the SJ group compared with the controls (AT 15.7 vs. 4.9 %, p < 0.01; STS 12.9 vs. 4.5 %, p < 0.05). ICW in the upper leg increased only in the SJ group (9.7 %, p < 0.05). SAT and IMAT were significantly decreased only in the SJ group (p < 0.01).

Conclusion

The 12-week SJ program was easily performed by older adults with low skeletal muscle mass, improved aerobic capacity, muscle function, and muscle composition in older adults.

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Abbreviations

AHS1:

Amplitude of the first heart sound

ANOVA:

Analysis of variance

AT:

Anaerobic threshold

CSA:

Cross-sectional area

CT:

Computed tomography

DPBP:

Double product breakpoint

EMG:

Electromyography

HR:

Heart rate

ICW:

Intracellular water

IMAT:

Intermuscular adipose tissue

LDMA:

Low-density muscle area

LT:

Lactate threshold

METs:

Metabolic equivalents

MRI:

Magnetic resonance imaging

NDMA:

Normal-density muscle area

RPE:

Rate of perceived exertion

SAT:

Subcutaneous adipose tissue

SJ:

Slow jogging

S-MFBIA:

Segmental multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis

SMI:

Skeletal muscle index

STS:

Sit-to-stand

\( \dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \) :

Maximum oxygen uptake

\( \dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{peak}}}} \) :

Peak oxygen uptake

WRT:

Walk−run transition

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant Number 25242065) and A Technology Scientific Research Budget Basic Research Grant (Grant Number A19200049) (Strategic Research Infrastructure) from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology to the Fukuoka University Institute for Physical Activity supported this study. We thank the participants and the Nakagawa Town Hall staff whose participation made this intervention study possible and the technical staff in Fukuseikai Hospital for data acquisition of CT. We are also grateful to Magdalena Jackowska for her English support.

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Correspondence to Hiroaki Tanaka.

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Communicated by Jean-René Lacour.

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Ikenaga, M., Yamada, Y., Kose, Y. et al. Effects of a 12-week, short-interval, intermittent, low-intensity, slow-jogging program on skeletal muscle, fat infiltration, and fitness in older adults: randomized controlled trial. Eur J Appl Physiol 117, 7–15 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-016-3493-9

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Keywords

  • Jogging
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Muscle hypertrophy
  • Muscle composition