Introduction: The aim of the study was to determine the impact of systematic individual Nordic Walking training on physical performance in older men.
Material and methods: The study included 18 men (aged 52 to 73), divided into two groups. Group I (the experimental group) underwent an 8-week Nordic Walking training, while group II (the control group) did not perform any physical activity during the analyzed period. The level of physical exercise tolerance was assessed twice: at the beginning and after eight weeks of the study period using the Finnish walking test and the 30-minute walking test. The results were analyzed with the use of Statistica 10. software.
Results: The results of the initial Finnish walking test show that the average values of the Fitness Index, time of a 2-kilometer distance coverage and HR were similar in both study groups. After 8 weeks, a statistically significant improvement in exercise tolerance was observed in the experimental group. Aerobic endurance evaluated on the basis of the Fitness Index increased (p <0.01). A reduction in time of 2 kilometer distance coverage (p <0.01) was accompanied by a reduction (p <0.05) in the level of HR. In the men qualified to the control group, all of the tested parameters remained unchanged. Within the study group, after 8. weeks of training, a significant improvement was also noted in the distance covered during the 30-minute walking test (p <0.01).
Conclusions: Regular aerobic physical activity improves exercise tolerance in older men and may contribute to improving the comfort of their living.
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