The current study aimed to compare the effects of two exercise programs (Strength Training and Hydro Gymnastics) on the functional and cardiorespiratory abilities of Portuguese postmenopausal women. The study population consisted of 38 volunteers (age: 66.9 ± 6.1 years, body mass: 73.70 ± 10.38 kg, and body height: 1.55 ± 0.10 m). Subjects were randomly divided into two experimental groups and one control group: one group performed 24 weeks of strength training (GST; n = 14), another performed 24 weeks of hydro gymnastics (GH; n = 17) and a control group (CG; n = 7), where the subjects continued with their regular daily activities without involvement in any physical exercise program. Three assessments were performed: before the beginning of the program, 12 weeks after the start of the training program and 24 weeks after the start of the program. To assess the functional ability of the participants, several tests proposed by Jones and Rikli (2002) were performed. To evaluate the cardiorespiratory ability of the participants, a modified treadmill Bruce test was applied. Significant differences (p<0.05) were found between the two training methods in the tests, which primarily demanded muscular strength. Body mass and the body mass index showed significant differences during the three stages of assessment in the GST group (p<0.05). With respect to the values that represent the variables of cardiorespiratory ability, positive and significant changes were observed in the two experimental groups. It was concluded that both exercise programs promoted improvements in some indicators of the functional and cardiorespiratory abilities of Portuguese postmenopausal women.
Research Center for Sports Sciences, Health & Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real, Portugal
Department of Sports Sciences, Exercise and Health, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Vila Real, Portugal
Department of Sports Sciences, Exercise and Health, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Parque Desportivo da UTAD, Apartado 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal. Phone: +351 259 350 756. Fax: +351 259 330 168.
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