OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of physical fitness and function on older adults in two programs of supervised exercise activity: resistance training and aerobic exercise. METHODS: This study is a randomized, prospective clinical trial composed of sedentary elderly people who did not have contraindications to exercise. Participants were divided into two groups: group one performed 6 exercises of resistance training twice a week, and group two participated in walking activity for 30 minutes twice a week. Functional assessment (time 0,6 and 12 months) was measured by the Short Physical Performance Battery (time to sit or stand, gait speed, and balance), flexibility test, and the six-minute walking test. We randomly selected 96 patients: 46 in the Resistance Training Group and 50 in the Aerobic Exercise Group. In the Resistance Training Group, 46 attended the first assessment and 20 attended until the third section. In the Aerobic Exercise Group, 50 attended the first assessment and 12 attended until the third assessment. RESULTS: Mean age was 68.8 years in the Resistance Training Group and 69.1 years in the Aerobic Exercise Group. The Resistance Training Group showed improvement in the sit/stand (p=0.022), balance with feet in a row (p=0.039) and queued (p=0.001). The second showed a statistical difference in speed and balance with the feet lined up and the feet together (p=0.008; p=0.02; and p=0.043, respectively). Concerning flexibility, the Resistance Training Group had improvement (p=0.001), whereas in the Aerobic Exercise Group, no significant difference was seen (p=0.359). Both groups had improvement in the six-minute walking test, but no significant improvement was seen in the Aerobic Exercise Group (p=0.033). CONCLUSION: Both groups showed improvement in physical fitness. No statistical difference was seen when groups was compared in the short physical performance battery, flexibility, and six-minute walking test.
Motor activity; Pliability; Postural balance; Muscular strength; Resistance training; Aged; Health of the elderly