Fitness model for senior women for working capacity and improved functionality

E.V. Lyubina1
Dr.Hab., Professor L.B. Andryushchenko1
PhD T.E. Simina1
L.P. Malova1
PhD, Associate Professor О.N. Loginov1
1Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow

Keywords: customizable fitness models, functionality rates, educational experiment

Introduction. The administrative policies of the Russian Federation, aimed to increase the female state pension age as part of the so named reform, place physical education organizations before new challenges [3]. Thus, the Federal Project “Senior Generation” includes regular programs aimed to increase the period of active longevity. Another national project – “Public health promotion” - provides for the introduction of statistical reporting on healthy nutrition; implementation of municipal public health programs, targeted educational programs, corporate health promotion programs (in the workplace). One of the objectives therefore is to increase the functional capabilities of the women body and maintain working capacity and functionality at a mature and old age. Such an objective necessitates the need to reconsider the scientific and practical approaches to the design of customizable fitness programs and physical activity of 45-55 year-old females in order to increase the level of their physical fitness and functionality of the main bodily systems. A differentiated approach will help improve the functioning of all systems of women body, which will enable them to cope with physical and psychological stresses more effectively and maintain functionality at a mature age.

Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of a customizable fitness model with controllable physical activity for senior (45-55 year-old) women to improve their working capacity and functionality rates.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was conducted on the basis of the Moscow fitness club “Zebra”. Sampled for the experiment were 13 females aged 45-55 years. The experiment lasted 6 months. The training sessions were held 3 times a week and lasted 60 min each.

The examined females were divided into several mini-groups depending on their individual health conditions and physical fitness level. They were offered fitness program complexes. It was only required that the subjects took part in the following programs: Aqua Fitness (equipment-based water exercises aimed to develop and strengthen all muscle groups), BOSU (exercises on unstable platforms), and TRX (suspension training). The females diagnosed with disorders of the musculoskeletal system were offered to additionally attend Kundalini Yoga and Pilates practices aimed to strengthen their back muscles, increase joint mobility and develop flexibility [2, 4].

The females diagnosed with overweight were offered to perform aerobic exercises: Trekking (treadmill exercise), Cycle Core (fitness cycle exercise). The females diagnosed with minor abnormalities of the cardiovascular system attended Zumba and recreational swimming classes. All programs were customized for the needs of this age category. At the same time, the subjects were not allowed to perform the exercises in the high intensity mode or with large weights.

The level of development of endurance was determined using the indicators presented in Table 1.

Results and discussion. During the experiment, the 45-55 year-old females were tested with significant improvements in all control test rates (Table 1).

Table 1. Dynamics of changes in the main swimming and physical fitness indices in the 45-55 year-old females

Indices

Beginning ( ±σ)

End ( ±σ)

Student t-criterion

p

1. 6min swimming, m

135.5±21.61

155.2±23.17

3.28

<0.05

2. Sitting toe touches, cm

-10.3±5.36

-3.2±5.31

4.69

<0.05

3. Knee push-ups, number of reps

1.2±1.30

4.9±1.44

8.13

<0.05

4. Equilibrium, sec

11.3±4.46

19.5±2.76

6.47

<0.05

5. Sit-ups per 60 sec, number of reps

19.8±5.93

26.5±5.08

4.02

<0.05

6. Strength endurance of the back muscles, sec

30.6±10.58

52.8±12.60

7.46

<0.05

Note. Here and in Table 2:  – arithmetic mean, σ – mean square deviation.

Thus, the swimming distance covered in 6 min increased by 19.7 m (p<0.05). The use of a large number of exercises aimed to increase the elasticity of the females’ articular-ligamentous apparatus of the upper and lower limbs, as well as the spinal column, had a positive effect on their flexibility, which was manifested in a significant increase in the results of the sitting toe touches test - by 7.1 cm (p<0.05). The exercises to strengthen various muscle groups performed on the unstable BOSU platforms, as well as the balancing exercises used in the Aqua Fitness programs while developing a specific muscle group, had a positive effect on the equilibrium function, which resulted in a significant increase - by 8.2 sec (p<0.05). By the end of the experiment, the females significantly improved the strength endurance of their back muscles - from 30.6 to 52.8 sec, strength endurance of their abdominal muscles - from 19.8 to 26.5 times, and strength endurance of the arm muscles - from 1.2 to 4.9 times (p<0.05).

The analysis of the level and dynamics of changes in the functional state of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems (Table 2) testifies to the bodily adaptation of the 45–55 year-old females to physical loads [1, 5].

Table 2. Dynamic changes in the physical development and functionality levels of the main bodily systems of the 45-55 year-old females

Indicators

Beginning ( ±σ)

End ( ±σ)

Student t-criterion

p

1. Body weight, kg

71.9±11.1

68.7±10.2

1.04

>0.05

2. BP (systolic), mmHg

118.8±11.06

115.7±5.31

1.01

>0.05

3. BP (diastolic), mmHg

74.3±6.26

67.7±3.25

3.75

<0.05

4. HR, bpm

80.2±7.85

73.8±5.38

2.92

<0.05

5. VC, ml

2104.2 ±190.98

2280.8±126.72

3.19

<0.05

6. Stange’s test, sec

34.2±9.99

44.3±9.60

3.63

<0.05

By the end of the experiment, the indicators increased were as follows: VC - by 176.6 ml (p<0.05) and breath-holding time determined using the Stange’s test - by 10.1 sec (p<0.05). At the same time, the blood pressure rates decreased: systolic - by 3.1 mmHg (p>0.05), diastolic - by 6.6 mmHg (p<0.05). The females’ HR decreased significantly either - by 6.4 bpm (from 80.2 to 73.8 bpm) (p<0.05). Moreover, the females were tested with a positive trend in weight loss - from 71.9 to 68.7 kg (p>0.05).

Conclusions. The differentiated approach to the fitness program complexes designed for the 45-55 year-old females with due regard to the individual health conditions and physical fitness level has proved its effectiveness. The females were tested with significant improvements in the indicators of overall endurance, strength endurance of the back, abdominal and arm muscles, flexibility and static equilibrium. By the end of the experiment, we registered the significant changes in HR, VC, and Stange’s test rates, testifying to the adaptation of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the females to physical loads and contributing to the preservation of physical working capacity and functionality at a mature and old age.

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Corresponding author: e-timokhina@yandex.ru

Abstract

Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of a customizable fitness model with controllable physical activity for senior (45-55 year-old) women to improve their working capacity and functionality rates. The fitness model with controllable physical activity of the authors’ design customizable for the women’s individual health conditions and fitness levels was tested beneficial as verified by the pre- versus post-experimental meaningful progress of the sample in the overall endurance. dorsal/ abdominal/ limb muscle endurance. flexibility and static balancing rates; plus heart rate. vital capacity. and Stange breath-holding test rates indicative of the cardiovascular system and respiratory system adaptation to the physical activity and improvements in the working capacity and functionality.