Effect of Nordic Walking and Water Aerobics Training on Body Composition and the Blood Flow in Lower Extremities in Elderly Women

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Nordic walking and water aerobics are very popular forms of physical activity in the elderly population. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of regular health training on the venous blood flow in lower extremities and body composition in women over 50 years old. Twenty-four women of mean age 57.9 (± 3.43) years, randomly divided into three groups (Nordic walking, water aerobics, and non-training), participated in the study. The training lasted 8 weeks, with one-hour sessions twice a week. Dietary habits were not changed. Before and after training vein refilling time and the function of the venous pump of the lower extremities were measured by photoplethysmography. Body composition was determined by bioelectrical impedance. Eight weeks of Nordic walking training improved the venous blood flow in lower extremities and normalized body composition in the direction of reducing chronic venous disorder risk factors. The average values of the refilling time variable (p = 0.04, p = 0.02, respectively) decreased in both the right and the left leg. After training a statistically significant increase in the venous pump function index was found only in the right leg (p = 0.04). A significant increase in fat-free mass, body cell mass and total body water was observed (p = 0.01), whereas body mass, the body mass index, and body fat decreased (p < 0.03). With regard to water aerobic training, no similar changes in the functions of the venous system or body composition were observed.

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