Intensity of resistance exercise determines adipokine and resting energy expenditure responses in overweight elderly individuals

Diabetes Care. 2009 Dec;32(12):2161-7. doi: 10.2337/dc08-1994. Epub 2009 Sep 3.


Objective: To evaluate the time course of leptin, adiponectin, and resting energy expenditure (REE) responses in overweight elderly males after acute resistance exercise protocols of various intensity configurations.

Research design and methods: Forty inactive men (65-82 years) were randomly assigned to one of four groups (n = 10/group): control, low-intensity resistance exercise, moderate-intensity resistance exercise, and high-intensity resistance exercise. Exercise energy cost, REE, leptin, adiponectin, cortisol, insulin, lactate, glucose, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs), and glycerol were determined at baseline, immediately after exercise, and during a 72-h recovery period.

Results: Exercise energy cost was lower in high-intensity than in low-intensity and moderate-intensity groups (221.6 +/- 8.8 vs. 295.6 +/- 10.7 and 281.6 +/- 9.8 kcal, P < 0.001). Lactate, glucose, NEFAs, and glycerol concentrations increased (P < 0.001) after exercise and returned to baseline thereafter in all groups. REE increased (P < 0.001) in all groups at 12 h in an intensity-dependent manner (P < 0.05). REE reached baseline after 48 h in the low- and moderate-intensity groups and after 72 h in the high-intensity group. Cortisol peaked in all active groups after exercise (P < 0.001) and remained elevated (P < 0.001) for 12 h. After adjustment for plasma volume shifts, leptin remained unaltered. Adiponectin concentration increased after 12 h and remained elevated for 24 h only in the high-intensity group (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Resistance exercise does not alter circulating leptin concentration but does increase REE and adiponectin in an intensity-dependent manner for as long as 48 and 24 h, respectively, in overweight elderly individuals. It appears that resistance exercise may represent an effective approach for weight management and metabolic control in overweight elderly individuals.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / blood*
  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / physiopathology*
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Rest / physiology
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Waist-Hip Ratio


  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Leptin