Effects of strength and aerobic-based training on functional fitness, mood and the relationship between fatness and mood in older adults

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011 Sep;51(3):489-96.


Aim: Physical independence and positive mood states contribute to successful aging. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of aerobic and strength-based training programs on functional fitness and mood in older adults, and to assess the relationship between adiposity and mood states.

Methods: Seventy eight participants (age 65 to 95 year old) were randomly assigned to a control group, aerobic training (AT), or strength training group (ST). Functional fitness was assessed using dimensions of the Senior Fitness Test battery relating to lower and upper body strength and flexibility, velocity, agility and dynamic balance, and aerobic endurance. Mood states (depression, tension, fatigue, vigour, anger, and confusion) were determined using the POMS-SF questionnaire. Participants were evaluated at the baseline and at the end of a 16-week exercise programme.

Results: Both the ST and AT groups improved their functional fitness following the 16 week training. Body Mass Index (BMI) was positively associated with tension (r=0.30; P<0.01), fatigue (r=0.31; P<0.01) and confusion (r=0.24; P<0.05). At 16-week evaluation, control group reported increased levels of confusion, and the ST group reported increases in vigour (P<0.05).

Conclusion: Results support the idea that strength-based training can be as effective as aerobic-based training in improving physical skills that contribute to functional mobility in later years. Positive associations between increased BMI and mood disturbance were also found. Physical training also contributed to some improvements in mood.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome