The fitness industry continuously evolves, seeking innovative ways to cater to the diverse needs of different populations. A recent study published in Geriatric Nursing 2023 explored the potential benefits of simplified dance interventions for obese older women, a demographic that often struggles to find suitable exercise modalities. For those embarking on a fitness career, understanding such interventions could be instrumental in creating tailored solutions for their future clientele.
Obesity, characterised by unhealthy and excessive body fat, poses significant health risks. For Asian populations, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stipulates a Body Mass Index (BMI) cut-off point for overweight as > 23 to 27.5 kg/m^2 and > 27.5 kg/m^2 for obesity. Such conditions can be accentuated with age, particularly for older women over 65 years with abnormalities in lipid metabolism.
The study targeted 26 obese older women who were randomly distributed into two groups: exercise and control. The intervention group participated in a dance regimen focusing on lumbo-pelvic coordination exercises. These exercises consisted of pelvic tilt and rotation combined with basic breathing techniques. Both groups underwent assessments for anthropometry, cardiorespiratory fitness, and blood lipid levels before and after the 12-week programme.
- Blood Composition: Post-intervention, the exercise group demonstrated a positive shift in their blood composition. They reported decreased levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), as well as reduced triglycerides. Conversely, they witnessed an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). All these factors indicate better heart health. These results echo previous research on the positive impacts of exercise on blood composition.
- Cardiorespiratory Fitness: The exercise group also experienced significant improvements in their VO2max, a reliable marker for cardiorespiratory fitness.
- Body Composition: Interestingly, the lumbo-pelvic coordination exercises didn’t translate to changes in body and fat mass within the study’s timeframe.
Lumbo-pelvic coordination exercises, as exemplified by the simplified dance interventions, emerge as a promising tool for enhancing blood composition and cardiorespiratory fitness among obese older women. While there was no marked reduction in BMI, the positive shifts in other health markers cannot be understated. Future fitness professionals might consider incorporating these exercises for older women, but a more extended intervention period might be necessary to observe changes in body composition.
Furthermore, fitness trainers can take solace in the fact that the benefits of dance interventions aren’t isolated to complicated routines. Simplified dance can still wield therapeutic powers, making it an accessible option for older individuals.
For aspiring fitness professionals, understanding the diverse needs and potential interventions for different demographics is crucial. This 2023 study offers valuable insights, showcasing the versatility of lumbo-pelvic coordination exercises as an effective tool for obese older women.
- Yi Wang, Liangchao Liu, Qi Chen, Yinru Chen, Wing-Kai Lam. Pilot testing of a simplified dance intervention for cardiorespiratory fitness and blood lipids in obese older women. Geriatric Nursing, Volume 51, 2023. Click here to review the full research article
- World Health Organisation. Obesity and overweight. WHO, 2021.
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