Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2013) 12, 422 - 430

Research article
Effects of Nordic Walking Compared to Conventional Walking and Band-Based Resistance Exercise on Fitness in Older Adults
Nobuo Takeshima1, , Mohammod M. Islam2, Michael E. Rogers3, Nicole L. Rogers3, Naoko Sengoku4, Daisuke Koizumi1, Yukiko Kitabayashi4, Aiko Imai5, Aiko Naruse4
Author Information
1 National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Kanoya, Japan
2 Department of Rehabilitation, Yonaha General Hospital, Kuwana, Mie, Japan
3 Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, USA
4 Active Aging Association, Nagoya, Japan
5 Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan

Nobuo Takeshima
✉ National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Kanoya Japan
Publish Date
Received: 05-03-2013
Accepted: 08-04-2013
Published (online): 01-09-2013
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The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of Nordic walking with conventional walking and band-based resistance exercise on functional fitness, static balance and dynamic balance in older adults. Volunteers (n = 65) were divided into four groups: Nordic walking (NW), conventional walking (CW), resistance (RES), and control. Each group performed activity 50-70 min·day−1 (warm-up 10-15 min, main exercise 30-40, and cool down 10-15 min), 3 days·week−1 (NW and CW) or 2 day·week−1 (RES) for 12 wks. Upper-body strength improved (p < 0. 05) in the RES (22.3%) and the NW (11.6%) groups compared to the CW and control groups. Cardio- respiratory fitness improved more in the NW (10.9%) and CW (10.6%) groups compared to the RES and control groups. Upper- and lower-body flexibility also improved in all exercise groups compared to the control group. There were no improvements in balance measures in any group. While all modes of exercise improved various components of fitness, Nordic walking provided the best well-rounded benefits by improving upper-body strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. Therefore, Nordic walking is recommended as an effective and efficient mode of concurrent exercise to improve overall functional fitness in older adults.

Key words: Walking, resistance exercise, concurrent exercise, aging, functional fitness

           Key Points
  • Nordic walking, conventional walking, and resistance training are beneficial for older adults.
  • Nordic walking and conventional walking both improve cardio-respiratory fitness while resistance training does not.
  • Nordic walking provides additional benefits in upper-body muscular strength compared to conventional walking.
  • Nordic walking is an effective and efficient mode of exercise to improve overall fitness in older adults.
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