A 31-day time to surgery compliant exercise training programme improves aerobic health in the elderly

Boereboom, C.; Phillips, B.;
Williams, J.; Lund, J..

Techniques in Coloproctology, June 2016, Vol.
20 Issue: Number 6 p375-382, 8p;

Abstract: Over 41,000 people were
diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) in the UK in 2011. The incidence
of CRC increases with age. Many elderly patients undergo surgery for
CRC, the only curative treatment. Such patients are exposed to risks,
which increase with age and reduced physical fitness. Endurance-based
exercise training programmes can improve physical fitness, but such
programmes do not comply with the UK, National Cancer Action Team
31-day time-to-treatment target. High-intensity interval training (HIT)
can improve physical performance within 2–4 weeks, but few studies have
shown HIT to be effective in elderly individuals, and those who do
employ programmes longer than 31 days. Therefore, we investigated
whether HIT could improve cardiorespiratory fitness in elderly
volunteers, age-matched to a CRC population, within 31 days.
This observational cohort study recruited 21 healthy elderly
participants (8 male and 13 female; age 67 years (range 62–73 years))
who undertook cardiopulmonary exercise testing before and after
completing 12 sessions of HIT within a 31-day period.
Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) (23.9 ± 4.7 vs. 26.2 ± 5.4 ml/kg/min,
p= 0.0014) and oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold (17.86 ± 4.45
vs. 20.21 ± 4.11 ml/kg/min, p= 0.008) increased after HIT.
It is possible to improve cardiorespiratory fitness in 31 days in
individuals of comparable age to those presenting for CRC surgery.