Akito Yoshiko,Aya Tomita, Ryosuke Ando, Madoka Ogawa, Shohei Kondo, Akira Saito, Noriko I. Tanaka, Teruhiko Koike, Yoshiharu Oshida and Hiroshi Akima
Published: 19 November 2018
Older individuals have been shown to present muscle atrophy in conjunction with increased fat fraction in some muscles. The proportion of fat and connective tissue within the skeletal muscle can be estimated from axial B-mode ultrasound images using echo intensity (EI). EI was used to calculate the index of muscle quality. Walking, home-based weight-bearing resistance training, and its combinations are considered simple, easy, and practical exercise interventions for older adults. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of walking and walking with home-based resistance training on muscle quality of older individuals.
Thirty-one participants performed walking training only (W-group; 72 ± 5 years) and 33 participants performed walking and home-based resistance training (WR-group; 73 ± 6 years). This study was a non-randomized controlled trial with no control group. All participants were instructed to walk 2 or 3 sets per week for 10 weeks (one set: 30-min continuous walking). In addition, the WR-group performed home-based weight-bearing resistance training. EI was measured as a muscle quality index using axial B-mode ultrasound images of the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis of the mid-thigh. We further averaged these parameters to obtain the EI of the quadriceps femoris (QF). Participants further performed five functional tests: sit-ups, supine up, sit-to-stand, 5-m maximal walk, and 6-min walk.
QF EI was significantly decreased in both groups after training (W-group 69.9 ± 7.4 a.u. to 61.7 ± 7.0 a.u., WR-group 64.0 ± 9.5 a.u. to 51.1 ± 10.0 a.u.; P < 0.05), suggesting improved muscle quality. QF EI was further decreased in the WR-group compared with the W-group. The sit-up test in both groups and the sit-to-stand and 5-m maximal walk tests in the W-group were significantly improved after training.
These results suggest that training-induced stimulation is associated with a decrease in EI in some thigh regions. Furthermore, the addition of home-based resistance training to walking would be effective for a greater reduction of EI.