Intensity of Resistance Exercise Determines Adipokine and Resting Energy Expenditure Responses in Overweight Elderly Individuals

  1. Ioannis G. Fatouros, PHD1,
  2. Athanasios Chatzinikolaou, PHD1,
  3. Symeon Tournis, MD2,
  4. Michalis G. Nikolaidis, PHD3,4,
  5. Athanasios Z. Jamurtas, PHD3,
  6. Ioannis I. Douroudos, MSC1,
  7. Ioannis Papassotiriou, PHD5,
  8. Petros M. Thomakos, MD6,
  9. Kyriakos Taxildaris, PHD1,
  10. George Mastorakos, MD7 and
  11. Asimina Mitrakou, MD6
  1. 1Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece;
  2. 2Garofalidis Laboratory for Musculoskeletal System Research, University of Athens, Athens, Greece;
  3. 3Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece;
  4. 4Institute of Human Performance and Rehabilitation, Centre for Research and Technology–Thessaly, Trikala, Greece;
  5. 5Department of Clinical Biochemistry, “Aghia Sophia” Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece;
  6. 6Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece;
  7. 7Endocrine Unit, Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece.
  1. Corresponding author: Ioannis G. Fatouros, ifatouro{at}


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the time course of leptin, adiponectin, and resting energy expenditure (REE) responses in overweight elderly males after acute resistance exercise protocols of various intensity configurations.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Forty inactive men (65–82 years) were randomly assigned to one of four groups (n = 10/group): control, low-intensity resistance exercise, moderate-intensity resistance exercise, and high-intensity resistance exercise. Exercise energy cost, REE, leptin, adiponectin, cortisol, insulin, lactate, glucose, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs), and glycerol were determined at baseline, immediately after exercise, and during a 72-h recovery period.

RESULTS Exercise energy cost was lower in high-intensity than in low-intensity and moderate-intensity groups (221.6 ± 8.8 vs. 295.6 ± 10.7 and 281.6 ± 9.8 kcal, P < 0.001). Lactate, glucose, NEFAs, and glycerol concentrations increased (P < 0.001) after exercise and returned to baseline thereafter in all groups. REE increased (P < 0.001) in all groups at 12 h in an intensity-dependent manner (P < 0.05). REE reached baseline after 48 h in the low- and moderate-intensity groups and after 72 h in the high-intensity group. Cortisol peaked in all active groups after exercise (P < 0.001) and remained elevated (P < 0.001) for 12 h. After adjustment for plasma volume shifts, leptin remained unaltered. Adiponectin concentration increased after 12 h and remained elevated for 24 h only in the high-intensity group (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS Resistance exercise does not alter circulating leptin concentration but does increase REE and adiponectin in an intensity-dependent manner for as long as 48 and 24 h, respectively, in overweight elderly individuals. It appears that resistance exercise may represent an effective approach for weight management and metabolic control in overweight elderly individuals.


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    • Received November 5, 2008.
    • Accepted August 27, 2009.
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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 32 no. 12 2161-2167
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