Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effects of Brisk Walking and Resistance Training on Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Body Composition, and Lipid Profiles among Overweight and Obese Individuals

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effects of Brisk Walking and Resistance Training on Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Body Composition, and Lipid Profiles among Overweight and Obese Individuals

Article excerpt


Obesity is a well-documented risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the general population (Rimm et al., 1995). Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in developed and developing countries including Malaysia (World Health Organization, 2000). In Malaysia, cardiovascular mortality has increased 15 folds from 1950 to 1989 and accounts for approximately 30% of total deaths among Malaysian adults (Khoo et al., 1991). Hence, cardiovascular risk factors including obesity have increasingly gained the attention of policy makers and researchers in Malaysia. The Third National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2006 has recorded an abdominal obesity in 17.4 % of the adults aged more than 18 years in Malaysia (Kee et al., 2008).

Obesity is also recognized as a major determinant of many other non-communicable diseases such as various types of cancer, gallbladder diseases, respiratory problems and musculoskeletal disorders. It also induces type 2 diabetes mellitus. Moderate weight loss has been demonstrated to decrease health risks and medical problems in 90% of obese patients. This is attributed to improvements of their heart function, blood pressure, glucose tolerance and lipid profiles (Willet et al., 1995). It has been well-accepted that an effective strategy to ameliorate obesity and lower the health-related risks is through participation in physical activity (NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative, 2000). Regular physical activity has been shown to induce physiological and psychological benefits including an improved lipid profiles, enhanced insulin sensitivity, lowered blood pressure and an increased energy expenditure which has the potential to lower body fat and body mass (Garrow and Summerbell, 1995; McMurdo et al., 1997; Steffen et al., 2001). Hence, participation in regular physical activity should be an integral component of weight loss therapy and weight maintenance (Khoo et al., 1991).

Resistance training is also type of physical activity that has been suggested for reducing body fat (McGuigan et al., 2009). Besides that, adults will benefit from performing activities for a minimum of two days each week that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance. It is recommended that 8-10 exercises be performed on two or more non-consecutive days each week using the major muscle groups. To maximize development of muscular strength, the resistance used should allow the participants to perform 8-12 repetitions of each exercise without undue fatigue. Muscle strengthening activities include a progressive weight-training program, weight bearing calisthenics, stair climbing, and similar resistance exercises that use the major muscle groups (McGuigan et al., 2009).

This study was conducted to investigate the effects of brisk walking and resistance training on cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and lipid profiles on overweight and obese individuals. The findings of this study will provide data about the beneficial effects of brisk walking and resistance training on this group of individuals. It is hypothesized that these 2 exercise modalities may be an effective strategy to overcome obesity and lower the health-related risks among the obese individuals in Malaysia.

Materials and Methods


Sixty healthy, male and female participants, with BMI ranging from 25 to 40 and age ranging from 20 to 50 years old were recruited for this study. Participants who were diagnosed with pregnancy, malignancy, arthritis, amputees, chronic disease or type 1 diabetes were excluded from this study. This research was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of Universiti Sains Malaysia. Participants who met the inclusion criteria provided their written informed consent.

Experimental Design

After matching the participants in terms of age, gender and body mass, they were randomly assigned into three different groups, i.e. brisk walking group, resistance training group and control group. …

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