Interval Walking Training for Middle-Aged and Older People: Methods and Evidence

Hiroshi NOSE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E97-B   No.3   pp.534-539
Publication Date: 2014/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E97.B.534
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Information and Communication Technology for Medical and Healthcare Applications in Conjunction with Main Topics of ISMICT2013)
interval walking training,  portable calorimeter,  e-health promotion system,  genomic variations,  epigenetic effects,  supplements,  

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Faced with social problems such as rapidly aging society, the solutions have been expected in sports medicine. Humans became widely distributed on the earth from their birth by acquiring abilities to walk in an upright position and to adapt themselves to various natural environments. However, seeking a ‘comfortable environment’ in modern civilization has deteriorated these genetic characteristics of humans, and the consumption of resources and energy to acquire such a ‘comfortable environment’ has induced global warming-associated natural disasters and the destruction of social order. To halt this vicious cycle, we may reactivate the genetic characteristics in humans by doing exercise. To do this, we have developed a health promotion program for middle aged and older people, Jukunen Taiikudaigaku Program, in cooperation with the Japanese government, developed high-intensity interval walking training (IWT), and examined the physical and mental effects on 5,400 people for these 10 years. We found that IWT for 4 months increased physical fitness by 10-20%, decreased the indices of life-style related diseases by 10-20%. Since a prescription of IWT can be conducted by using an IT network system called e-Health Promotion System, the participants in the program were able to receive the prescription even if they lived remote from trainers, enabling them to perform IWT at their favored places and times, and also at low cost. Moreover, we found some single nucleotide polymorphisms closely related to inter-individual differences in the responses to IWT. Further, the system enables us to assess the inactivation/activation of genes for inflammatory responses which has been suggested to be involved in life-style related diseases. Also, the system enables us to search foods to promote health when they are consumed during exercise training. Thus, the system would have strong potential to promote health of middle-aged and older people in advanced aging society.