Physical exercise with aerobic predominance associated with blood flow restriction in the elderly: are there enough evidence for clinical application?

Mariane Botelho Ferrari, Igor Covre Forechi, Valério Garrone Barauna, Leandro dos Santos


Introduction: Physical exercise with aerobic predominance is already a known strategy with benefits for the elderly population, and the use of blood flow restriction (BFR) can be a promising and effective alternative to bring vaster benefits with lower training loads when compared to physical exercise without restriction. Objectives: To review the scientific literature regarding the effects of aerobic physical exercise using blood flow restriction in the elderly. Methods: Searches were performed in three databases (PEDro, Pubmed, and Scielo). As descriptors, the combination of the terms blood flow restriction/KAATSU, endurance/aerobic/walking aged people/elderly was used. Results: Eight articles were included in the review. Three studies investigated muscle adaptations, two studies investigated aerobic capacity, three studies addressed cardiovascular and hemodynamic responses, two articles analyzed oxidative stress and hormonal responses, and one article assessed physical function. Conclusion: Aerobic exercise in the elderly with BFR seems to be superior to without BFR in this population. However, the low number of studies does not allow a definitive conclusion. It should be noted that no study has shown adverse effects or contraindications for the application of the BFR.

Keywords: blood flow restriction, aerobic, elderly.


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