Publication Details

Povoas, S. C.A., Castagna, C., Resende, C., Coelho, E. Felipe., Silva, P., Santos, R., Pereira, R. & Krustrup, P. (2018). Effects of a Short-Term Recreational Team Handball-Based Programme on Physical Fitness and Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health of 33-55-Year-Old Men: A Pilot Study. BioMed Research International, 2018 4109796-1-4109796-11.


Recreational team handball is an intermittent high-intensity exercise mode with physiological demands in the range of those found to enhance health and physical fitness of sedentary adults. We examined the effects of a short-Term team handball-based training programme on physical fitness and metabolic and cardiovascular health of sedentary 33-55-year-old former male team handball players. Twenty-four participants were divided into team handball (THG; n=15) and control groups (CG; n=9) and evaluated at baseline and postintervention. During 12 weeks, THG performed 2-3 60-min recreational team handball matches weekly (average: 2.2 ± 0.7), and CG maintained an inactive lifestyle. Average heart rate (HR) during matches was 80 ± 7%HRmax, with peak values of 91 ± 6%HRmax. A time-by-group interaction was shown in aerobic performance (p=0.016), postural balance (p=0.019), maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) (p=0.023), resting HR (p<0.001), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (p=0.048), and fasting blood glucose (p=0.052) in favor of THG. THG improved aerobic performance (80%, p<0.001), VO2max (14%, p<0.001), and postural balance (27%, p=0.018). Decreases in resting HR (16%, p<0.001) and fasting blood glucose (7%, p=0.015) and increases in HDL cholesterol (11%, p=0.002) were found in THG. Recreational team handball practice shows positive physical fitness and health-related adaptations, with high attendance, which may contribute to the reduction of the risk of developing lifestyle diseases.



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