Differential impact of endurance, strength, or combined training on quality of life and plasma serotonin in healthy older women

  • Caroline Pietta-Dias
  • Maqueli Dal Bello
  • Rogeane da Silva
  • Carol Vargas
  • Gustavo Dalto Barroso Machado
  • Cristian Roncada
  • Carlos Leandro Tiggemann
  • Nadja SchröderEmail author
Original Article


Aging is associated with a progressive decline in physical and neurophysiological functions, and some studies suggest that cerebral serotonin is decreased in older adults. These factors contribute to reduced ability to perform daily activities, influencing quality of life (QoL). Regular physical activity has demonstrated important benefits in reversing ageing effects; however, little is known whether different training protocols might induce differential effects on QoL. The aim of this study was to verify the effects of different types of training on QoL and its relation with plasma serotonin in healthy older women. Forty-eight older women were randomly assigned in four groups: Strength Training (ST), Endurance Training (ET), Combined Training (CT), and Control Group (CG) which was instructed not to engage in any physical exercise during the study time. Participants underwent 12 weeks of training twice a week. Plasma serotonin and a scoring system questionnaire SF-36 for evaluation of QoL were assessed at baseline and after the completion of training protocols. When comparing pre- and post-training periods all trained groups showed improvement in QoL, but the CT improved more domains. Plasma serotonin was significantly lower in the ST and in the CT groups in comparison with controls after the 12-week training. Significant correlations of plasma serotonin with physical functioning, role-physical, general health, vitality, and mental health were observed. CT resulted in higher amelioration in QoL, in comparison with ET or ST only. All training protocols induced significant reductions in peripheral serotonin levels, which were negatively correlated with improvements in QoL.


Serotonin Endurance Strength Combined training Quality of life 



The authors acknowledge Diagnósticos do Brasil laboratory for serotonin analysis.


This research was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq; Grant numbers 308290/2015-1 to NS).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards and approved by the Ethics Committee of Centro Universitário da Serra Gaúcha (Círculo-FSG, #1.169.580), Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Pietta-Dias
    • 1
  • Maqueli Dal Bello
    • 2
  • Rogeane da Silva
    • 2
  • Carol Vargas
    • 2
  • Gustavo Dalto Barroso Machado
    • 3
  • Cristian Roncada
    • 2
  • Carlos Leandro Tiggemann
    • 2
  • Nadja Schröder
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Exercise Research Laboratory, School of Physical Education, Physical Therapy and DanceUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Sports, School of Physical EducationCentro Universitário da Serra GaúchaCaxias do SulBrazil
  3. 3.Neurobiology and Developmental Biology Laboratory, Faculty of BiosciencesPontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  4. 4.National Institute of Science and Technology for Translational Medicine (INCT-TM), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq)BrasíliaBrazil
  5. 5.Physiology Department, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da SaúdeUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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