This study examined the effects of low-impact, moderate-intensity exercise training with and without wrist weights (0.68 kg·wrist–1) on functional capacities and mood states in older adults (age 68.6 ± 5.6, mean ± SD). Twenty-three senior citizens residing in the community were randomly assigned to wrist weight (WW; n = 12) and no-wrist weight (NW; n = 11) exercise groups while 11 matched subjects served as non-exercise controls (NE). Exercise training was performed for 10 weeks, 3 days/week, for 60 min/session and consisted of low-impact aerobic dance (50–70% of maximal heart rate) combined with exercises to promote muscular fitness, flexibility, and balance. Before and after the intervention, each participant’s aerobic fitness, muscular strength, flexibility, static and dynamic balance, skinfold thickness, and psychological mood states were assessed under standardized testing conditions. Exercise training resulted in significant improvements in peak oxygen uptake, lower extremity muscle strength, and psychological vigor (p < 0.05) but did not affect other fitness components (p > 0.05). There were no differences between the WW and NW exercise groups for any of the same variables studied (p > 0.05). No significant pre- to post-test changes were found for the NE control group (p > 0.05). It is concluded that 10 weeks of low-impact, moderate-intensity exercise training of the type that can be considered well-rounded in nature provides a sufficient stimulus to augment aerobic fitness, beneficially affects leg strength, and increases feelings of vigor in older adults. The present observations indicate that the use of light wrist weights has no beneficial or adverse effects on the measured training outcomes.

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