The prevalence of obesity, sedentary lifestyle and associated cardiometabolic disease (CMD) is increasing among black African women and requires urgent attention in the form of preventative strategies. To date, there is limited scientific evidence highlighting the efficacy of Tae-bo as an intervention for reducing weight and CMD risk factors. The aim therefore was to establish the efficacy of Tae-bo as an intervention for increasing physical fitness components and reducing CMD risk factors. At the University of Zululand, South Africa, 60 previously sedentary participants [25±5 y] who were overweight (BMI>25–29.9 kg.m−2) or obese (BMI≥30–39.9 kg.m−2) were recruited for the study. Participants performed a 10-week aerobic (Tae-bo) programme 60 min/day for three days a week at moderate intensity for the first 5 weeks and high intensity for the last 5 weeks. Anthropometric parameters (height, weight, waist and hip circumference and sum of skinfolds), blood pressure, fasting glucose, lipoproteins and physical fitness components (sit and reach, step test, hand grip strength, push ups, Nelson hand test, ruler drop, stork stand test, horizontal jump, 20-m shuttle run) were measured at baseline, after six weeks and 24 hours after completion of the 10-week programme. Data was analysed using repeated measures ANOVA and a Tukey Post hoc test. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 26.7% pre-intervention and decreased to 16.3% post intervention. There was an improvement (p≤0.05) in weight, BMI, waist and hip circumference, glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, resting heart rate and resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures following the intervention. A 10-week 30 session Tae-bo exercise programme was effective in reducing traditional risk factors associated with cardiometabolic disease in overweight/obese university students.
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