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- Issue 61
- Using the specificity and overload principles…
Using the specificity and overload principles to prevent sarcopenia, falls and fractures with exercise
- Exercise for falls, fracture, and sarcopenia prevention should include high-effort resistance exercises that are performed at least twice weekly and are progressively overloaded.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Almost all older adults (91%) do not meet the recommended weekly physical activity levels, including 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity, twice-weekly resistance training for all major muscle groups, and physical activities that challenge balance (1).
Physical activity performed for a specific purpose, such as preventing sarcopenia, falls, and fractures, is referred to as exercise and has been found to reverse or prevent falls, disability, and bone, muscle, and strength loss (2,3). However, the specifics related to exercise principles that inform program design for falls, fracture, and sarcopenia prevention have yet to be reviewed systematically.
The objective of this review was to present evidence on exercise and what is known about exercise specificity and progressive overload related to falls, fracture, and sarcopenia prevention.
It is recommended that older adults perform two times per week resistance exercises that are progressive and at sufficient intensity to make meaningful changes.
Two exercise experts completed a narrative review.