Types Of Exercise That Positively Impact Older Adults

As our bodies get older, we become more vulnerable to stressors such as falls, fractures, disability, and dementia. One way we can limit these risks is by improving our balance.

What is multicomponent exercise?
Multicomponent exercise is an exercise program that focuses on strength, endurance, and balance training.

A recent meta-analysis study was conducted to discover the benefits of multicomponent exercise programs amongst elders. The findings show that older adults benefit significantly from multicomponent exercise as it improves their overall physical function.

Strength training that was beneficial within the study included progressive resistance training consisting of 8-10 different types of exercises. For example, knee extensions, hip extensions, upper limb and shoulder extensions, leg lifts, ankle back/plantarflexion exercises, and sit-ups.

Balance training used within the study included one-leg standing, semi-tandem, tandem, sit-to-stand, heel/toe walking, qigong, and forward, backward and lateral displacements.

Endurance/Aerobic training that was beneficial within the study included using a treadmill, stationary bicycles, aerodyne bicycles, rowing, marching, seated marching, walking on the spot, squatting, swinging and raising arms outwards, sidewards, and upwards during a march while knees were being alternatively raised.

These 3 particular types of training help improve balance in older adults, limiting their chances of falling. This also tackles their heightened risk of developing fractures, disability, or the onset of dementia.

A circuit of multicomponent exercises should be completed 2-3 times per week for approximately 45 minutes to an hour for each session. However, the study also found results within individuals who completed 25-minute sessions 3-5 times per week.

If you are an older adult and need help getting started with your exercise program, we run a strength and stability class every Friday at 11:00 to 12:00. If you are interested, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 9997 4970 or email us at [email protected].

Reference Paper: Han, L. et al. (2024) ‘Comment on “effects of multicomponent exercise on the muscle strength, muscle endurance and balance of frail older adults: A meta‐analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials”’, Journal of Clinical Nursing [Preprint]. doi:10.1111/jocn.17177.