, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 117-129
Date: 27 Nov 2010

Multicomponent Training Program with Weight-Bearing Exercises Elicits Favorable Bone Density, Muscle Strength, and Balance Adaptations in Older Women

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Physical exercise is advised as a preventive and therapeutic strategy against aging-induced bone weakness. In this study we examined the effects of 8-month multicomponent training with weight-bearing exercises on different risk factors of falling, including muscle strength, balance, agility, and bone mineral density (BMD) in older women. Participants were randomly assigned to either an exercise-training group (ET, n = 30) or a control group (CON, n = 30). Twenty-seven subjects in the ET group and 22 in the CON group completed the study. Training was performed twice a week and was designed to load bones with intermittent and multidirectional compressive forces and to improve physical function. Outcome measures included lumbar spine and proximal femoral BMD (by dual X-ray absorptiometry), muscle strength, balance, handgrip strength, walking performance, fat mass, and anthropometric data. Potential confounding variables included dietary intake, accelerometer-based physical activity, and molecularly defined lactase nonpersistence. After 8 months, the ET group decreased percent fat mass and improved handgrip strength, postural sway, strength on knee flexion at 180°/s, and BMD at the femoral neck (+2.8%). Both groups decreased waist circumference and improved dynamic balance, chair stand performance, strength on knee extension for the right leg at 180°/s, and knee flexion for both legs at 60°/s. No associations were found between lactase nonpersistence and BMD changes. Data suggest that 8 months of moderate-impact weight-bearing and multicomponent exercises reduces the potential risk factors for falls and related fractures in older women.