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.
KeywordsBone density Weight-bearing exercise Age Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry Mechanical loading
The authors thank Joana Campos for her kind support in genotyping assays and Norton Oliveira for his kind help in isokinetic strength tests. This research was funded by the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology, grant FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-009587—PTDC/DES/102094/2008. E. A. M. and J. M. are supported by grants from the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology (SFRH/BD/36319/2007 and SFRH/BSAB/1025/2010, respectively).
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