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The Impact of Physical Training on Locomotor Function in Older People

Abstract

Locomotor function declines in old age. Based on 55 studies, this review appraises current evidence on the impact of physical training interventions on locomotor function in older people. Overall, the literature indicates that physical training can have a beneficial impact on locomotor function in older people. This also holds true in various sub-populations including those who are very old, those who have functional limitations and those with chronic health problems. Improvements in locomotor function can be seen within 4–6 weeks of physical training, although the potential that improvements may appear earlier has not been investigated. Recent studies provide evidence of a dose-response relationship between intensity of strength training and improvement in locomotor function in older people. However, whether such a relationship exists for other training modes has not yet been investigated. Based on current evidence, the optimal training modes or combination of training modes (strength, aerobic, balance, coordination, etc.) and the optimal frequency of training for improvement in locomotor function are unclear.

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The authors received no funding to assist in the preparation of this review and have no conflicts of interest relevant to its contents.

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Correspondence to Dr Omar S. Mian.

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Mian, O.S., Baltzopoulos, V., Minetti, A.E. et al. The Impact of Physical Training on Locomotor Function in Older People. Sports Med 37, 683–701 (2007) doi:10.2165/00007256-200737080-00003

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Keywords

  • Resistance Training
  • Strength Training
  • Physical Training
  • Gait Speed
  • Beneficial Impact