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Types of Exercise: Flexibility, Strength, Endurance, Balance

  • Lynn B. PantonEmail author
  • Ashley L. Artese

Key Points

  • Different exercise components—flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance—provide different benefits to older adults.

  • Prior to starting exercise, an assessment of current function and fitness is helpful.

  • “Start low and go slow” is the mantra for older adults beginning exercise programs.

  • Although a multicomponent exercise program is optimal, it may overwhelm some beginning exercisers, who can start with one component and add others over time.

Keywords

Aerobic training Balance training Endurance training Exercise prescription Flexibility Resistance training Strength training Weight training 

Supplementary material

Video 4.1:

Fitness assessments for older adults. This video demonstrates six maneuvers used to assess fitness: the timed up and go, chair stand, arm curl, chair sit-and-reach, back scratch, one-legged stand

Video 4.2:

Water exercises. This video demonstrates eight water-based endurance activities, five strength exercises, and two balance exercises which can be performed in a pool to minimize weight-bearing strain on joints

Video 4.3:

Cardiovascular exercises. This video demonstrates five maneuvers for endurance activity and cardiovascular conditioning: marching in place, heel digs, side steps, knee lifts, and modified jumping jacks

Video 4.4:

Pet therapy exercise class. This video demonstrates how dogs have been incorporated for fun and motivation in an exercise class which includes flexibility, endurance and balance training

References

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    Rikli R, Jones J. Senior fitness test manual. 2nd ed. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 2013.Google Scholar
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    Watt JR, Jackson K, Franz JR, Dicharry J, Evans J, Kerrigan DC. Effect of a supervised hip flexor stretching program on gait in frail elderly patients. Phys Med Rehabil. 2011;3(4):330–5.Google Scholar
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    Pescatello L, Arena R, Riebe D, Thompson P, editors. ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014.Google Scholar
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    Seguin R, Nelson ME. The benefits of strength training for older adults. Am J Prev Med. 2003;3(2):141–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Center for Disease Control and Prevention. How much physical activity do older adults need? [internet] 2001. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/olderadults.html (updated 2014 June 17; cited 2014 July 13).
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    American Geriatrics Society, British Geriatrics Society, and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Panel on Falls Prevention. Guideline for the prevention of falls in older persons. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001;49(5):664–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Nelson ME, Rejeski WJ, Blair SN, Duncan PW, Judge JO, King AC, et al. Physical activity and public health in older adults: recommendation from the American college of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39(8):1435–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Resources

  1. American College of Sports Medicine. Exercise is medicine. http://exerciseismedicine.org/index.php. Accessed 10 Dec 2014.
  2. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging. Go 4 Life http://go4life.nia.nih.gov/. Accessed 10 Dec 2014.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise SciencesFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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