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J Bone Miner Metab. 2009;27(2):182-9. doi: 10.1007/s00774-008-0022-x. Epub 2009 Jan 27.

Good maintenance of physical benefits in a 12-month exercise and nutritional intervention by voluntary, home-based exercise: a 6-month follow-up of a randomized controlled trial.

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Health Promotion and Exercise Program, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, 1-23-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8636, Japan.


We assessed the maintenance of physical benefits in a 12-month exercise and nutritional intervention in postmenopausal women (55-75 years of age) after 6-month postintervention follow-up by voluntary, home-based exercise, and examined whether physical factors responded differently to high or low exercise frequency during the 6-month postintervention period. Forty-five women completed the 12-month intervention program, followed by 6-month cessation of intervention, and were compared with 19 matched controls. Twenty-one of the former exercisers reported that they continued exercise training at least 30 min at least 3 days/week (high-frequency exerciser, HFE), while the remaining 24 former exercisers reported that they had done exercise training at least 30 min twice per week or less during the postintervention follow-up (low-frequency exerciser, LFE). The following items were measured at baseline, 12, and 18 months: bone strength, CS-30 test, 10-m obstacle walk, whole-body reaction time, one-leg stance, and grip strength. After 6-month postintervention follow-up, the beneficial effect on bone was not fully maintained. These benefits in physical performance obtained in the 12-month intervention program, except one-leg stance, were fully maintained for 6 months by voluntary, home-based exercise. The gained benefit in one-leg stance was not fully maintained; LFE showed a significant decrease over the 6-month postintervention follow-up period, suggesting that continued exercise training of at least 30 min at least 3 days/week is required to maintain the balance benefit. These findings suggest that a continued exercise program of voluntary, home-based exercise may be effective to maintain the physical benefits of exercise intervention that may lower fracture risk in later life.

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