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Aging Clin Exp Res. 2017 Feb;29(1):35-42. doi: 10.1007/s40520-016-0705-4. Epub 2017 Feb 8.

Physical activity and exercise as countermeasures to physical frailty and sarcopenia.

Author information

1
Department of Geriatrics, Neurosciences and Orthopedics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart School of Medicine, Rome, Italy. emarzetti@live.com.
2
Department of Geriatrics, Neurosciences and Orthopedics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart School of Medicine, Rome, Italy.
3
Gérontopôle, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse, Toulouse, France.
4
Université de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.
5
Research Unit of Medicine of Aging, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
6
Division of Geriatric Cardiology and Medicine, Department of Geriatrics and Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy.
7
Geriatrics and Geriatric Emergency Care, IRCCS-INRCA, Ancona, Italy.
8
Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
9
Department of Geriatrics, Neurosciences and Orthopedics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart School of Medicine, Rome, Italy. francesco.landi@rm.unicatt.it.

Abstract

The identification of cost-effective interventions that improve the health status and prevent disability in old age is one of the most important public health challenges. Regular physical activity is the only intervention that has consistently been shown to improve functional health and energy balance and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, several cancers, depression and falls. In advanced age, physical activity is also effective at mitigating sarcopenia, restoring robustness, and preventing/delaying the development of disability. On the other hand, physical inactivity is recognized as one of the leading causes of several chronic degenerative diseases and is also a major contributing factor to sarcopenia and functional disability. This compelling evidence has prompted the World Health Organization to recommend engaging in regular physical activity throughout one's life course. The present review summarizes the available evidence in support of physical activity as a remedy against physical frailty and sarcopenia. The relevant pathways through which the benefits of physical activity are conveyed are also discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Endurance training; Exercise; Physical performance; Resistance training; Skeletal muscle

PMID:
28181204
DOI:
10.1007/s40520-016-0705-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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