Can Unconventional Exercise be Helpful in the Treatment, Management and Prevention of Osteosarcopenic Obesity?

Author(s): Owen J. Kelly, Jennifer C. Gilman

Journal Name: Current Aging Science

Volume 10 , Issue 2 , 2017

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Body composition changes occur with aging; bone and muscle mass decrease while fat mass increases. The collective term for these changes is osteosarcopenic obesity. It is known that conventional resistance exercise programs build/maintain lean mass and reduce fat mass. However, unconventional (to Western society/medicine) forms of exercise may be viable for the treatment/prevention of osteosarcopenic obesity.

Objective: The purpose of this review is to assess relatively unconventional exercises for their efficacy in maintaining/improving bone and muscle mass and reducing fat mass.

Method: A literature search for unconventional exercise showed Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates, whole body vibration, electrical stimulation of muscle, and the Alexander Technique were considered alternative/ unconventional. A PubMed and Medline search for human data using combinations and synonyms of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and obesity, and each exercise was then conducted.

Results: Tai Chi, yoga, and Pilates, in addition to whole body vibration, electrical stimulation of muscle, and the Alexander Technique are all considered low impact. Tai Chi, yoga, and Pilates not only physically support the body, but also increase balance and quality of life. The devices showed promise in reducing or preventing muscle atrophy in older people that are unable to perform conventional exercises.

Conclusion: Any exercise, conventional or otherwise, especially in sedentary older people, at risk of, or diagnosed with osteosarcopenic obesity may be better than none. Exercise prescriptions should suit the patient and the desired outcomes; the patient should not be forced to fit an exercise prescription, so all potential forms of exercise should be considered.

Keywords: Alexander technique, electrical stimulation, osteosarcopenic obesity, Pilates, quality of life, Thai Chi, yoga.

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Article Details

Year: 2017
Published on: 19 March, 2017
Page: [106 - 121]
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.2174/1874609809666160509122725
Price: $65

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