University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Exercise in the older adult: from the sedentary elderly to the masters athlete


Concannon LG, Grierson MJ, Harrast MA



Publication Info:

PM R, 4(11):833-839


The diverse exercise goals of the aging population present several challenges to physicians. Whereas some Masters athletes aim to set personal time records, sedentary elderly persons may look to exercise to help maintain independence and combat functional decline. This review article examines the common cardiovascular and neuromuscular physiological changes associated with aging and how regular exercise is used to improve physiological parameters and functional abilities. Exercise precautions specific to the elderly population are discussed. Exercise recommendations for persons with osteoarthritis and after joint arthroplasty also are presented.

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