Challenges to Successful Aging: Recommendation and New Trends in the Field of Aging and Physical Activity


Austin Sports Med. 2016; 1(2): 1009.

Challenges to Successful Aging: Recommendation and New Trends in the Field of Aging and Physical Activity

Bouaziz W1,2*, Vogel T1,2, Schmitt E1,2, Kaltenbach G¹, Geny B2,3 and Lang PO4,5

¹Geriatric Department, University Hospital, Strasbourg, France

²Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Strasbourg University, Strasbourg, France

³Functional Explorations Department, University Hospital, Strasbourg, France

4Health and Wellbeing Academy, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom

5Geriatric and Rehabilitation Geriatric Division, University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland

*Corresponding author: Walid Bouaziz, Geriatric Department, University Hospital, 83 rue Himmerich, 67091 Strasbourg, Cedex, France

Received: November 11, 2016; Accepted: November 15, 2016; Published: November 17, 2016


The world’s population is ageing and virtually in almost every country the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group. This results from combination of longer life expectancy and declining in fertility rates. This population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socioeconomic development, but it also challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people as well as their social participation and security [1-3].

Evidence has shown the importance of promoting physical activity in preventing certain chronic health-conditions and public health guidelines advocated that regular endurance exercise is essential to improve health, physiological well being and quality of life (QoL), and survival. Conversely, being sedentary and/or insufficient aerobic capacity (VO2max) and maximal tolerated power (MTP) negatively impact physiological functioning and contributes to cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders, osteoporosis, and finally all-cause mortality. While physiologically, VO2max declines with advancing age, a minimal level of 15 ml/min/kg must be maintained for independent physical functioning. Moreover, VO2max is appeared as being one of the strongest predictor of the risk of death; each 1-MET (e.g., VO2/3.5) increase in exercise capacity confers a 12% improvement in survival [4,5]. Moreover, many data support the benefits of regular physical activity on different facets of human’s health. Regardless of age, it is an important component of healthy and active ageing and an easy and simple means to keep aged people socially included [6,7]. Interestingly training older individuals experiment similar increase in their aerobic performance to that measured in their younger counterparts after aerobic [7,8]. With this aim and perspective, multicomponent-training programs (MCT-defined as the combination of endurance/aerobic, strength/resistance training, and balance/stability, and/or flexibility, and/or coordination training) appear to be the most effective intervention for improving the overall health status among seniors [9]. Current guidelines recommend that aging and aged adults regularly engage in well-rounded MCT that in turn can contribute to actively reduce poly pharmacy and health care costs while strengthening functional independence and improving QoL [10]. It has also been demonstrated that supervised MCT is more effective than home-based training program in improving overall health status among older patient [11,12]. Therefore it is important for societies and health care providers to encourage all aging and aged adults to engage or maintain an active and healthy lifestyle but also to give them opportunities and/or to ease a much as possible their adherence to MCT preferentially supervised by a coach.

Aging and aged adults are encouraged to perform moderate intensity aerobic exercise (40-60 of HR max) for a minimum of 30 min on 5 to 7 days each week or vigorous intensity aerobic activity for at least 20 min on 3 days each week. Promotion of muscle strengthening activity is recommended for a minimum of 2 days each week. Older subjects should perform also flexibility activities on at least 2 days of each week for at least 10 min each day. At last, community-dwelling older subjects should perform exercises that maintain or improve balance for 1 to 7 days each week [13,14].

These recommendations aim to target all the major physiological systems that are functionally declining due to the aging process. For instance, a regular resistance training program reduces muscle hypotrophy by altering the expression of myosin heavy isoforms [15], while aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular fitness and blood pressure [16] and hence contributes to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis [17].

Balance training also helps in reducing fear of falls and improving dynamic balance [18]. Flexibility activities increase the length of the muscle beyond that which is customarily used in normal activity and facilitates greater range of motion around the joint [19]. Thus, it is clear that the combination of these training components may contribute to better physical health status [20].

Based on this evidence, clinicians should encourage all aging and aged adults to engage in MCT programs to favor healthy aging and keeping all older members of our society autonomous and independent in their daily living.


  1. Bouaziz W, Schmitt E, Kaltenbach G, Geny B, Vogel T. Health benefits of cycle ergo meter training for older adults over 70: a review. Eur Rev Aging Phys Act. 2015; 12: 8.
  2. Bouaziz W, Schmitt E, Kaltenbach G, Geny B, Vogel T. Health benefits of endurance training alone or combined with diet for obese patients over 60: a review. Into J Clin Pract. 2015; 69: 1032-1049.
  3. Myers J, Prakash M, Froelicher V, Do D, Partington S, Atwood JE. Exercise capacity and mortality among men referred for exercise testing. N Engl J Med. 2002; 346: 793-801.
  4. Sui X, Lamonte MJ, Laditka JN, Hardin JW, Chase N, Hooker SP, et al. Cardio respiratory fitness and adiposity as mortality predictors in older adults. JAMA. 2007; 298: 2507–2516.
  5. Bouaziz W, Vogel T, Schmitt E, Kaltenbach G, Geny B, Lang PO. Health benefits of aerobic training programs in adults aged 70 and over: a systematic review. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2016.
  6. Vogel T, Brechat PH, Lepretre PM, Kaltenbach G, Berthel M, Lonsdorfer J. Health benefits of physical activity in older patients: a review. Int J Clin Pract. 2009; 63: 303–320.
  7. Lang PO, Bréchat PH, Vogel T, Lebreton C, Bellanger M, Rivière D, et al. Determinants of the benefits of a short-term personalized intermittent work exercise program (IWEP) among seniors: Results from the CAPS program. Eur Geriatr Med. 2016; 7: 333-339.
  8. Bouaziz W, Lang PO, Schmitt E, Kaltenbach G, Geny B, Vogel T. Health benefits of multicomponent training programmes in seniors: a systematic review. Int J Clin Pract. 2016; 70: 520–536.
  9. McDermott AY, Mernitz H. Exercise and older patients: prescribing guidelines. Am Fam Physician. 2006; 74: 437–444.
  10. Binder EF, Schechtman KB, Ehsani AA, Steger-May K, Brown M, Sinacore DR, et al. Effects of exercise training on frailty in community-dwelling older adults: results of a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002; 50: 1921–1928.
  11. Means KM, Rodell DE, O’Sullivan PS. Balance, mobility, and falls among community-dwelling elderly persons: effects of a rehabilitation exercise program. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2005; 84: 238–250.
  12. Cress ME, Buchner D, Prohaska T, Rimmer J, Brown M, Macera Cet al. Best practices for physical activity programs and behavior counseling in older adults populations. Eur Rev Aging Phys Act iv. 2006; 3: 34–42.
  13. American College of Sports Medicine. Physical activity programs and behavior counseling in older adult populations. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004; 36: 1997-2003.
  14. Rice J, Keogh JWL. Power training: can it improve functional performance in older adults? A systematic review. International Journal of Exercise Science. 2009; 2: 131–151.
  15. Rydwik E, Frandin K, Akner G. Effects of physical training on physical performance in institutionalized elderly patients (70+) with multiple diagnoses: systemic review. Age and ageing. 2004; 33: 13–23.
  16. Nied RJ, Franklin B. Promoting and prescribing exercise for the elderly. Am Fam Physician. 2002; 65: 419–427.
  17. Gusi N, Adsuar JC, Corzo H, del Pozo-Cruz B, Olivares PR, Paracca JA. Balance training reduces fear of falling and improves dynamic balance and isometric strength in institutionalised older people: a randomised trial. J Physi other. 2012; 58: 97–104.
  18. Azizan A, Justine M, Kuan CS. Effects of a behavioral program on exercise adherence and exercise self-efficacy in community-dwelling older persons. Current Gerontol Geriatr Research. 2013; 2013: 282315.

Download PDF

Citation:Bouaziz W, Vogel T, Schmitt E, Kaltenbach G, Geny B and Lang PO. Challenges to Successful Aging: Recommendation and New Trends in the Field of Aging and Physical Activity. Austin Sports Med. 2016; 1(2): 1009.

Journal Scope
Online First
Current Issue
Abstract Board
Instruction for Authors
Submit Your Article
Contact Us