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Medical Considerations for Exercise in Older Adults

MacArthur, Peter H. MD, CAQSM; Umarvadia, Jitesh MD, CAQSM; Howard, Thomas M. MD, FACSM, CAQSM

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: January/March 2016 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 7–17
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000087
The Aging Athlete

Exercise training has many known benefits in the older adult population including prevention and treatment of chronic disease, reducing the risk of falls, improving cognitive function, and increasing self-esteem. When evaluating and prescribing an exercise program in the older athlete, medical history, medications, and functional capacity are some of the key factors to consider. We aim to address several of the chronic medical conditions commonly affecting these individuals and their potential effects on exercise training. Furthermore, we provide an overview of preparticipation screening and formulating an exercise prescription, both vital to ensuring safe participation in this age group.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, Inova Medical Group Fairfax, Virginia (Dr MacArthur); Department of Sports Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Fairfax Family Practice, Fairfax (Dr Umarvadia); and Department of Student Health Services, North Carolina State University, Raleigh (Dr Howard).

Correspondence: Peter H. MacArthur, MD, CAQSM, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, Inova Medical Group, 8501 Arlington Blvd, Ste 200, Fairfax, VA 22033 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.