Avoiding Frailty


Last mid-December, the project, leading by the Public University of Navarre, Spain and being cofounded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union, held the final meeting in Madrid. The Erasmus+ is a new programme combining all the EU’s current schemes for education, training youth and sport. The theme of the final meeting is ‘Avoiding Frailty” and they also launched a Multi-Component Physical Exercise Program for prescribing physical training to improve functional capacity and reduce the risk of falling in pre-fragile and fragile elderly over 70.


Health in order people should be measured in terms if its function and not as a disease that determines life expectancy, quality of life, and resources or supports that need each population. The objective is to maintain a level of functionality that maintains the highest degree of autonomy possible in each case. Frailty syndrome is an age-associated syndrome, characterized by decreases in the functional reserve. Deterioration in muscular strength and mass, cardiorespiratory training and balance leads to a decrease in daily life activities, a higher risk of falling and a loss of independence, among other consequences. Physical inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle is one of the primary factors in the loss and deterioration of muscular function.


But before doing exercises, remember the following tips. Compliance will improve adherence to the program and minimize the risk of injury.

1. Eliminate any obstacles that may increase a risk of falling. When doing standing up or balance exercises. Use objects that will make it safer (chairs, bars, tables, etc.)
2. Make sure shoes fit well: they should have flat soles, be anti-slip and offer good support for the hell.
3. Wear comfortable clothing.
4. Do not hold the breathing during the exercises. Breathe normally.

  • Especially, when undertaking muscular strength & power exercises, breathe in before making any effort and breathe out during the effort; then breathe in again upon finishing
  • Rest for about 2 minutes between each exercise

5. When walking,

  • Look ahead, not down
  • Shoulders should be relaxed and arms should swing slightly
  • With each step, first put down the heel and then big toes
  • Finish off with a cool-down the heel and then big toes

6. Always do flexibility after the muscular strength or cardiorespiratory training session

  • Holding the position for 10 seconds and then stopping and relaxing the stretch for 5 seconds is recommended
  • Do each exercise 2-3 times
  • Never create any excessive muscular elongation or articular tension; in other words, do not stretch violently or abruptly.
  • Stretch until you feel a bit of tension and then remain in that position for the recommended 10 seconds.

7. Talk to doctor if not sure of doing a particular exercise, especially after hip or a back surgery.


What follows are some signs and symptoms of intolerance to physical exercise that should be monitored when doing physical exercise. If notice any of them, stop immediately and check with doctor.


● Breathless

● Pain/tightness in chest

● Palpitations

● Dizziness or loss of consciousness

● Difficulty holding a conversation comfortably while while doing physical exercise

● Intense fatigue

● Blue lips or bluishness under the nails

● Nausea

● Pale, damp or cold skin


330 Tips provided by:  Dr. Forrest Yau  (Health/ Fitness Specialist, Centre for Nutritional Studies, School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK)

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