ADT is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis, falls, and bone fractures. Given these risks, we want to share the findings of an in-depth systematic review where the authors ask: What exercise is best for improving one's balance and reducing the risk of falls and fractures? To answer this question the authors reviewed 108 randomized controlled trials involving over 23,000 participants from 25 countries.
It is not surprising that exercises which pay particular attention to gait, balance, coordination, and functional task training were found to be most beneficial. These ‘balance and functional exercises’ are activities performed while standing and focus on improving one's balance in activities of daily living.
The authors report that ‘balance and functional exercises’ reduce the incidence of falls by 24%. Multiple types of exercise (e.g., resistance training plus ‘balance and functional exercises’) appear to reduce the rate of falls by ~34%. Tai Chi alone may reduce the rate of falls by 19%.
If you are already doing aerobic and resistance exercises, you might want to add some balance exercises to the mix. Increasingly cancer centres offer free exercise programs to patients. It may be worth inquiring about exercise classes that are available in your local area.
To read the study abstract, please see:
Sherrington C, Fairhall NJ, Wallbank GK, Tiedemann A, Michaleff ZA, Howard K, Clemson L, Hopewell S, Lamb SE. Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2019 Jan 31;1:CD012424. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012424.pub2.