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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Descheues, PhD (College of William and Mary)
Description: The editors of this book relate both short- and long-term responses of the endocrine system to acute exercise, as well as chronic exercise training.
Purpose: In the preface, they state that the purpose is ". . .to cover the various hormonal pathways that are known to be altered by exercise and how these changes affect different organs and systems of the body . . ." The stated objectives of the text are worthy, and the editors have met those objectives.
Audience: The audience is intended to be from the fields of exercise science and sports medicine. This text would be useful to both the clinician and the exercise physiologist. In most cases, the text would not be appropriate at the undergraduate level. The editors are credible authorities. More impressive are the qualifications of the actual chapter contributors. The editors have done a fine job of assembling many of the outstanding figures in the field to write chapters.
Features: The selection of topics appears to take two tracks. In one, the impact of exercise on the function of various components (organs, axes) of the endocrine system is covered. In the other track, special conditions are addressed. For instance, there is a discussion of pregnancy and the impact of exercise on relevant hormones. In Chapter 1 methodological concerns in measuring hormonal responses to exercise are presented. This book is very helpful, and serves as a good refresher to those who conduct research on this subject. Also valuable are the several chapters on hormonal responses/adaptations to exercise in women. Likewise, with growing interest in the safety and long-term effects of exercise in children, chapter contributors provide meaningful discussion on these issues. A few important topics have been entirely overlooked — chapters on the impact of resistance exercise on hormonal responses/adaptations, as well as hormonal regulation muscle mass (trained or untrained) should have been included.
Assessment: This is a very valuable book. The underlying subject — the impact of exercise on endocrinology — is interesting and important to both the clinician and the exercise scientist. There is a real need for a book that is a comprehensive and up-to-date presentation of the scientific findings concerning the interaction of exercise and the endocrine system. A quality comprehensive book on the subject has not been published since Galbo's Hormonal and Metabolic Adaptation to Exercise in 1983.