Master Athletes: Understanding the Role of Exercise in Optimizing Aging

Master Athletes: Understanding the Role of Exercise in Optimizing Aging

Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis


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Master Athletes: Understanding the Role of Exercise in Optimizing Aging

Masters athletes are those that continue to train and compete, typically at a high level, beyond the age of thirty-five and into middle and old age. As populations in the industrialized world get older and governments become increasingly keen to promote healthy aging and non-pharmacological interventions, the study of masters athletes enables us to better understand the benefits of, and motivations for, life-long involvement in physical activity. This is the first book to draw together current research on masters athletes.

The Masters Athlete examines the evidence that cognitive skills, motor skills and physiological capabilities can be maintained at a high level with advancing age, and that age related decline is slowed in athletes that continue to train and compete in their later years. Including contributions from leading international experts in physiology, motor behaviour, psychology, gerontology and medicine, the book explores key issues such as:

  • motivation for involvement in sport and physical activity across the lifespan
  • evidence of lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes
  • the maintenance of performance with age.

Challenging conventional views of old age, and with important implications for policy and future research, this book is essential reading for students and practitioners working in sport and exercise science, aging and public health, human development, and related disciplines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415476577
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/17/2009
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Joseph Baker is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University in Toronto, Canada. He is the current president of the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology.

Sean Horton is an assistant professor at the University of Windsor. His research is focused on skill acquisition and expert performance throughout the lifespan, as well as how stereotypes of aging affect seniors’ participation in exercise.

Patricia Weir has been a faculty member at the University of Windsor since 1991. Her research interests include the effects of aging on goal-directed movement, psychosocial changes in Masters Athletes, and the role that physical activity plays in developing successful aging.

Table of Contents

List of figures ix

List of tables xi

Acknowledgments xii

Preface 1

Section 1 Introduction to Masters sport and the study of older athletes 5

1 The emergence of Masters sport: participatory trends and historical developments Patricia Weir Joseph Baker Sean Horton 7

2 Statistical modeling of age trends in Masters Athletes Michael Stones 15

Section 2 Aging, performance, and the role of continued involvement 39

3 Peak exercise performance, muscle strength, and power in Masters Athletes Hirofumi Tanaka 41

4 The effects of aging and sustained exercise involvement on cardiovascular function in older persons Steven A. Hawkins 52

5 Maintenance of skilled performance with age: lessons from the Masters Joseph Baker Jöet;rg Schorer 66

6 Aging and recovery: implications for the Masters Athlete James Fell Andrew Williams 79

Section 3 Psychosocial issues in Masters sport 103

7 Understanding Masters Athletes' motivation for sport Nikola Medic 105

8 Masters Athletes as role models? Combating stereotypes of aging Sean Horton 122

9 Masters sport as a strategy for managing the aging process Rylee A. Dionigi 137

Section 4 Toward a comprehensive model of lifespan physical activity, health, and performance 157

10 Physical activity: what role does it play in achieving successful aging? Patricia Weir 159

11 Injury epidemiology, health, and performance in Masters Athletes William J. Montelpare 173

12 The future of Masters Games: implications for policy and research Roy J. Shephard 186

Contributors 194

Index 195

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