The Old Athlete Problems

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The Old Athlete Galen said it first and more recently, the American Heart Association, that you have a fixed number of heart beats in a life time. 2.5 billion. “The first accurate measurements of body mass versus metabolic rate in 1932 showed that the metabolic rate R for all organisms follows exactly the 3/4 power-law of the body mass, i.e., R M3/4. Called Kleiber's Law. It holds good from the smallest bacterium to the largest animal (see Figure 01). The relation remains valid even down to the individual components of a single cell such as the mitochondrion, and the respiratory complexes (a subunit of the mitochondrion).It works for plants as well. This is one of the few all-encompassing principles in biology” (www.universe-review.ca/R10-35-metabolic.htm) What needs to be further investigated are pharmacological methods to minimize aging such as use of the Polypill, growth hormones, and testosterone supplements Physiological changes of ageing Care of the older athleteExercise programmes for older people Injuries and problems of older athletes Ongoing care Nutrition Athletic performance Conclusion It is difficult to define what an “older athlete” is. Masters competitions start at age 25 for swimming and at 35 to 40 for athletics. People of all ages regularly compete in marathons. James Tomkins at age 43 was in the Australian Rowing 8 at Beijing 2008 Games. Unheard of not so long ago. In pre-history, man rarely needed to consider the ageing process. Life was short and the hunter gatherer did not live long beyond a decrease in ability and performance. In the modern day, athletic performance has become less vital for life, but has remained important into old age. Older people have an interest in maintaining health and some go further to maintain a competitive edge. Sports medicine for older athletes is not only about competitive performance. The benefits of exercise are many but so, unfortunately, are those who do not partake of them. The goal is as much to encourage a healthy active lifestyle as it is to help the older competitor (Fig. 1). Physiological Changes of Ageing Along with the awareness of our own mortality, we have an understanding that our bodies will age. Ageing is a universal process, causing progressive structural and functional loss. There are theories of why we age. Leonardo da Vinci, after careful anatomical studies, concluded that thickening blood vessels were the cause. Even today, the cause of the aging process remains unknown. Ageing causes a decrease in the number, function and regeneration of cells. This leads to structural and functional changes in the older person. Fig. 2 shows the physical changes of ageing that are affected by exercise. It clearly shows that the loss of function is due as much to disuse and inactivity as to ageing itself. What needs to be further investigated are pharmacological methods to minimize aging such as use of the Polypill, growth hormones, and testosterone supplements. 1 Figure 2 Regular exercise slows the effects of age on body systems System Ageing Changes Effect of Exercise Muscle · mass and strength lost slowly with ageing · power decreases · can be minimalised with exercise Bone · mass loss after age 35, increases after age 55 · trabecular bone lost before cortical · faster loss in post-menopausal women · decrease in total body calcium · bone loss reduced by regular exercise and good nutrition Cartilage · loss of elasticity (may increase osteoarthritis · greatest risk in
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  The Old Athlete   Galen said it first and more recently, the American Heart Association , that you have afixed number of heart beats in a life time. 2.5 billion.   “The first accurate measurements of body mass versus metabolic rate in 1932showed that the metabolic rate R for all organisms follows exactly the 3/4 power-law of the body mass, i.e., R M 3/4 .Called Kleiber's Law.It holds good from the smallest bacterium to the largest animal (see Figure 01).The relation remains valid even down to the individual components of a single cellsuch as the mitochondrion, and the respiratory complexes (a subunit of themitochondrion).It works for plants as well. This is one of the few all-encompassing principles in biology” (www.universe-review.ca/R10-35-metabolic.htm)What needs to be further investigated are pharmacological methods to minimizeaging such as use of the Polypill, growth hormones, and testosterone supplements ã Physiological changes of ageing   ã Care of the older athleteExercise programmes for older people   ã Injuries and problems of older athletes   ã Ongoing care   ã Nutrition   ã Athletic performance   ã ConclusionIt is difficult to define what an “older athlete” is. Masters competitions start at age 25 forswimming and at 35 to 40 for athletics. People of all ages regularly compete in marathons.James Tomkins at age 43 was in the Australian Rowing 8 at Beijing 2008 Games. Unheardof not so long ago.In pre-history, man rarely needed to consider the ageing process. Life was short and thehunter gatherer did not live long beyond a decrease in ability and performance.In the modern day, athletic performance has become less vital for life, but has remainedimportant into old age. Older people have an interest in maintaining health and some gofurther to maintain a competitive edge.Sports medicine for older athletes is not only about competitive performance. The benefitsof exercise are many but so, unfortunately, are those who do not partake of them. The goal  is as much to encourage a healthy active lifestyle as it is to help the older competitor (Fig.1). Physiological Changes of Ageing Along with the awareness of our own mortality, we have an understanding that our bodieswill age. Ageing is a universal process, causing progressive structural and functional loss.There are theories of why we age. Leonardo da Vinci, after careful anatomical studies,concluded that thickening blood vessels were the cause. Even today, the cause of the agingprocess remains unknown.Ageing causes a decrease in the number, function and regeneration of cells. This leads tostructural and functional changes in the older person. Fig. 2 shows the physical changes of ageing that are affected by exercise. It clearly shows that the loss of function is due asmuch to disuse and inactivity as to ageing itself. What needs to be further investigated are pharmacological methods to minimizeaging such as use of the Polypill, growth hormones, and testosteronesupplements. 1 Figure 2Regular exercise slows the effects of age on body systems   System Ageing Changes Effect of Exercise   Muscle  ∙ mass and strength lost slowlywith ageing∙ power decreases ∙ can be minimalised withexercise  Bone  ∙ mass loss after age 35,increases after age 55 ∙ trabecular bone lost beforecortical ∙ faster loss in post-menopausalwomen ∙ bone loss reduced byregular exercise and goodnutrition   ∙ decrease in total body calcium  Cartilage  ∙ loss of elasticity (may increaseosteoarthritis∙ greatest risk in knee, hip,ankle,spinal facets ∙ weight bearing exercisemay slow changes impact WILL worsendegenerative arthritis if alreadypresent. The more joints areused( cyclic loading) thequicker they wear out andneed to be replaced.   Ligamentsand tendons  ∙ lose elasticity with age(increase in sprains and strains) ∙ decreased flexibility ∙ loss of flexibility and range ofmotionmay increase joint and muscleinjury ∙ stretching before and afterexercise maintainsflexibility ∙ regular use maintainsstrength and suppleness  NervousSystem ∙ decrease in conduction velocityandnumber of neurons/axons ∙ slower reactions and speed ∙ loss of vision and hearing∙ reaction times are faster ifmaintained by use 2 Figure 2 (Cont’d)   System Ageing Changes Effect of Exercise  Cardiovascular  ∙ lower VO 2 max∙ less anaerobic endurance ∙ lower cardiac output and maximumheart rate ∙ increased risk of coronary arterydisease ∙ slower return of heart rate to restingvalue ∙ increased vascular resistance ∙ exercise can maintainVO 2 max∙ can stop enduranceloss ∙ slows decline inmaximum heart rate ∙ aerobic exercise moreeffective than anaerobic maydecrease risk of CAD RespiratorySystem  ∙ decreased compliance ∙ reduced airflow ∙ increased effort of breathing∙ regular exercisereduces respiratory changes Some ageing body systems have implications on the way older people exercise (Fig. 3).Refer to the section Guidelines for Exercise for further recommendations. Figure 3Exercise implications for some ageing body systems   System Ageing Changes Effect of exercise   RenalSystem  ∙ glomeruli loss decreases filtration ∙ loss of total body water (higher risk ofdehydration. ∙ Ensure fluids∙ Avoid very hot weather∙ Break up workout  Skin  ∙ Thinning of skin decreases thermalInsulation ∙ Use sunscreens, hats
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