1st Edition

The Masters Athlete Understanding the Role of Sport and Exercise in Optimizing Aging

Edited By Joe Baker, Sean Horton, Patricia Weir Copyright 2010
    216 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    216 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    1. The emergence of Masters Sport: Participatory trends and historical development Patricia Weir, Joseph Baker, & Sean Horton  2. Statistical modeling of age trends in Masters Athletes Michael Stones  3. Peak exercise performance, muscle strength and power in Masters Athletes Hirofumi Tanaka  4. The role of aging and sustained exercise involvement on cardiovascular function in older persons Steven A. Hawkins  5. Maintenance of skilled performance with age: Lessons from the Masters Joseph Baker and Jörg Schorer  6. Aging and recovery: Implications for the Masters Athlete James Fell and Andrew Williams  7. Motivation and sport commitment in Masters Sport Nikola Medic  8. Masters Athletes as role models? Combating stereotypes of aging Sean Horton  9. Masters sport as a strategy for managing the aging process Rylee Dionigi  10. Physical activity: What role does it play in achieving successful aging? Patricia Weir  11. Injury epidemiology, health and performance in Masters Athletes William J. Montelpare  12. The future of Masters Games: Implications for policy and research Roy J. Shephard


    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.

    "This excellent, accessible book demonstrates that age-related decline in performance is not always inevitable--a reality that is especially important as the older adult population is growing and health care costs are soaring...Summing Up: Recommended. " -- Choice, May 2010

    "An informative and extremely well put together book, with breadth, depth and an accessible style ... inspiring as well as academically relevant", The Sport and Exercise Scientist