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  2. Statistical Modelling of Age Trends in Masters Athletes  3. Peak Exercise Performance, Muscle Strength and Power in Masters Athletes  4. The Role of Aging and Sustained Exercise Involvement on Cardiovascular Function in Older Persons  5. Maintenance of Skilled Performance with Age: Lessons from the Masters  6. Aging and Recovery: Implications for the Masters Athlete  7. Motivation and Sport Commitment in Masters Sport  8. Masters Athletes as Role Models? Combating Stereotypes of Aging  9. Masters Sport as a Strategy for Managing the Aging Process  10. Physical Activity: What Role Does it Play in Achieving Successful Aging?  11. Injury Epidemiology, Health and Performance in Masters Athletes  12. The Future of Masters Games: Implications for Policy and Research