The Masters Athlete: A Review of Current Exercise and Treatment Recommendations

Sports Health. 2015 May;7(3):270-6. doi: 10.1177/1941738114548999.


Context: With the ever-increasing number of masters athletes, it is necessary to understand how to best provide medical support to this expanding population using a multidisciplinary approach.

Evidence acquisition: Relevant articles published between 2000 and 2013 using the search terms masters athlete and aging and exercise were identified using MEDLINE.

Study design: Clinical review.

Level of evidence: Level 3.

Results: Preparticipation screening should assess a variety of medical comorbidities, with emphasis on cardiovascular health in high-risk patients. The masters athlete should partake in moderate aerobic exercise and also incorporate resistance and flexibility training. A basic understanding of physiology and age-related changes in muscle composition and declines in performance are prerequisites for providing appropriate care. Osteoarthritis and joint arthroplasty are not contraindications to exercise, and analgesia has an appropriate role in the setting of acute or chronic injuries. Masters athletes should follow regular training regimens to maximize their potential while minimizing their likelihood of injuries.

Conclusion: Overall, masters athletes represent a unique population and should be cared for utilizing a multidisciplinary approach. This care should be implemented not only during competitions but also between events when training and injury are more likely to occur.

Strength of recommendation taxonomy sort: B.

Keywords: exercise; masters athlete; recommendations.