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Volume: 38
Number: 4
Index: December 2010
Clinical Focus:Respiratory Care
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December 2010
Clinical Focus: Respiratory Medicine
  • Asthma and the athlete
    • Vocal cord dysfunction
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    • Exercise-induced bronchospasm
  • COPD
    • Obesity and COPD
    • Relationship between COPD and nutrition intake
  • Treatment options for steroid-induced osteoporosis in men
  • Treatments for asthma
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    • Metered-dose vs other types of inhalers
  • Respiratory infections in winter sports athletes
  • Asthma in elite athletes
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation and physical activity
  • Fitness and long-term oxygen therapy/lung transplantation
  • Airflow function and the metabolic syndrome
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doi: 10.3810/PSM.2021.04.1691
The Physician and Sportsmedicine: Volume 37: No.1
Independence: A New Reason for Recommending Regular Exercise to Your Patients
Roy J. Shephard, MD, PhD, DPE, LLD(Hon Caus)
Abstract: There are many good reasons to advise regular and adequate physical activity: longevity seems extended by up to 2 years, and the risk of a wide range of chronic disorders is substantially reduced. However, from the viewpoint of the overall, quality-adjusted lifespan, perhaps the most important reason is the ability of physical activity to counter the relentless, age-related decrease in physical capacity (maximal aerobic power, muscle strength, flexibility, and balance). The case is detailed for maximal aerobic power, which deteriorates by about 5 mL/ [kg.min] for each decade of adult life. Independence is generally at risk when the maximal oxygen intake has dropped to 18 mL/ [kg.min] in men and 15 mL/ [kg.min] in women. A sedentary person typically reaches this threshold between 80 and 85 years old. However, regular physical activity can augment maximal oxygen transport by 5 to 10 mL/ [kg.min], setting back the need for institutional support by 10 to 20 years.

Keywords: sports medicine; aging; exercise; elderly

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