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Giovanni Mario Pes, Maria Pina Dore, Alessandra Errigo and Michel Poulain

Human longevity is a multifaceted trait likely due to numerous interacting causes ( Christensen & Vaupel, 1996 ). Among the modifiable factors that have been associated with longer survival, persistent physical activity plays an important role ( Lissner, Bengtsson, Björkelund, & Wedel, 1996

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Christianne M. Eason, Rhyan A. Lazar and James M. Mensch

We examined factors that have contributed to career longevity in the profession of athletic training in the NCAA Division I setting. Longevity is an important topic for athletic trainers, as many depart the setting for various reasons, and viability of a lifelong career is often questioned. Fourteen (11 males and 3 females) athletic trainers who have worked in NCAA Division I athletics for 15 years or more volunteered to participate in this study and completed one-on-one phone interviews. An inductive analysis was completed. Data saturation was reached with our sample, and we completed member checks and multiple analyst triangulation. Our results showed having a passion for the role and job, having an acceptance of the athletics lifestyle, having a support network, and having family and work integration were the major reasons our participants have been able to persist as an athletic trainer within the NCAA Division I setting.

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Adrián Hernández-Vicente, Alejandro Santos-Lozano, Carmen Mayolas-Pi, Gabriel Rodríguez-Romo, Helios Pareja-Galeano, Natalia Bustamante, Eva M. Gómez-Trullén, Alejandro Lucia and Nuria Garatachea

The population of centenarians (≥100 years) is steadily increasing globally ( Byass, 2008 ) being the paradigm of human extreme longevity and healthy aging because they have postponed, if not avoided, major age-related diseases, for example, cancer, cardiovascular disease, or neurodegeneration

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George T. Baker III and George R. Martin

Aging is characterized by numerous physical, physiological, biochemical, and molecular changes. The rates at which aging processes occur are highly variable among individuals and are thought to be governed by both environmental and genetic factors. Lifestyle factors such as exercise, dietary, and smoking habits have been demonstrated to alter many of the changes usually associated with human aging. However, at present caloric restriction is the only experimental paradigm that has consistently been demonstrated in animal models to extend not only physiological vigor but also life span. The positive effects of exercise on physiological fitness and the reduction in the risks of certain diseases have been well documented. However, its effects on life span are not as clear. This article explores some of the basic mechanisms thought to be involved causally in the processes of aging, and outlines current and potential interventive strategies to retard or ameliorate the rates of decline in physiological function with advancing age.

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Jordan M. Glenn, Michelle Gray, Jennifer L. Vincenzo and Matthew S. Stone

Muscular power decreases with age, and lower-body power relates to overall functional fitness; however, functional lower-body power has not been evaluated in late-middle-aged (LMA) populations.

Purpose:

To evaluate average and peak lower-body functional power and velocity among sedentary (SED), recreationally active (RA), and masters athlete (MA) LMA adults.

Methods:

Participants were SED (n = 13, age = 59.3 ± 4.5 years), RA (n = 35, age = 59.6 ± 5.0 years), and MA (n = 26, age = 56.7 ± 5.4 years). Five sit-to-stand trials were completed to assess lower-body functional power. Average/peak power and velocity were calculated for each trial. Power was expressed relatively to account for participant body weight.

Results:

MA (13.44 ± 2.76 W/kg) had significantly (p < .01) greater peak power compared with SED (9.99 ± 2.70 W/ kg) and RA (9.93 ± 2.30 W/kg). Similar significant (p < .01) differences existed for peak velocity (SED = 1.02 ± 0.22 m/s, RA = 1.04 ± 0.22 m/s, MA = 1.25 ± 0.19 m/s). No differences existed for average power or velocity between groups.

Conclusions:

Maintaining a competitively active lifestyle results in greater lower-body functional power in LMA adults and may support longitudinal functionality.

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Stephen M. Roth

Physical activity has long been touted as a means of reducing susceptibility to age-related disease and multiple studies have shown reduced mortality rates in individuals with a lifestyle including regular exercise. A variety of mechanisms for how physical activity reduces age-related diseases have been explored and multiple, redundant explanatory mechanisms are likely to emerge. Evidence has emerged that physical activity may impact directly on telomere biology, one of the primary theories of cellular aging. Telomeres are located at the ends of chromosomes and as cells divide, incomplete DNA replication results in telomere shortening; once shortening reaches a critical threshold, cell senescence results. Investigators hypothesize that part of the favorable influence of physical activity on mortality rates and age-related disease occurs through a direct impact on telomere biology, including delaying rates of telomere shortening. The present review examines key recent findings in this area and explores some of the unanswered questions and future directions for the field.

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Sandra O'Brien Cousins and Patricia A. Vertinsky

Few studies have tried to describe in detail the actual lifetime exercise experiences of very old women. In this paper, in-depth, guided life-course interviews with three women born in or before 1900 are used to shed light upon the social forces affecting the physical activities of young girls before the turn of the century. The late-life exercise patterns of these very old women appear to be rooted in very different ways to their past. However, the information gleaned from the interviews supports the early activation hypothesis that young girls at the turn of the century who were afforded opportunities and social support to develop physical skill in sport-type activities, or were physically challenged in domestic or farm labor, still appreciate and take advantage of the health-promoting aspects of exercise over 80 years later.

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Fleur E.C.A. van Rens and Edson Filho

social connectedness were important to facilitate thriving. Thriving was reported to relate to career longevity, and the circus artists’ psychological wellbeing. Consistent with previous literature ( Babinski, 2004 ; Lavallee & Robinson, 2007 ), career transitions from sport to circus triggered identity

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Alessandro Quartiroli, Edward F. Etzel, Sharon M. Knight and Rebecca A. Zakrajsek

that developing positive coping strategies can result in increased confidence and, indirectly, more effective professional practice. Previous literature has demonstrated experienced and senior practitioners’ ability to achieve longevity in their professional careers by embracing sustainable approaches