Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Perspective is a peer-reviewed, bimonthly academic journal that covers recent research in the area of sports health. Its editorial board is Edward M. Wojtys, PhD, professor emeritus at Harvard Medical School and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University. Its editor-in Chief is Dr. Richard J. Kupdner, assistant professor of physical medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate professor of sports medicine at Yale University. Dr. Kupdner serves as a senior science consultant for the Boston Bruins ice hockey team. Coaching of the Harvard women’s ice hockey team is an additional responsibility of Dr. William Dougherty, chief of cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Perspective provides an array of perspectives on sports-related health, exercise, and nutrition. It welcomes articles written by both men and women from all disciplines of study to assist in the development of a better understanding of the complex relationship between athletics and health. Contributors include nutritionists, exercise specialists, athletic trainers, and athletic training instructors. Sports Health is published by The Obesity Prevention Fund, a not-for-profit organization that encourages individuals, organizations, and institutions to address the issue of childhood obesity and promote weight control. The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and publisher and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or entity.
Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Perspective focuses on the relationship between athletics and health. Athletes require a variety of skills, equipment, and training to train for intense sports competition. Although most athletes are required to follow strict dietary and training guidelines to enhance peak performance, most athletes are not healthy. Most of them perform without a basic fitness routine to reduce the risk for injury and decrease recovery time. Although sports nutrition and exercise training programs have become the norm in training programs, the focus has been on the development of specific programs for competitive athletics.
Today’s athletes have more sophisticated and more technologically advanced tools for improving performance and reducing the risk for injury. Sports equipment and health information are designed to reduce injuries and help maximize performance. However, even the best-designed machines and gadgets will not take the place of good eating and regular exercise. In fact, many experts believe that an athlete who works the hardest in the gym will improve his or her long-term health more than any training device.
Sports and Exercise: The science of Sports Health looks at the physiological and psychological demands associated with sports competition and exercise. Researchers have spent years studying the relationships between physical training, nutrition, and psychology of athletes. Studies have shown that athletes who adopt a balanced diet and engage in regular physical activity are healthier than non-athletes. They have lower incidences of heart disease, stroke, and cancer, and they recover from injury more quickly. These results are applicable not only to active sports but also to inactive sports like swimming and walking.
Athletic Performance: Researchers understand the physiological changes that occur when athletes compete. They know that recovery is faster and that athletes require fewer calories to recover than athletes in other sports. This knowledge can help dietitians design diets that are low in fats and sodium and high in carbohydrates to maximize sports recovery. Dietitians can also help athletes who want to minimize their caloric intake and body mass to maintain their optimal performance. By working closely with athletes, dietitians can help them understand their individual responses to training, nutrition, and physical stress so that they can design diets that will maximize their potential.
Sports and Exercise Medicine also recognize that physical training may be necessary to develop peak performance. In the past, only the best athletes with the best paying sports trainers were considered for evaluation and treatment. Today, even underpaid sports medicine specialist can treat athletes with sports injury and illness at less expensive rates. The association between sports and exercise medicine now extends beyond treating athletes. It also extends to evaluating and diagnosing the risks of participating in certain sports and encouraging athletes to choose safer activities.
Athletes today have many additional challenges beyond pain and injury. These challenges include nutrition, mental health, stress management, and physical fitness. It is important that these athletes work with a professional sports nutritionist and an exercise physiologist to ensure that their dietary and active exercise programs to maintain peak performance. In addition, it is essential that athletes get regular medical screening and treatment for high blood pressure, cardiac health, and dehydration.