Alejandro Lucia is Professor of Physiology at the European University of Madrid. He has a particular research interest in endurance sport and exercise physiology
Carl Foster is Professor of Sports Medicine and Director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
In the past week we've watched the Olympic track and field events play out. Sprinting champions are likely to be Jamaicans or African Americans, whereas long distance champions tend to be Kenyans or Ethiopians, or from someplace not too far from the East African highlands. Do these seemingly typical talents and abilities for the relatively simple motor task of running reflect that some populations have a basic genetic endowment to excel in certain sport specialities? ...continue reading →
Domhnall MacAuleyis a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK
Some years ago, out walking along the river, I met an ex-athlete friend . “I gave up running at 50,” he told me. "Too many of my friends were having heart problems”. This didn’t fit with what I believed about the benefits of exercise, so I didn’t give it a lot of thought.
More recently, however, when preparing a talk on sudden cardiac death, I came across a research paper from Sweden that followed up 52, 755 athletes who had completed the Vasaloppet a long distance cross country ski race (90k) and, curiously, showed that those who raced more often and faster, were more likely to have hospital admissions for cardiac arrhythmia. This seemed counter-intuitive. ...continue reading →