Seventh Annual Peter A. Rechnitzer Lecture

SENSORY ASPECTS OF EXERCISE IN AGING


JonesNorman L. Jones, M.D.,F.R.C.P.(London), F.R.C.P.(C)

McMaster University Medical School
Hamilton, Ontario
 

Monday, June 11, 2001

Dr. Jones is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. His interest in exercise began early, and he received his medical training at St. Mary=s Hospital in London, England. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Medical Specialist, and after entered an academic career in Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at the Hammersmith Hospital. Initially his research was in cardiac and respiratory responses to exercise in health and cardiorespiratory disorders, to which was added muscle metabolism, following a year as a Fullbright Research Fellow at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of California in San Francisco. In 1968 he was appointed Head of the Respiratory Division at McMaster, a position he held until retiring in 1991; since then he has maintained his interests in clinical chest medicine and physiology, and he is the founding Editor in Chief of the Canadian Respiratory Journal.
Dr. Jones has published widely on many aspects of exercise in health and disease. The four editions of his book AClinical Exercise Testing@ chronicle his progress over 25 years in learning about the factors that contribute to exercise capacity and to disability.

SENSORY ASPECTS OF EXERCISE IN AGING

ABSTRACT: The maximal oxygen intake has gained a pre eminent status in exercise physiology, being used both as a measurement of the body=s maximal aerobic capacity and conceptually as a limiting attribute of an individual. But does it really deserve its almost mythic status? If we demote it to the status of a variable measured during maximal effort, this frees us to seek other factors that may actually limit our ability to perform exercise and also to question whether oxygen delivery mechanisms actually limit exercise because they have reached their Alimiting@ capacity. Can we agree that what stops most of us exercising is the intensity of the associated sensations of effort, fatigue, breathlessness and other, less common, symptoms? Measurement of the intensity of these sensations, previously ignored because they are Asubjective@, have helped us understand the many factors that may contribute to exercise limitations in health and disease. This theme will be explored in the context of the progressive reduction in exercise capacity with aging, in the hope that it may provide an alternative approach to understanding the contributors to this disability, and allow us to help seniors find ways in which to maintain physical activities in daily living

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