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Passing on the exercise baton: What can endocrine patients learn from elite athletes?

McCarthy, Olivia, Pitt, Jason P., Keay, Nicky, Vestergaard, Esben T., Tan, Abbigail S. Y., Churm, Rachel, Rees, Dafydd Aled ORCID: and Bracken, Richard M. 2022. Passing on the exercise baton: What can endocrine patients learn from elite athletes? Clinical Endocrinology 96 (6) , pp. 781-792. 10.1111/cen.14683

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As elite athletes demonstrate through the Olympic motto ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius- Communiter’, new performance records are driven forward by favourable skeletal muscle bioenergetics, cardiorespiratory, and endocrine system adaptations. At a recreational level, regular physical activity is an effective nonpharmacological therapy in the treatment of many endocrine conditions. However, the impact of physical exercise on endocrine function and how best to incorporate exercise therapy into clinical care are not well understood. Beyond the pursuit of an Olympic medal, elite athletes may therefore serve as role models for showcasing how exercise can help in the management of endocrine disorders and improve metabolic dysfunction. This review summarizes research evidence for clinicians who wish to understand endocrine changes in athletes who already perform high levels of activity as well as to encourage patients to exercise more safely. Herein, we detail the upper limits of athleticism to showcase the adaptability of human endocrine-metabolic-physiological systems. Then, we describe the growing research base that advocates the importance of understanding maladaptation to physical training and nutrition in males and females; especially the young. Finally, we explore the impact of physical activity in improving some endocrine disorders with guidance on how lessons can be taken from athletes training and incorporated into strategies to move more people more often.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License
Publisher: Society for Endocrinology
ISSN: 0300-0664
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 February 2022
Date of Acceptance: 30 January 2022
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 22:12

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