Frozen Shoulder: Causes & Treatment | Tennis4Life

Frozen shoulder, more correctly known as adhesive capsulitis (AC), is a common cause of shoulder pain and loss of shoulder joint motion in the over 40s. 
 
In ‘primary’ cases of AC, there is no significant reason for the onset pain or stiffness, whereas secondary AC can occur following an injury, trauma, surgery or illness. 
 
In younger people below the age of 40 and athletes, primary AC is rare; AC is more likely to be secondary in nature – for example following a rotator cuff injury. 
 

When AC does occur however, it can result in considerable disruption to any tennis activity, especially given the typically long timescale it requires to resolve. 

Read more in link below.

Tendon health & antibiotic impacts | Tennis4Life

There’s steadily accumulating evidence that one particular group of commonly prescribed antibiotics called ‘fluoroquinolones’ might be implicated in rapid-onset tendon degeneration, exposing sportsmen and women to an increased risk of tendonitis or even tendon rupture.

A recent article in Sports Performance Bulletin looks at the risk of tendon rupture that fluoroquinolone antibiotics pose and explains why sportsmen and women are at particular risk – a risk can last many months after the antibiotic course.

The article explains why any athlete taking common asthma medications should be very careful indeed about fluoroquinolone antibiotic use.

The positive news is that when athletes have to use the antibiotics, there are a number of protocols that can reduce the risk to themselves, and there also evidence that a particular nutrient may also exert a protective effect.

Read more in the attached article and how to protect yourself if required.

Source: Sports Performance Bulletin

How Much Water Do You Actually Need? | NYTimes

 

If you’ve spent any time on social media or visited an athletic event lately, you’ve surely been bombarded with encouragements to drink more water. Celebrity influencers lug around gallon-sized water bottles as the hot new accessory. Twitter bots constantly remind us to make more time to hydrate. Some reusable water bottles even come emblazoned with motivational phrases — “Remember your goal,” “Keep drinking,” “Almost finished” — to encourage more drinking throughout the day.

The purported benefits of excess water consumption are seemingly endless, from improved memory and mental health to increased energy to better complexion. “Stay hydrated” has become a new version of the old salutation, “Stay well.”

 

But what, exactly, does “stay hydrated” mean? “When lay people discuss dehydration, they mean loss of any fluids,” said Dr. Joel Topf, a nephrologist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Oakland University in Michigan.

But that interpretation “has been completely blown out of proportion,” said Kelly Anne Hyndman, a kidney function researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Staying hydrated is definitely important, she said, but the idea that the simple act of drinking more water will make people healthier isn’t true. Nor is it correct that most people are walking around chronically dehydrated or that we should be drinking water all day long.

From a medical standpoint, Dr. Topf added, the most important measure of hydration is the balance between electrolytes like sodium and water in the body. And you don’t need to chug glass after glass of water throughout the day to maintain it.

We’ve all been taught that eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is the magic number for everyone, but that notion is a myth, said Tamara Hew-Butler, an exercise and sports scientist at Wayne State University.

Unique factors like body size, outdoor temperature and how hard you’re breathing and sweating will determine how much you need, she said. A 200-pound person who just hiked 10 miles in the heat will obviously need to drink more water than a 120-pound office manager who spent the day in a temperature-controlled building.

The amount of water you need in a day will also depend on your health. Someone with a medical condition like heart failure or kidney stones may require a different amount than someone taking diuretic drugs, for example. Or you may need to alter your intake if you’ve been ill, with vomiting or diarrhea.

For most young, healthy people, the best way to stay hydrated is simply to drink when you’re thirsty, Dr. Topf said. (Those who are older, in their 70s and 80s, may need to pay more attention to getting sufficient fluids because the thirst sensation can decrease with age.)

And despite popular belief, don’t rely on urine color to accurately indicate your hydration status, Dr. Hew-Butler said. Yes, it’s possible that dark yellow or amber urine could mean that you’re dehydrated, but there’s no solid science to suggest that the color, alone, should prompt a drink.

Not necessarily. From a purely nutritional standpoint, water is a better choice than less healthy options like sugary sodas or fruit juices. But when it comes to hydration, any beverage can add water to your system, Dr. Hew-Butler said.

One popular notion is that drinking beverages with caffeine or alcohol will dehydrate you, but if that’s true, the effect is negligible, Dr. Topf said. A 2016 randomized controlled trial of 72 men, for instance, concluded that the hydrating effects of water, lager, coffee and tea were nearly identical.

You can also get water from what you eat. Fluid-rich foods and meals like fruits, vegetables, soups and sauces all contribute to water intake. Additionally, the chemical process of metabolizing food produces water as a byproduct, which adds to your intake too, Dr. Topf said.

Regular Exercise May Keep Your Body 30 Years ‘Younger’ | NYTimes

The muscles of older men and women who have exercised for decades are indistinguishable in many ways from those of healthy 25-year-olds, according to an uplifting new study of a group of active septuagenarians.

These men and women also had much higher aerobic capacities than most people their age, the study showed, making them biologically about 30 years younger than their chronological ages, the study’s authors concluded.

All of us are aging every second, of course, which leads many of us also to be deeply interested in what we can expect from our bodies and health as those seconds — and subsequent years and decades — mount.

Worryingly, statistics and simple observation suggest that many elderly people experience frailty, illness and dependence.

But science has not established whether and to what extent such physical decline is inevitable with age or if it is at least partially a byproduct of our modern lifestyles and perhaps amenable to change.

There have been hints, though, that physical activity might alter how we age. Recent studies have found that older athletes have healthier muscles, brains, immune systems and hearts than people of the same age who are sedentary.

But many of these studies have concentrated on competitive masters athletes, not people who exercise recreationally, and few have included many women.

So for the new study, which was published in August in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., decided to look at a distinctive set of older men and women.

“We were very interested in people who had started exercising during the running and exercise booms of the 1970s,” says Scott Trappe, the director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State and the new study’s senior author.

That era, bookended to some extent by the passage of Title IX in 1972 and the publication of “The Complete Book of Running” in 1977, introduced a generation of young men and women to recreational physical activity, Dr. Trappe says.

“They took up exercise as a hobby,” he says.

Some of them then maintained that hobby throughout the next 50 or so years, running, cycling, swimming or otherwise working out often, even if they rarely or never competed, he says.

Those were the men and women, most now well into their 70s, he and his colleagues sought to study.

Using local advertisements and other recruitment methods, they found 28 of them, including seven women, each of whom had been physically active for the past five decades.

They also recruited a second group of age-matched older people who had not exercised during adulthood and a third group of active young people in their 20s.

They brought everyone into the lab, tested their aerobic capacities and, using tissue samples, measured the number of capillaries and levels of certain enzymes in the muscles. High numbers for each indicate muscular health.

The researchers focused on the cardiovascular system and muscles because they are believed inevitably to decline with age and the scientists had expected they would see what Dr. Trappe describes as a “hierarchical pattern” in differences between the groups.

The young people, they thought, would possess the most robust muscles and aerobic capacities, with the lifelong exercisers being slightly weaker on both counts and the older non-exercisers punier still.

But that outcome is not precisely what they found.

Instead, the muscles of the older exercisers resembled those of the young people, with as many capillaries and enzymes as theirs, and far more than in the muscles of the sedentary elderly.

The active elderly group did have lower aerobic capacities than the young people, but their capacities were about 40 percent higher than those of their inactive peers.

In fact, when the researchers compared the active older people’s aerobic capacities to those of established data about “normal” capacities at different ages, they calculated that the aged, active group had the cardiovascular health of people 30 years younger than themselves.

Together, these findings about muscular and cardiovascular health in active older people suggest that what we now consider to be normal physical deterioration with aging “may not be normal or inevitable,” Dr. Trappe says.

However, this study was cross-sectional, highlighting a single moment in people’s lives, and cannot tell us whether their exercise habits directly caused differences in health or if and how genes, income, diet and similar lifestyle factors contributed.

It also did not look at muscle mass and other important measures of health or whether you can begin exercising late in life and benefit to the same extent.

The researchers plan to explore some of these issues in future studies, Dr. Trappe says.

But already the findings from this experiment suggest that exercise could help us “to build a reserve” of good health now that might enable us to slow or evade physical frailty later, Dr. Trappe says.

“These people were so vigorous,” he says. “I’m in my 50s and they certainly inspire me to stay active.”

Regular Exercise May Keep Your Body 30 Years ‘Younger’

 

How Much Exercise Do We Need to Live Longer? | NYTimes


September 15, 2021

To increase our chances for a long life, we probably should take at least 7,000 steps a day or play sports such as tennis, cycling, swimming, jogging or badminton for more than 2.5 hours per week, according to two, large-scale new studies of the relationship between physical activity and longevity. 

The two studies, which, together, followed more than 10,000 men and women for decades, show that the right types and amounts of physical activity reduce the risk of premature death by as much as 70 percent.

But they also suggest that there can be an upper limit to the longevity benefits of being active, and pushing beyond that ceiling is unlikely to add years to our life spans and, in extreme cases, might be detrimental.

Plenty of research already suggests that people who are active outlive those who seldom move. A 2018 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for instance, concluded that about 10 percent of all deaths among Americans 40 to 70 years old are a result of too little exercise. A 2019 European study found that two decades of inactivity doubled Norwegian people’s risk of dying young. 

But scientists have not yet pinned down precisely how much — or little — movement might be most strongly associated with greater longevity. Nor is it clear whether we can overdo exercise, potentially contributing to a shorter life.

Those issues lie at the heart of the two new studies, which look at the links between activity and longevity from distinct but intersecting angles. The first of the studies, published this month in JAMA Network Open, centered on steps. Most of us are familiar with daily step counts as an activity goal, since our phones, smart watches and other activity trackers typically prompt us to take a certain number of steps every day, often 10,000. But as I have written before, current science does not show that we require 10,000 steps for health or longevity. 

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the C.D.C. and other institutions wondered if, instead, smaller step totals might be related to longer lives. So, they turned to data gathered in recent years for a large, ongoing study of health and heart disease in middle-aged men and women. Most of the participants had joined the study about 10 years earlier, when they were in their 40s. At the time, they completed medical tests and wore an activity tracker to count their steps every day for a week.

Now, the researchers pulled records for 2,110 of the participants and checked their names against death registries. They found that 72 participants had passed away in the intervening decade, a relatively small number but not surprising given the people’s relative youth. But the scientists also noticed a strong association with step counts and mortality. Those men and women accumulating at least 7,000 daily steps when they joined the study were about 50 percent less likely to have died since than those who took fewer than 7,000 steps, and the mortality risks continued to drop as people’s step totals rose, reaching as high as 70 percent less chance of early death among those taking more than 9,000 steps.

But at 10,000 steps, the benefits leveled off. “There was a point of diminishing returns,” said Amanda Paluch, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who led the new study. People taking more than 10,000 steps per day, even plenty more, rarely outlived those taking at least 7,000.

Helpfully, the second study, which was published in August in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, settled on broadly similar activity levels as best bets for long life. This study involved data from the decades-long Copenhagen City Heart Study, which has recruited tens of thousands of Danish adults since the 1970s and asked them how many hours each week they play sports or exercise, including cycling (wildly popular in Copenhagen), tennis, jogging, swimming, handball, weight lifting, badminton, soccer and others.

The researchers focused on 8,697 of the study’s Danes, who had joined in the 1990s, noted their activity habits then and checked their names against death records. In the 25 years or so since most had joined, about half had passed away. But those who reported exercising, in some way, between 2.6 and 4.5 hours per week when they joined were 40 percent or so less likely to have died in the interim than less active people.

Translating those hours of exercise into step counts is not an exact science, but the researchers estimate that people exercising for 2.6 hours a week, or about 30 minutes most days, likely would accumulate around 7,000 to 8,000 steps most days, between their exercise and daily life, while those working out for 4.5 hours a week probably would be approaching the 10,000-steps threshold most days.

And at that point, as in the first study, benefits plateaued. But in this study, they then surprisingly declined among the relatively few people who worked out for 10 hours or more per week, or about 90 minutes or so most days.

“The very active group, people doing 10-plus hours of activity a week, lost about a third of the mortality benefits,” compared to people exercising for 2.6 to 4.5 hours a week, said Dr. James O’Keefe, a professor of medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and director of preventive cardiology at the St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, who was an author on the study.

Both studies are associational, though, meaning they show that physical activity is linked to life span but not that being more active directly causes life spans to lengthen.

Together, however, they provide useful takeaways for all of us hoping to live long and well:

  • Both studies pinpoint the sweet spot for activity and longevity at somewhere around 7,000 to 8,000 daily steps or about 30 to 45 minutes of exercise most days. Doing more may marginally improve your odds of a long life, Dr. O’Keefe said, but not by much, and doing far more might, at some point, be counterproductive.

  • Accumulate and measure your activities “in whatever way works for you,” said Dr. Paluch. “Step counting may work well for someone who does not have the time to fit in a longer bout of exercise. But if a single bout of exercise fits best with your lifestyle and motivations, that is great as well. The idea is just to move more.”

How Much Exercise Do We Need to Live Longer?

Regular Exercise May Keep Your Body 30 Years ‘Younger’ | NYTimes

The muscles of older men and women who have exercised for decades are indistinguishable in many ways from those of healthy 25-year-olds, according to an uplifting new study of a group of active septuagenarians.

These men and women also had much higher aerobic capacities than most people their age, the study showed, making them biologically about 30 years younger than their chronological ages, the study’s authors concluded.

All of us are aging every second, of course, which leads many of us also to be deeply interested in what we can expect from our bodies and health as those seconds — and subsequent years and decades — mount.

Worryingly, statistics and simple observation suggest that many elderly people experience frailty, illness and dependence.

But science has not established whether and to what extent such physical decline is inevitable with age or if it is at least partially a byproduct of our modern lifestyles and perhaps amenable to change.

There have been hints, though, that physical activity might alter how we age. Recent studies have found that older athletes have healthier muscles, brains, immune systems and hearts than people of the same age who are sedentary.

But many of these studies have concentrated on competitive masters athletes, not people who exercise recreationally, and few have included many women.

So for the new study, which was published in August in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., decided to look at a distinctive set of older men and women.

“We were very interested in people who had started exercising during the running and exercise booms of the 1970s,” says Scott Trappe, the director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State and the new study’s senior author.

That era, bookended to some extent by the passage of Title IX in 1972 and the publication of “The Complete Book of Running” in 1977, introduced a generation of young men and women to recreational physical activity, Dr. Trappe says.

“They took up exercise as a hobby,” he says.

Some of them then maintained that hobby throughout the next 50 or so years, running, cycling, swimming or otherwise working out often, even if they rarely or never competed, he says.

Those were the men and women, most now well into their 70s, he and his colleagues sought to study.

Using local advertisements and other recruitment methods, they found 28 of them, including seven women, each of whom had been physically active for the past five decades.

They also recruited a second group of age-matched older people who had not exercised during adulthood and a third group of active young people in their 20s.

They brought everyone into the lab, tested their aerobic capacities and, using tissue samples, measured the number of capillaries and levels of certain enzymes in the muscles. High numbers for each indicate muscular health.

The researchers focused on the cardiovascular system and muscles because they are believed inevitably to decline with age and the scientists had expected they would see what Dr. Trappe describes as a “hierarchical pattern” in differences between the groups.

The young people, they thought, would possess the most robust muscles and aerobic capacities, with the lifelong exercisers being slightly weaker on both counts and the older non-exercisers punier still.

But that outcome is not precisely what they found.

Instead, the muscles of the older exercisers resembled those of the young people, with as many capillaries and enzymes as theirs, and far more than in the muscles of the sedentary elderly.

The active elderly group did have lower aerobic capacities than the young people, but their capacities were about 40 percent higher than those of their inactive peers.

In fact, when the researchers compared the active older people’s aerobic capacities to those of established data about “normal” capacities at different ages, they calculated that the aged, active group had the cardiovascular health of people 30 years younger than themselves.

Together, these findings about muscular and cardiovascular health in active older people suggest that what we now consider to be normal physical deterioration with aging “may not be normal or inevitable,” Dr. Trappe says.

However, this study was cross-sectional, highlighting a single moment in people’s lives, and cannot tell us whether their exercise habits directly caused differences in health or if and how genes, income, diet and similar lifestyle factors contributed.

It also did not look at muscle mass and other important measures of health or whether you can begin exercising late in life and benefit to the same extent.

The researchers plan to explore some of these issues in future studies, Dr. Trappe says.

But already the findings from this experiment suggest that exercise could help us “to build a reserve” of good health now that might enable us to slow or evade physical frailty later, Dr. Trappe says.

“These people were so vigorous,” he says. “I’m in my 50s and they certainly inspire me to stay active.”

Regular Exercise May Keep Your Body 30 Years ‘Younger’

 

Worried About Breakthrough Infections? Here’s How to Navigate This Phase of the Pandemic | NYT

If you’re vaccinated, you should think about a number of variables, including your overall health, where you live and the risks you take.

Many people are seeking definitive answers about what they can and can’t do after being vaccinated against Covid-19. Is it OK to travel? Should I go to a big wedding? Does the Delta variant make spending time with my vaccinated grandmother more risky?

But there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to those questions because risk changes from one individual to the next, depending on a person’s overall health, where they live and those they spend time with. The bottom line is that vaccines are highly protective against serious illness, and, with some precautions, will allow people to return to more normal lives, experts say. A recent study in Los Angeles County showed that while breakthrough infections can happen, the unvaccinated are 29 times as likely to end up hospitalized from Covid-19 as a vaccinated person.

Experts say anxiety about breakthrough infections remains pervasive, fueled in part by frightening headlines and unrealistic expectations about the role of vaccines.

“There’s been a lot of miscommunication about what the risks really are to vaccinated people, and how vaccinated people should be thinking about their lives,” said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “There are people who think we are back to square one, but we are in a much, much better place.”

While the Delta variant is causing a surge in infections in various hot spots around the country, including Florida and Louisiana, there will eventually be an end to the pandemic. Getting there will require ongoing precautions in the coming months, but vaccinated people will have more freedom to enjoy life than they did during the early lockdowns. Here are answers to some common questions about the road ahead.

What’s my risk of getting Covid if I’m vaccinated?

To understand why there is no simple answer to this question, think about another common risk: driving in a snowstorm. While we know that tens of thousands of people are injured or killed each year on icy roads, your individual risk depends on local conditions, the speed at which you travel, whether you’re wearing a seatbelt, the safety features on your car and whether you encounter a reckless driver on the road.

Your individual risk for Covid after vaccination also depends on local conditions, your overall health, the precautions you take and how often you are exposed to unvaccinated people who could be infected.

“People want to be told what to do — is it safe if I do this?” said Dr. Sharon Balter, director of the division of communicable disease control and prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “What we can say is, ‘These are the things that are more risky, and these are the things that are less risky.’”

Dr. Balter’s team has recently collected surveillance data that give us a clearer picture of the difference in risk to the vaccinated and unvaccinated as the Delta variant surged from May 1 through July 25. They studied infections in 10,895 fully vaccinated people and 30,801 unvaccinated people. The data showed that:

  • The rate of infection in unvaccinated people is five times the rate of infection in vaccinated people. By the end of the study period, the age-adjusted incidence of Covid-19 among unvaccinated persons was 315.1 per 100,000 people over a seven-day period compared to 63.8 per 100,000 incidence rate among fully vaccinated people. (Age adjustment is a statistical method used so the data are representative of the general population.)
  • The rate of hospitalization among the vaccinated was 1 per 100,000 people. The age-adjusted hospitalization rate in unvaccinated persons was 29.4 per 100,000.
  • Older vaccinated people were most vulnerable to serious illness after a breakthrough infection. The median age of vaccinated people who were hospitalized for Covid was 64 years. Among unvaccinated people who were hospitalized, the median age was 49.
  • The Delta variant appears to have increased the risk of breakthrough infections to vaccinated people. At the start of the study, before Delta was dominant, unvaccinated people became infected 10 times as often as vaccinated people did. By the end of study period, when Delta accounted for almost 90 percent of infections, unvaccinated people were five times as likely to get infected as vaccinated people.

What’s the chance of a vaccinated person spreading Covid-19?

While unvaccinated people are by far at highest risk for catching and spreading Covid-19, it’s also possible for a vaccinated person to become infected and transmit the illness to others. A recent outbreak in Provincetown, Mass., where thousands of people gathered in bars and restaurants, showed that vaccinated people can sometimes spread the virus.

Even so, many experts believe the risk of getting infected from a vaccinated person is still relatively low. Dr. Jha noted that after an outbreak among vaccinated and unvaccinated workers at the Singapore airport, tracking studies suggested that most of the spread by vaccinated people happened when they had symptoms.

“When we’ve seen outbreaks, like those among the Yankees earlier in the year and other cases, almost always people are symptomatic when they’re spreading,” Dr. Jha said. “The asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic spread could happen, but we haven’t seen it among vaccinated people with any frequency.”

Another study from Singapore looked at vaccinated and unvaccinated people infected with the Delta variant. The researchers found that while viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated workers are similar at the onset of illness, the amount of virus declines more rapidly in the vaccinated after the first week, suggesting vaccinated people are infectious for a shorter period of time.

Is it still safe to gather unmasked with vaccinated people?

In many cases it will be safe, but the answer depends on a number of variables. The risk is lower with a few close family members and friends than a large group of people you don’t know. Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings. What’s the community transmission rate? What’s the ventilation in the room? Do you have underlying health issues that would make you vulnerable to complications from Covid-19? Do any of the vaccinated people have a fever, sniffles or a cough?

“The big question is can five people sit around a table unmasked if we know they’re all vaccinated,” Dr. Jha said. “I think the answer is yes. The chances of anybody spreading the virus in that context is exceedingly low. And if someone does spread the virus, the other people are not going to get super sick from it. I certainly think most of us should not fear breakthrough infections to the point where we won’t tolerate doing things we really value in life.”

For larger gatherings or even small gatherings with a highly vulnerable person, rapid antigen testing using home testing kits can lower risk. Asking people to use a test a few days before the event, and then the day of the event, adds another layer of protection. Opening windows and doors or adding a HEPA air cleaner can also help.

Read more —>

The Best Sport for a Longer Life? Try Tennis.

Playing tennis and other sports that are social might add years to your life, according to a new epidemiological study of Danish men and women.

NYT: How Walking Can Build Up the Brain

How Walking, Dancing, Tennis Can Build Up the Brain

Exercise can freshen and renovate the white matter in our brains, potentially improving our ability to think and remember as we age, according to a new study of walking, dancing (tennis) and brain health.

It shows that white matter, which connects and supports the cells in our brains, remodels itself when people become more physically active. In those who remain sedentary, on the other hand, white…

Read More  |   Print & PDF

Tennis at the Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic tennis tournament will be missing some of the sport’s bigger names this year, but there’s still plenty of star power to go around in Tokyo. Tennis’s best-known players have often shined at the Olympics — past gold medalists in singles include Steffi Graf, Jennifer Capriati, Venus Williams and Serena Williams on the women’s side, and Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray on the men’s side.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What is the Olympic tennis format?
  • When is the Olympic tennis tournament?
  • Where will the Olympic tennis tournament take place?
  • Who are the top players competing in Olympic tennis?
  • What type of courts are used in Olympic tennis?
  • Who are the defending gold medalists?

What is the Olympic tennis format?

The men’s and women’s singles medals will be decided by a 64-player, single-elimination tournament. Doubles will feature 32 teams and mixed doubles 16 teams.

All four players or teams to reach the semifinals will compete for medals, with the two semifinal losers playing for bronze and the winners playing for gold (or silver).

Sixteen of the 64 players in singles are seeded based on international rankings, while eight of 32 are seeded in doubles. When possible, no two players from the same country are placed in the same quarter of the draw.

All matches are best-of-three sets. All singles matches will feature a standard tiebreaker (first to seven points) in every set. In doubles, if the teams split the first two sets then the third set will consist entirely of a first-to-10-points tiebreaker.

When is the Olympic tennis tournament?

Olympic tennis begins Friday, June 23, with first-round matches in men’s and women’s singles and men’s and women’s doubles. The complete schedule can be found here. The gold medal matches for each tournament are as follows. All times Eastern.

Men’s doubles: Friday, July 30, 4:30 a.m.

Women’s singles: Saturday, July 31, 5 a.m.

Read more

NYTimes: Keeping Aging Muscles Fit Is Tied to Better Heart Health Later

January 29, 2020

How much muscle you have now could indicate how healthy your heart will be later, according to an interesting new study of muscle mass and cardiovascular disease. The study finds that, for men at least, entering middle age with plenty of muscle lowers the subsequent risk of developing heart disease by as much as 81 percent, compared to the risks for other men.

These results add to the growing evidence that building and maintaining muscle is essential for healthy aging, while also underscoring that the impacts may be different for women and men.

Skeletal muscle is, of course, one of the body’s most versatile and active tissues, providing the strength and power we need to grasp, reach, lift and stride. Muscle is also critical for our metabolic health, slurping and storing blood sugar and producing specialized hormones that move to other tissues, like the brain and fat cells, where they jump-start various biochemical processes.

But our muscle mass almost invariably declines as we grow older, with the loss often starting when we are in our 30s or early 40s and accelerating as we pass through midlife. Severe muscle loss, known as sarcopenia, is associated with frailty and other medical conditions in the elderly, along with loss of independence and premature death.

But even relatively moderate declines in muscle mass are linked with worse outcomes in older people. Some past studies have found that, particularly in older men, low muscle mass tends often to be associated with concurrent cardiovascular disease.

Those studies, however, did not look at which condition might have come first, and so cannot indicate whether there are links between diminished muscle at one age and heart disease later — or vice versa.

So, for the new study, which was published in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, an international group of scientists interested in muscle health and sarcopenia decided to track people’s muscles and heart health as they moved through middle age.

They began by turning to data from the ongoing ATTICA study in Greece, a large-scale look at the underpinnings of cardiovascular disease in a group of Mediterranean men and women. The study, at this point, had enrolled several thousand adults in and around Athens and brought them in to a clinic for extensive medical exams and to fill out lifestyle questionnaires. None of the participants, who ranged in age from early adulthood to retirement age, had cardiovascular disease when they entered the study.

About 10 years after joining the study, each man and woman returned to the lab for another round of testing, focused on their cardiovascular health.

The authors of the new study now zeroed in on the men and women who were at least 45 years old at that second check-in. They wound up with records for 1,019 people, most of them past the age of 55, meaning they had been in their 40s when they joined the study.

Using information from these participants’ original medical tests, the scientists calculated each person’s overall muscle mass and then looked at whether he or she had developed heart disease by the time of the second clinic visit, about 10 years later.

It turned out that more than a quarter of them had. Almost 27 percent of the participants, in fact, now had heart disease, with the incidence about six times higher among the men than the women.

And people’s muscle mass at the study’s start was linked to their chances of heart disease now. Those people with the most muscle then were the least likely to have heart disease now.

That association remained significant when the scientists controlled for people’s diet, education and physical activity, but not when they looked at gender. Women’s muscle mass was not associated with later risks for heart disease, in large part because so few of the women had developed heart disease. In general, women tend to get heart disease about 10 years later than men.

But for men, having relatively large amounts of muscle early in middle age dropped the risk of heart disease later by 81 percent, the researchers determined.

“The association was that strong,” says Stefanos Tyrovolas, the study’s lead author, member of CIBERSAM and principal investigator at the Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute.

This study does not show, though, that having plenty of muscle directly staves off heart disease, only that the two are related. It also cannot tell us just how muscle helps to protect the heart, but Dr. Tyrovolas suspects that the metabolic effects of the tissue, which include better blood-sugar control and less bodily inflammation, are likely to contribute.

Well-muscled people also tend to be more active than others, he says, which helps to protect the heart.

But the overall message of the findings, he says, is that “muscle-mass preservation, through physical exercise and an active lifestyle,” is probably key to protecting middle-aged hearts, especially for men, and provides another compelling reason to visit the gym or fit in a push-up or 10 today.

NEW 90-AND-OVER AGE CATEGORY TO BE INTRODUCED ON ITF SENIORS TOUR IN 2021

The ITF has announced that a new 90-and-over age category will be introduced on the ITF Seniors Tour in 2021.

The news follows the announcement earlier that a 30-and-over age category is also to be introduced next year, with the ITF committed to making improvements at both ends of the age spectrum on the Seniors Tour. The ITF’s mission is to make seniors tennis the leading sport

Today’s announcement means that players aged 90 and over will be able to compete exclusively against one another at events which offer the new category in 2021 – rather than playing against players in their mid-80s, with players in their 90s currently competing in the 85-and-over age categories.

In 2021, a total of 81 registered players on the ITF Seniors Tour will be aged 90 or over (compared to 51 players in 2020). This number is forecast to further grow in the years to come.

The ITF Seniors Tour features more than 500 tournaments a year, played in over 70 nations across six continents. The events range from tournaments held at small clubs attended mainly by local players to the ITF World Championships, which see hundreds of players travel from all over the world. The Seniors Tour is characterised not only by the high level of competition, but also by a warm and welcoming atmosphere, which sustains friendships made through tennis over many years.

Among the highlights of the seniors calendar are undoubtedly the Team and Individual World Championships, and it was with great regret that the ITF was forced to cancel these events in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Next year, the ITF Super Seniors World Championships, due to be held in Mallorca, Spain, will feature a 90-and-over category in the individual championships for the first time.

Today’s news will be well-received by the likes of Leonid Stanislavskyi, a 96-year-old player from Ukraine, who will now no longer have to compete against players aged a decade younger – although Stanislavskyi, a formidable character, has more than held his own against younger opposition at events he has contested in the last few years.

“Tennis is a wonderful sport that allows you to play at any age, it gives you physical training that you can enjoy and it can extend your life,” Stanislavskyi said at the ITF Super Seniors World Championships last year. “Tennis for me is a gift I can’t live without. Tennis is life.”

Matt Byford, Manager of Juniors and Seniors Tennis at the ITF, said: “We have been thrilled to see more and more players competing in the 85-and-over age category each year, many of whom are now aged over 90. Offering this new age category will help provide more appropriate competitive opportunities for players in their 90s, and we hope it will encourage and motivate more players to continue playing throughout the 85-and-over category and play in the 90-and-over category in the future.

“Tennis is a great sport for keeping fit and healthy, as proved by the fact that there will be a global tour for tennis players in their 90s from next year. The ITF Seniors Tour allows players to combine this with competitive play, to travel to and visit new places, and to make and sustain friendships through sport.”