Doc, can I play??

Congratulations on being part of an amazing Games and keeping your involvement in sport, long past our teen years.  The word “Masters” seems to elicit different responses around town and by definition, is any one over the age of 35 years (30 in some sports), up to our over 100s! But within this 70 year age gap, a lot happens to our bodies so unfortunately we are no longer the eager 21 year old ‘next superstar’.

For many of you, you’ve always been active.  And with that, your body has adapted and stayed relatively healthy.  For others, you may have had medical set-backs or even, because of your dear work colleagues, found yourself signing up for the 2019 GBR Games as your first venture back into physical activity.  Regardless of where you fit, there are a few ‘guidelines’ we like to recommend to keep you healthy and playing long into the future because you are never too old.

Screening Recommendations
* Any athlete with Type 2 diabetes mellitus
* Any male (over 45yrs) or female (over 55yrs) with:
o   High cholesterol
o   Hypertension/high blood pressure
o   Smoker
o   Family history of heart issues
o   Chest pain with exercise

This means a quick chat with your GP/local sports doctor or a reminder for an annual wellness check-up.  A screen could include a good history, examination, check of your BP, resting ECG (heart trace print-out) and maybe some more tests, depending on your risks.  It may also mean optimising your current medications or just advising a ‘go-slow and steady’ approach.  Regardless, let’s start on the right foot – we have a full-on 6 months to go J

Dr Kira James is a Sport & Exercise Medicine Registrar with FNQ Sports Medicine, living it up in Cairns.  If she’s not in Cairns, you may find her travelling the world with the Australian Dolphins (Swim team) and the Aussie Sharks (Men’s Water Polo Team)… but always loves coming back home!