Health & Well-Being

This page will contain information related to health and well being for masters athletes.

1.Strength and Balance Training
2.British Masters Medical Services Therapists
3.Influence of a Caffeine Mouthwash on Endurance Performance
4.Effect of Lifelong Exercise on the Heart in Female Endurance Athletes over 45

1. Strong and Balanced Training

Breakthrough masters research from university sports scientists

New research published by eminent sports scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University working in partnership with the BMAF, suggests that a rethink of activity levels outside of sport specific training may be beneficial for both health and performance.  In a new brochure, entitled “Strong and Balanced Training – a guide to healthy and active ageing for Masters”, it states that: –

“While exercise is good for health, specialisation in Masters athletics may come at the expense of underdevelopment of some organ systems.  For example, Masters endurance runners are rewarded by a very lean physique (low body fat) and cardiovascular health, but they have low muscle and bone strength, and balance.   Throwers meanwhile are typically strong with good bone health, but leanness and cardiovascular system are more of a problem”

Manchester Met have been carrying out research into musculoskeletal sciences and physical activity for more than 20 years. Their latest project, has compared the results of over 300 masters athletes (mostly BMAF members) to those of over 3000 people from the general public. They have published their findings in a brochure that interprets their findings specifically for the benefit of master athletes themselves. Although the research focuses on 70 year olds, it will be of interest to any masters over age 50. Research shows that muscle function tends to increase until around age 25, plateaus until about age 50 where a year on year decline because of the effect of ageing begins. They have also made very helpful suggestions in countering this decline. The full report and an accompanying slide presentation that was made to the BMAF Council and Executive are attached. Details of how to obtain printed copies will be published in due course.

We are pleased to say that Manchester Met and the BMAF will be continuing to collaborate on further projects.

Ian Richards, BMAF Vice-Chariman & Race Walking Secretary
January 2019

Strong and Balanced Brochure                        Strong and Balanced Slide Presentation

2. British Masters Medical Services Therapists

Have you got an injury? Need some help from a sports therapist to improve your performance?

The British Masters Medical Services (BMMS) therapists have been providing this service for British masters at both International and the main Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships for many years. However, it is not always easy to find someone with an interest or knowledge of masters athletics near where you live when you need help outside of championships. The BMMS have, therefore, provided a list of therapists in post code order who are happy to have their names, specialism, contact details and experience published on the BMAF website to assist in getting the support you need when you want it.  There are others who are part of the BBMS team but these are the ones who are happy for their names and details to be made public.

They give their time for free at championships enabling very attractive fees to be offered to athletes on those occasions. We would, therefore, encourage everyone to use them whenever possible when they are working in their own practices. The fees they charge are likely to be those they charge for other clients but you can be assured that you will be treated by someone who will want to help you get to your next training session or competition in as good state as possible.

List of BMMS Therapists 2018 


Both chiropractors and osteopaths treat patients in a very similar way but chiropractors tend to use more specific, direct methods to the spine and all other joints as well. Osteopaths may use more soft tissue and general mobilisation techniques whilst chiropractors pride themselves on being more specific and direct in their treatment.


Both chiropractors and physiotherapists treat musculo-skeletal problems.  A physiotherapist will utilise many different therapies, including exercises, ultra-sound, massage and traction.  A chiropractor might use some of these therapies but concentrates more on joint manipulation.

Ian Richards, BMAF Vice-Chairman & Race Walking Secretary
January 2019

3. Influence of a Caffeine Mouthwash on Endurance Performance

Jessica Piasecki (nee Coulson) is continuing her research work involving masters athletes at Nottingham Trent University. She has several projects including:
– Influence of a Caffeine Mouthwash on Endurance Performance. See detailed Athlete Participation Sheet.
– Some studies that focus on neuromuscular investigations comparing the physically active to the less physically active

Any athlete who took part in her previous research at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2015 or newcomers over 60 are welcome. Travelling expenses will be paid.

Contact Jessica at

(Note that on 24 Nov 2019 Jessica set the 3rd-best all-time British women’s marathon time of 2:25:29 – she is clearly doing something right for her own running.)

4. Effect of Lifelong Exercise on the Heart in Female Endurance Athletes over 45

See flyer and detailed Female Masters Athletes Study.  St George’s Hospital, London.

Participant Information
Invitation to Participate
Consent form