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Effects of Aquatic Exercise on Physical Performance in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Carlos Mario Buitrago-Restrepo, Fredy Alonso Patiño-Villada, and Carlos Mario Arango-Paternina

This systematic review aimed to evaluate the effects of aquatic exercise on physical performance in older adults. Databases were searched up to July 2021. Randomized controlled trials were screened by two reviewers, who extracted data and assessed study quality. Ten randomized controlled trials (603 participants) were included. Compared with nonexercising controls, aquatic exercise probably improved lower limb muscle power (30-s Chair Stand Test; mean difference 4.75 repetitions; 95% confidence interval [0.07, 9.42]; I 2 = 99%; 251 participants; very low-quality evidence). When comparing aquatic exercise with land exercise, there is probably no superiority in favor of either intervention on dynamic balance (Timed Up and Go Test; mean difference −0.12 s; 95% confidence interval [−0.37, 0.12]; I 2 = 3%; 244 participants; very low-quality evidence).

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Erratum. The Relationship Between Childhood Trauma, Exercise Addiction, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Basic Psychological Needs in Türkiye

Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology

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Influence of Motor Imagery Modality on First-Serve Performance in Tennis Players

Dominique Laurent, Robbin Carien, and Nicolas Robin

Motor imagery (MI) is frequently used in tennis players. This pilot study aimed to assess whether the MI modality and preference of skilled tennis players could influence their service performance when using MI before serving first balls. Twenty expert players (M age = 18.6 years) completed the movement imagery questionnaire (third version) to assess their MI modality scores (internal visual, external visual, and kinesthetic) and their MI preference. Participants completed 4 experimental counterbalanced sessions spread over 4 weeks, each including the completion of 20 first-serve balls in match condition. The sessions included a control condition (i.e., only physical practice trials) and three MI conditions during which the players had to mentally imagine themselves performing a serve according to one of the imagery modalities, either internal visual, external visual, or kinesthetic, before serving. The percentage of success, the speed of the service balls (measured by a tablet with SWING VISION and a radar gun), and an efficiency score were recorded and then evaluated by experts and served as performance indicators and dependent variables. The results of this study showed that players benefited from MI before serving and that almost a third of the participants achieved a higher percentage of success and efficiency scores when using their preferred MI modality. These results lead us, in an applied way, to suggest to skilled tennis players to determine their MI preference and to have recourse to the mental simulation of a successful serve before serving the first balls in match condition.

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Menstrual Cycle and Hormonal Contraceptive Symptom Severity and Frequency in Athletic Females

Laura R. Kiemle-Gabbay, Stephanie Valentin, Daniel Martin, and Laura J. Forrest (née Whyte)

The purpose of this study was to determine symptom severity and frequency in female exercisers and athletes from a diverse range of sports who have a menstrual cycle (MC) or use hormonal contraceptives (HCs). An additional aim was to explore the perceived impact of MC/HC use upon exercise and sport performance. In total, 604 self-identifying female athletes and exercisers (M = 29.4 years, SD = 9.0) from 85 sports/activities completed a survey which included: sport/exercise participation, bleeding characteristics, HC use, symptom severity/frequency, symptom management strategies, menstrual product use, and perceived impact of MC/HC use on exercise performance. The data were subject to mixed-methods analysis. Over one third (n = 225; 37.25%) of participants reported current HC use. Ninety-five percent (95.36%) of participants experienced symptoms related to MC or HC use. Physiological, psychological, and affective symptoms were all among the most prevalent. The most frequently noted severe and very severe symptoms for all participants, MC and HC users, were abdominal cramps (36.92%, 39.32%, and 32.89%, respectively), mood changes (26.16%, 25.07%, and 28.00%, respectively), and tiredness (25.33%, 25.59%, and 24.89%, respectively). Symptom impact was self-managed through medical and/or other (cognitive/behavioral) strategies. Qualitative content analysis of the data produced four overarching themes: (a) the impact of symptoms, (b) menstrual stigma and taboos, (c) protective factors, and (d) coping strategies. In conclusion, menstruation is a multifaceted, unique experience that impacts upon sport/exercise performance. Practitioners should consider athletes’ distinct needs, including the frequency of occurrence and severity of their symptomatic experiences, when facilitating menstruation-supportive training, avoiding a “one-size fits-all” approach.

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Shuttle Time for Seniors: The Impact of 8-Week Structured Badminton Training on Markers of Healthy Aging and Evaluation of Lived Experiences—A Quasi-Experimental Study

Jason Tallis, Darren Richardson, Sharn P. Shelley, Neil Clarke, Rhys O. Morris, Mark Noon, Michael J. Duncan, and Emma L.J. Eyre

Background/Objectives: Engagement in sport offers the potential for improved physical and psychological well-being and has been shown to be beneficial for promoting healthy aging. Opportunities for older adults to (re)engage with sport are limited by a paucity of age-appropriate introductory sports intervention programs. As such, the study evaluated the efficacy of a newly designed 8-week badminton training program (Shuttle Time for Seniors) on markers of healthy aging and the lived experiences of participation. Methods: Forty-three older adults assigned to a control (N = 20) or intervention group (N = 23) completed pre–post assessment of physical and cognitive function, self-efficacy for exercise, and well-being. Focus groups were conducted for program evaluation and to understand barriers and enablers to sustained participation. Results: Those in the intervention group increased upper body strength, aerobic fitness, coincidence anticipation time, and self-efficacy for exercise. Objectively improved physical and cognitive functions were corroborated by perceived benefits indicated in thematic analysis. Shuttle Time for Seniors was perceived as appropriate for the population, where the age-appropriate opportunity to participate with likeminded people of similar ability was a primary motivator to engagement. Despite willingness to continue playing, lack of badminton infrastructure was a primary barrier to continued engagement. Conclusion: Shuttle Time for Seniors offered an important opportunity for older adults to (re)engage with badminton, where the physical and psychosocial benefits of group-based badminton improved facets important to healthy aging. Significance/Implications: Age-appropriate introductory intervention programs provide opportunity for older adults to (re)engage with sport. However, important barriers to long-term engagement need to be addressed from a whole systems perspective.

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A Study of the Effects of Motor Experience on Neuromuscular Control Strategies During Sprint Starts

Zhengye Pan, Lushuai Liu, Yuan Sun, and Yunchao Ma

Much of the current research on sprint start has attempted to analyze the biomechanical characteristics of elite athletes to provide guidance on the training of sprint technique, with less attention paid to the effects of motor experience gained from long-term training on neuromuscular control characteristics. The present study attempted to investigate the effect of motor experience on the modular organization of the neuromuscular system during starting, based on he clarification of the characteristics of muscle synergies during starting. It was found that exercise experience did not promote an increase in the number of synergies but rather a more focused timing of the activation of each synergy, allowing athletes to quickly complete the postural transition from crouching to running during the starting.

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Changes in Accelerometer-Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time Across Retirement Transition as a Predictor of Self-Rated Health

Andreas Fröberg, Lawrence Sacco, Kristin Suorsa, Tuija Leskinen, Pasan Hettiarachchi, Magnus Svartengren, Sari Stenholm, and Hugo Westerlund

Background: Retirement transition has been shown to associate with changes in physical activity (PA) and self-rated health (SRH), but their interrelationship is less studied. The aim was to investigate changes in accelerometer-measured total PA, moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA), and sedentary time across retirement transition as a predictor of SRH. Methods: Data from the Swedish Retirement Study and the Finnish Retirement and Aging study were harmonized and pooled. Data from 3 waves (about 12 mo apart) were included: 1 preretirement (wave 1) and 2 postretirement follow-ups (wave 2–3). A totally of 245 participants (27% men) were included. Thigh-worn accelerometers were used to collect data for PA variables (wave 1–2), and SRH was obtained from the questionnaire (wave 1–3). Results: Between wave 1 and 2, total PA decreased with 11 (CI, −22 to −1) minutes per day, MVPA was stable (0 [CI, −3 to 3] min), and sedentary time decreased nonsignificantly with 9 (CI, −20 to 1) minutes. SRH changed between all 3 waves (all P < .001). At preretirement, 10 more minutes of MVPA was associated with greater odds of better SRH when adjusting for accelerometer wear-time, cohort, sex, age, and occupational status (odds ratio: 1.11 [95% CI, 1.02–1.22]). This association was no longer statistically significant when additionally adjusting for marital status, body mass index, and smoking. No significant associations were observed between changes in the PA variables during retirement transition and SRH at postretirement follow-ups. Conclusions: This study showed a cross-sectional association between MVPA and greater odds of reporting better SRH before retirement. No longitudinal associations were observed between changes in the PA variables from before to after retirement and later changes in SRH.

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The Cognitive Function and Taekwondo-Specific Kick Performance of Taekwondo Athletes at Different Hydration Statuses

Ai-Chi Zheng, Cheng-Shiun He, Chi-Cheng Lu, Bao-Lien Hung, Kuei-Ming Chou, and Shih-Hua Fang

Purpose: Successful participation in taekwondo (TKD) requires athletes to possess quick decision-making abilities and demonstrate technical proficiency during competition. Dehydration, occurring during both training and competition, is widely recognized to have various negative effects. Methods: This study investigated the impact of different levels of dehydration on cognitive function, as measured by the Vienna Test System, and the specific performance of kicking techniques among TKD athletes. Using a randomized crossover design, 12 participants were involved in the study. Before and after 1 hour of training at 80% of maximal heart rate, participants were weighed and provided urine samples. All participants were randomly assigned to 3 different hydration conditions: the euhydrated (EUH) group had unrestricted access to fluid consumption, while the hypohydrated (HYP) and severely HYP (S-HYP) groups experienced reductions of 2.0% and 4.0% of their initial body weight, respectively. Results: The EUH group exhibited better reaction speed in reaction-time test-form S1 than the HYP and S-HYP groups. Notably, the EUH group demonstrated a significantly higher success rate in the front-side kick (EUH 98%, HYP 90%, S-HYP 88%; P < .05). However, the success rates of back roundhouse kick and free head kick were similar among the 3 statuses. Furthermore, postexercise heart rates were found to be significantly higher in the HYP and S-HYP groups compared with the EUH group. Conclusions: This study provides insight into the negative effects of dehydration on cognitive function and TKD-specific performance. It is recommended that TKD athletes maintain optimal hydration levels during training and competition to ensure optimal performance.

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Kim Gammage, Erica Bennett, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Matt Hoffman, Seungmin Lee, Sascha Leisterer, Sean Locke, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, and Matthew Stork