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Andreas Kuettel, Natalie Durand-Bush, and Carsten H. Larsen

The purpose of this study was (a) to investigate gender differences in mental health among Danish youth soccer players, (b) to discover the mental health profiles of the players, and (c) to explore how career progression and mental health are related. A total of 239 Danish youth elite soccer players (M = 16.85, SD = 1.09) completed an online questionnaire assessing mental well-being, depression, anxiety, along with other background variables. Female players scored significantly lower on mental well-being and had four times higher odds of expressing symptoms of anxiety and depression than males. Athletes’ mental health profiles showed that most athletes experience low depression while having moderate mental well-being. Depression, anxiety, and stress scores generally increased when progressing in age, indicating that the junior–senior transition poses distinct challenges to players’ mental health, especially for female players. Different strategies to foster players’ mental health depending on their mental health profiles are proposed.

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Eleftherios Paraskevopoulos, Georgios Gioftsos, Georgios Georgoudis, and Maria Papandreou

Adherence to exercise rehabilitation has been shown to be an important factor that may influence successful treatment. In professional athletes, a significant reduction in exercise adherence delays recovery. The aim of this study was to explore barriers to and facilitators of exercise rehabilitation adherence in injured volleyball athletes. Eight professional volleyball athletes were recruited, and qualitative data were collected using semistructured interviews. All athletes had completed their rehabilitation program after they had suffered a musculoskeletal injury. All data were analyzed using thematic analysis after the investigators ensured that saturation had been reached. Pain was identified as a significant barrier to exercise adherence by all athletes. The provision of social support, including mental, practical, and task related, also had a significant positive impact. The athletes’ ability to develop the necessary coping strategies and confidence on performing exercises at home was also mentioned as a factor that affected exercise adherence, although less often.

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Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg, Jérémie Verner-Filion, and Patrick Gaudreau

Athletes can respond to positive experiences in sport by engaging in savoring—that is, by attempting to prolong or amplify their positive feelings. In this research, the authors tested if savoring was predicted by levels of harmonious or obsessive passion for sport and if savoring was associated with symptoms of burnout. In Study 1 (n = 499), the authors found that savoring was positively associated with harmonious passion and negatively associated with obsessive passion. In addition, savoring predicted lower levels of burnout and played an indirect role in the relationship between both passion types and burnout. The authors replicated these findings in Study 2 (n = 298), with collegiate-level athletes, prospectively, over the course of a season. Overall, athletes with strong levels of harmonious passion appear to be most likely to engage in savoring, a response that may protect them from experiencing higher levels of burnout.

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Christine E. Pacewicz and Alan L. Smith

Interpersonal exchanges may contribute to athletes’ motivational and well-being experiences through their contribution to athletes’ feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is understudied in sport, yet it is potentially salient in connecting social relationships with motivational processes and well-being of athletes. The purpose of the current research was to examine (a) the association of aspects of teammate relationships with athletes’ perceptions of burnout and engagement and (b) whether loneliness explained these associations. Adolescent athletes (N = 279) completed established measures of teammate relationships, loneliness, burnout, and engagement. The mediational model was invariant between boys and girls. Loneliness mediated the relationship of social support (β = −0.14, 0.10), corumination (β = 0.09, −0.06), and appraisal of peer rejection (β = 0.11, −0.08) with burnout and engagement, respectively. Continued examination of athletes’ loneliness will extend understanding of athletes’ motivational and well-being experiences and inform the promotion of adaptive sport experiences.

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Francesco V. Ferraro, James P. Gavin, Thomas W. Wainwright, and Alison K. McConnell

Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) improved balance ability and respiratory muscle function in healthy older adults. The current study is a retrospective analysis to explore the relationship between inspiratory muscle function, balance ability, and adaptation to IMT. All participants (total = 129; IMT = 60; age range = 65–85 years) performed inspiratory and balance assessments, including the mini-balance evaluation system test, maximal inspiratory pressure, and peak inspiratory flow tests. Baseline inspiratory muscle function was positively related to balance ability (p < .05), and IMT-induced improvements in inspiratory function (23.3% in maximal inspiratory pressure, 8.0% in peak inspiratory flow rate, 14.9% in maximal peak inspiratory power) were related to improvements in balance (10.6% in mini-balance evaluation system test), with the greatest improvements (17.0%) observed in the oldest participants (76–85 years old, p < .05). In conclusion, with or without IMT, positive associations between inspiratory function and balance ability exist, with greater improvements in inspiratory muscle function related to greater improvements in balance ability.

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Ty B. Palmer, Jarrod Blinch, Ahalee C. Farrow, Chinonye C. Agu-Udemba, and Ethan A. Mitchell

This study aimed to examine the acute effects of fast-paced walking on isometric peak torque and rate of torque development (RTD) in regular exercising and inactive older women. Ten regular exercising (67 ± 4 years) and 10 inactive (68 ± 4 years) older women performed three isometric knee extension contractions before and after a control condition (quiet resting) and an experimental condition of fast-paced walking for 6 min. Peak torque and early (RTD100), late (RTD200), and maximum (peak RTD) RTD measurements were obtained from each contraction. Results showed no significant changes in peak torque, peak RTD, or RTD200 after walking for either group (p > .050). A significant decrease in RTD100 was observed after walking for the inactive group (p = .005) but not for the regular exercisers (p = .909). These findings highlight the importance of physical activity and suggest that a task as simple as walking may impair the rapid strength capacities of inactive older women.

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Rosiane Jesus do Nascimento, Valter Cordeiro Barbosa Filho, Cassiano Ricardo Rech, Rafaela Batista Brasil, Renato Campos Junior, Inês Amanda Streit, and Ewertton de Souza Bezerra

The current study aimed to follow the effects of social/physical distancing strategies on health-related daily physical activity and quality of life among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventy-two older adults who were enrolled in a University–Community program in March 2020 (age = 66.8 ± 4.82 years, ♀59) answered five phone-based surveys up to 120 days after the COVID-19 outbreak (from April to August 2020). The Short Form 6D and international physical activity (short version) questionnaires were applied. A significant reduction was observed in daily physical activity levels, metabolic equivalent of task, and health-related quality of life scores as well as an increase in sitting time during the week and on weekend days (all p < .01). The authors noted differences in lifestyle conditions at the beginning of the social/physical distancing in the community assessed (p < .01). Health vulnerabilities among older adults have been emphasized during the COVID-19 outbreak, impacting daily physical activity and health-related quality of life.

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Neda Nasrollahi, Jordan Quensell, and Liana Machado

Despite an abundance of evidence that exercise benefits cognition and mood, physical activity levels among older adults remain low, with time and inaccessibility posing major barriers. Interval stair climbing is an accessible time-efficient form of physical activity demonstrated to benefit cognition and mood in young adults, but effectiveness in older adults remains unknown. To address this, 28 older adults (M age = 69.78 years, 16 females) undertook cognitive and mood assessments twice, 1 week apart, once preceded by interval stair climbing. A fairly large, albeit only marginally significant, effect size (ηp2=.12) indicated improved cognition following the moderate- to high-intensity intervention; however, rather than improving mood, older adults reported feeling more tired (g = 0.51). These outcomes provide initial indications that this mode of exercise that can easily translate to naturalistic settings offers promise as an intervention strategy, but more research is needed to optimize the protocol to suit aged populations (ACTRN1261900169014).

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Lucas Eduardo Rodrigues Santos, André dos Santos Costa, Eduardo Caldas Costa, Vinicius Oliveira Damasceno, Zhaojing Chen, Izaildo Alves de Oliveira, Karla Kristine Dames, Flávio Oliveira Pires, and Tony Meireles Santos

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of passive recovery with self-selected time on affect, ratings of perceived exertion, and heart rate in self-selected interval exercises (SSIE). Fifteen older women (68.1 ± 3.8 years), weekly practitioners of functional activities participated in three SSIE with self-selected recovery time (SSRT) and one self-selected continuous exercise session, all at 24 min approximately. The SSIE had the following configurations: 1′/SSRT, 1.5′/SSRT, and 2′/SSRT. The results showed that at the beginning of stimulus heart rate in 1.5′/SSRT (107.9 ± 16.5) and 2′/SSRT (114.6 ± 17.1) were significantly greater (p < .05) compared with self-selected continuous exercise (102.8 ± 14.5). The ratings of perceived exertion in self-selected continuous exercise (2.4 ± 0.4; p < .05) were higher compared with SSIE in recovery. No significant differences were found in affect. The SSIE provided similar responses based on recoveries manipulations.

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Luiz Fernado Biazus-Sehn, Rafael Reimann Baptista, Régis Gemerasca Mestriner, Bianca Pacheco Loss, Daniela Aldabe, and Felipe de Souza Stigger

Real-world walking requires shifting attention from different cognitive demands to adapt gait. This study aims to evaluate the effect of dual tasking on spatiotemporal gait parameters of older adults. Participants were asked to perform a primary complex single-walking task, consisting of a fast-paced linear and a curved gait. Primary task was performed separately and simultaneously with different motor and cognitive secondary tasks. Spatiotemporal gait parameters, walk ratio, and walk stability ratio were measured. Apart from stride length, which stood relatively unchanged, gait speed and cadence were strongly affected by cognitive dual tasking. Cadence seems to be the most impacted by dual tasking during curved gait as it combines challenges of both primary and secondary tasks. Also, during curved phase, walking ratio was significantly lower and stability ratio was greater demonstrating that participants adopted a cautious gait where maintenance of stability took preference over efficiency.