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Tommy Slater, William J.A. Mode, Mollie G. Pinkney, John Hough, Ruth M. James, Craig Sale, Lewis J. James, and David J. Clayton

Acute morning fasted exercise may create a greater negative 24-hr energy balance than the same exercise performed after a meal, but research exploring fasted evening exercise is limited. This study assessed the effects of 7-hr fasting before evening exercise on energy intake, metabolism, and performance. Sixteen healthy males and females (n = 8 each) completed two randomized, counterbalanced trials. Participants consumed a standardized breakfast (08:30) and lunch (11:30). Two hours before exercise (16:30), participants consumed a meal (543 ± 86 kcal; FED) or remained fasted (FAST). Exercise involved 30-min cycling (∼60% VO2peak) and a 15-min performance test (∼85% VO2peak; 18:30). Ad libitum energy intake was assessed 15 min postexercise. Subjective appetite was measured throughout. Energy intake was 99 ± 162 kcal greater postexercise (p < .05), but 443 ± 128 kcal lower over the day (p < .001) in FAST. Appetite was elevated between the preexercise meal and ad libitum meal in FAST (p < .001), with no further differences (p ≥ .458). Fat oxidation was greater (+3.25 ± 1.99 g), and carbohydrate oxidation was lower (−9.16 ± 5.80 g) during exercise in FAST (p < .001). Exercise performance was 3.8% lower in FAST (153 ± 57 kJ vs. 159 ± 58 kJ, p < .05), with preexercise motivation, energy, readiness, and postexercise enjoyment also lower in FAST (p < .01). Fasted evening exercise reduced net energy intake and increased fat oxidation compared to exercise performed 2 hr after a meal. However, fasting also reduced voluntary performance, motivation, and exercise enjoyment. Future studies are needed to examine the long-term effects of this intervention as a weight management strategy.

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Jordi P.D. Kleinloog, Kevin M.R. Nijssen, Ronald P. Mensink, and Peter J. Joris

The aim of this systematic review was to examine the effects of physical exercise training on cerebral blood flow (CBF), which is a physiological marker of cerebrovascular function. Relationships between training-induced effects on CBF with changes in cognitive performance were also discussed. A systematic search was performed up to July 2022. Forty-five intervention studies with experimental, quasi-experimental, or pre–post designs were included. Sixteen studies (median duration: 14 weeks) investigated effects of physical exercise training on CBF markers using magnetic resonance imaging, 20 studies (median duration: 14 weeks) used transcranial Doppler ultrasound, and eight studies (median duration: 8 weeks) used near-infrared spectroscopy. Studies using magnetic resonance imaging observed consistent increases in CBF in the anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus, but not in whole-brain CBF. Effects on resting CBF—measured with transcranial Doppler ultrasound and near-infrared spectroscopy—were variable, while middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity increased in some studies following exercise or hypercapnic stimuli. Interestingly, concomitant changes in physical fitness and regional CBF were observed, while a relation between training-induced effects on CBF and cognitive performance was evident. In conclusion, exercise training improved cerebrovascular function because regional CBF was changed. Studies are however still needed to establish whether exercise-induced improvements in CBF are sustained over longer periods of time and underlie the observed beneficial effects on cognitive performance.

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Mitchell J. Finlay, Craig A. Bridge, Matt Greig, and Richard M. Page

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of upper-body punch-specific isometric (ISO) and elastic resistance (ER) conditioning activities (CAs) on the punch force and neuromuscular performance of amateur boxers. Methods: Ten male senior elite amateur boxers (19.7 [1.2]| y; height 180.9 [7.0] cm; mass 78.7 [9.6] kg) visited the laboratory on 4 separate occasions. Initially, the participants performed baseline physical tests comprising bench-press 1-repetition maximum and countermovement jumps. On the other 3 occasions, the boxers performed maximal punches against a vertically mounted force plate and maximal countermovement jumps prior to and following an ISO or ER CA, as well as a control trial. Results: No interactions between CA × time were found in all performance variables. As observed by mean changes, effect sizes, and signal:noise ratio, both the ISO and ER, but not the control trial, consistently produced small to moderate, worthwhile increases in punch force and rate of force development, with the greatest increases in performance typically observed in the ISO trial. No meaningful improvements were observed in countermovement jump performance in all trials, indicative of a localized postactivation performance enhancement effect. Conclusion: In conclusion, the ISO and ER CAs may be implemented in an amateur boxers’ warm-up to acutely enhance punch-force variables, although the ISO punch appears to be the superior CA to improve punch-specific performance. The CAs used in the present study may also be relevant to other combat sports inclusive of a striking element.

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Emma Streatch, Natasha Bruno, and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

Quality experiences in sport programming for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can promote physical and psychosocial benefits and long-term quality participation (QP). Unfortunately, children with ASD often experience sport participation barriers and, consequently, participate less in sport compared with children without disabilities. This study investigated QP priorities and strategies that could foster QP for children with ASD. Caregivers (n = 13), volunteers (n = 26), and staff (n = 14) involved in sport programming for children with ASD rated experiential elements of QP using the Measure of Experiential Aspects of Participation. In addition , a two-round Delphi survey with staff (Round 1: n = 11; Round 2: n = 13) generated 22 strategies for promoting QP—each rated highly with regard to importance (5.69–6.85 on a 7-point scale). Strategies were substantiated with published research evidence. Findings informed the development of a QP tool designed to help instructors implement identified strategies in hopes of improving sport experiences for children with ASD.

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Cindy H.P. Sit, Wendy Y.J. Huang, Stephen H.S. Wong, Martin C.S. Wong, Raymond K.W. Sum, and Venus M.H. Li

Background: Following the 2019 Hong Kong Para Report Card, the 2022 Hong Kong Para Report Card aimed to provide an updated and evidence-based assessment for nine indicators related to physical activity in children and adolescents with special educational needs and to assess the results using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Methods: Using a systematic process, the best available data on nine indicators were searched from the past 10 years and were assessed by a research work group. Letter grades were assigned and considered by stakeholders and auditors. Results: Four indicators were assigned a letter grade (overall physical activity: F [mixed device-measured and self-reported data]; sedentary behaviors: D [device-measured data]; active transportation: D−; government strategies & investment: C+). SWOT analysis highlighted opportunities for facilitating children and adolescents with special educational needs to achieve health recommendations. Conclusion: There were deteriorating trends in physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Effective, multilevel, and cross-sector interventions are recommended to promote active behavior in children and adolescents with special educational needs.

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Susann Arnell, Kajsa Jerlinder, and Lars-Olov Lundqvist

Background: Participation in physical activity among adolescents with autism is often conditional. However, there is a lack of methods for identifying these specific conditions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and investigate the feasibility of a Q-sort tool to map individual-specific conditions for participation in physical activity among adolescents with autism and to identify different viewpoints regarding conditions for such participation. Method: An exploratory mixed-methods design was employed to investigate the feasibility of using Q methodology and the Q-sort procedure to identify what individual-specific conditions are important for participation in physical activity for adolescents with autism. Results: The adolescents ranked the statements with varying levels of ease. Two viewpoints were identified: Autonomous participation without surprises and Enjoyment of activity in a safe social context. Conclusion: Q-sort is a feasible method for mapping conditions for participation, which can guide the development of tailored physical activity interventions.

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Charles S. Urwin, Rodney J. Snow, Dominique Condo, Rhiannon M.J. Snipe, Glenn D. Wadley, Lilia Convit, and Amelia J. Carr

This study compared the recommended dose of sodium citrate (SC, 500 mg/kg body mass) and sodium bicarbonate (SB, 300 mg/kg body mass) for blood alkalosis (blood [HCO3 ]) and gastrointestinal symptoms (GIS; number and severity). Sixteen healthy individuals ingested the supplements in a randomized, crossover design. Gelatin capsules were ingested over 15 min alongside a carbohydrate-rich meal, after which participants remained seated for forearm venous blood sample collection and completion of GIS questionnaires every 30 min for 300 min. Time-course and session value (i.e., peak and time to peak) comparisons of SC and SB supplementation were performed using linear mixed models. Peak blood [HCO3 ] was similar for SC (mean 34.2, 95% confidence intervals [33.4, 35.0] mmol/L) and SB (mean 33.6, 95% confidence intervals [32.8, 34.5] mmol/L, p = .308), as was delta blood [HCO3 ] (SC = 7.9 mmol/L; SB = 7.3 mmol/L, p = .478). Blood [HCO3 ] was ≥6 mmol/L above baseline from 180 to 240 min postingestion for SC, significantly later than for SB (120–180 min; p < .001). GIS were mostly minor, and peaked 80–90 min postingestion for SC, and 35–50 min postingestion for SB. There were no significant differences for the number or severity of GIS reported (p > .05 for all parameters). In summary, the recommended doses of SC and SB induce similar blood alkalosis and GIS, but with a different time course.

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Marni J. Simpson, David G. Jenkins, Mark Connick, and Vincent G. Kelly

Purpose: This study examined the relationships between training workloads, game workloads, and match performance in an elite netball team. Methods: Ten elite female netball athletes were monitored over a complete season. Training and game external workloads were determined through inertial movement units and expressed as absolute PlayerLoad (PL) and change of direction (COD). Monthly workload and training efficiency index were also calculated, which used internal workloads (session rating of perceived exertion and summated heart-rate zones). Game performance was assessed through a performance analysis statistic algorithm called NetPoints. To account for the influence of team game workloads on each other, the average workload for midcourt positions (avgMC) was calculated for each game. Data for each athlete were transformed into z scores, and linear mixed modeling was used to build models to examine the relationships between workloads and game performance. Results: Monthly PL, training efficiency index PL, and avgMC PL were statistically significant (P < .05) and positively related to game PL (z = 0.20–0.35, P < .001–.02). For game COD, statistically significant positive relationships were found between monthly COD (z = 0.29 [0.11], P = .01) and avgMC COD (z = 0.21 [0.09], P = .03). The models for NetPoints found significant negative relationships with monthly PL (z = 0.46 [0.12], P < .001) and COD (z = −0.36 [0.11], P = .01). Conclusions: Higher monthly workloads are related to higher game workload; however, they are also related to decreases in match performance. Therefore, netball practitioners should consider that increases to training workload in a 4-week period prior to a game can influence game workloads and performance.