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Jonpaul Nevin and Paul Smith

Purpose: The aim of the following case study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 30-week concurrent strength and endurance training program designed to prepare a trained H4 male handcyclist (aged 28 y, bilateral, above knee amputee, and body mass 65.6 kg) for a 1407-km ultra-endurance handcycling challenge. Methods: This observational case study tracked selected physiological measures, training intensity distribution, and total training load over the course of a 30-week concurrent training protocol. Furthermore, the athlete’s performance profile during the ultra-endurance challenge was monitored with power output, cadence, speed, and heart rate recorded throughout. Results: Findings revealed considerable improvements in power output at a fixed blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol·L−1 (+25.7%), peak aerobic power output (+18.9%), power-to-mass ratio (+18.3%), relative peak oxygen uptake (+13.9%), gross mechanical efficiency (+4.6%), bench press 1-repetition maximum (+4.3%), and prone bench pull 1-repetition maximum (+14.9%). The athlete completed the 1407-km route in a new handcycling world record time of 89:55 hours. Average speed was 18.7 (2.1) km·h−1; cadence averaged 70.0 (2.6) rpm, while average power output was 67 (12) W. In terms of internal load, the athlete’s average heart rate was 111 (11) beats per minute. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate how a long-term concurrent strength and endurance training program can be used to optimize handcycling performance capabilities in preparation for an ultra-endurance cycling event. Knowledge emerging from this case study provides valuable information that can guide best practices with respect to handcycling training for ultra-endurance events.

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Anna Witkowska, Małgorzata Grabara, Dorota Kopeć, and Zbigniew Nowak

Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Nordic Walking compared to conventional walking on aerobic capacity, the lipid profile, left ventricular ejection fraction, body mass, and body mass index in women over 55 years old. Methods: The study was comprised of 74 women over 55 years of age. Participants were randomized to the Nordic Walking (n = 38) or conventional walking (n = 36) training groups. The echocardiogram, treadmill exercise stress test, lipid profile, and body mass were assessed at baseline (pretest) and after 12 weeks (posttest). Results: The authors found a significant main effect over time in duration (effect size [ES] = 0.59, P < .0001), distance covered (ES = 0.56, P < .0001), peak oxygen consumption (ES = 0.43, P < .0001), metabolic equivalent (ES = 0.29, P < .0001), peak heart rate (ES = 0.2, P < .0001), peak diastolic blood pressure (ES = 0.11, P = .0045), total cholesterol (ES = 0.26, P < .0001), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (ES = 0.16, P = .0005). The authors did not observe a time versus group interaction or the effect between groups. Post hoc tests revealed significant pretraining to posttraining differences in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol after the Nordic Walking training program and in peak diastolic blood pressure after the conventional walking training program. The heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure at rest, peak diastolic blood pressure, somatic parameters (body mass and body mass index), and left ventricular ejection fraction did not change in either group. Conclusions: Both training programs resulted in increases in aerobic capacity and decreases in total cholesterol.

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Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Olga López-Torres, Álvaro Martos-Bermúdez, Lorena Rodriguez-Garcia, Marcela González-Gross, and Amelia Guadalupe-Grau

Background: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multicomponent supervised and unsupervised training program focused on muscle power to counteract the potential changes in sedentary behavior, disability, physical activity (PA), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic domiciliary confinement in prefrail older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: Thirty-five older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus were assigned to 2 groups according to their frailty status: exercise training group (prefrail or frail; n = 21; 74.7 [4.5] y; 33.3% male) and control group (robust; n = 14; 73.1 [3.9] y; 42.9% male). The exercise training group followed a multicomponent training program focusing on muscle power: supervised (5 wk) and unsupervised (6 wk). The primary outcomes, including PA and sitting time, perceived disability, and HRQoL, were assessed at the baseline and after 11 weeks. Results: At the end of confinement, there were significant decreases in PA in both groups (P < .05). Thus, sitting time increased more in the control group than in the exercise training group (P < .05). The HRQoL measures remained unchanged. Conclusions: Muscle power training before and during mandatory COVID-19 self-isolation in type 2 diabetes mellitus older adults (1) attenuates the COVID-19 domiciliary confinement-related increase in sitting time and (2) slightly decreases the self-reported levels of disability and maintains HRQoL.

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Myles C. Dennis, Paul S.R. Goods, Martyn J. Binnie, Olivier Girard, Karen E. Wallman, Brian T. Dawson, and Peter Peeling

Purpose: This study aimed to assess the influence of graded air temperatures during repeated-sprint training in hypoxia (RSH) on performance and physiological responses. Methods: Ten well-trained athletes completed one familiarization and 4 experimental sessions at a simulated altitude of 3000 m (0.144 FIO2) above sea level. Air temperatures utilized across the 4 experimental sessions were 20°C, 25°C, 30°C, and 35°C (all 50% relative humidity). The participants performed 3 sets of 5 × 10 seconds “all-out” cycle sprints, with 20 seconds of active recovery between sprints and 5 minutes of active recovery between sets (recovery intensity = 120 W). Core temperature, skin temperature, pulse oxygen saturation, heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, and thermal sensation were collected. Results: There were no differences between conditions for peak power, mean power, and total work in each set (P > .05). There were no condition × time interaction effects for any variables tested. The peak core temperature was highest at 30°C (38.06°C [0.31°C]). Overall, the pulse oxygen saturation was higher at 35°C than at 20°C (P < .001; d < 0.8), 25°C (P < .001; d = 1.12 ± 0.54, large), and 30°C (P < .001; d = 0.84 ± 0.53, large). Conclusion: Manipulating air temperature between 20°C and 35°C had no effect on performance or core temperature during a typical RSH session. However, the pulse oxygen saturation was preserved at 35°C, which may not be a desirable outcome for RSH interventions. The application of increased levels of ambient heat may require a different approach if augmenting the RSH stimulus is the desired outcome.

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W. Tolentino-Castro, L. Mochizuki, and H. Wagner

According to the literature, persons with intellectual disabilities have poor motor control in tasks in which motor anticipation is needed. Our study aimed to assess their motor behavior during interceptive tasks (a tennis ball interception with external-and-oneself throw conditions). A stick-bar was used as a reference or to support cloth to occlude a ball’s trajectory. Catch performance and interceptive behavior were analyzed (26 persons). The results show that high/low values of the initial approaching movement led to successful/successful catches, respectively. Our results are in line with the literature about the impact of poor motor control on performance in those with intellectual disabilities. We suggest that low anticipation may relate to problems in real-life situations.

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Pierre Van Luchene and Cécile Delens

Background: Starting college or university is a significant life event that can impact students’ physical activity (PA). Social support specific to PA (SSPA) is a social determinant of PA among college and university students. This review had 3 aims: (1) to systematically review studies examining the association between SSPA and PA among students; (2) to examine whether potential associations differed in terms of types or sources of SSPA; and (3) to examine whether any potential associations differed in terms of gender. Methods: Studies were identified using Academic Search Premier, PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, and SPORTDiscus. Results: This review included 25 papers. The results suggested that there is a positive association between SSPA and PA among college and university students. Although the importance of different sources of SSPA is not clear, the results suggested that family and friends provide significant SSPA. Conclusions: High variability in measurement methods made it difficult to compare studies and to come to a clear consensus. However, the findings suggested that SSPA may be a determinant of PA. In order to better understand the relationship between SSPA and PA among students, some elements, such as gender, socioeconomic level, and off- or on-campus housing, should be considered in future studies.

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Andreia Teixeira, Ronaldo Gabriel, Luis Quaresma, Ana Alencoão, José Martinho, and Helena Moreira

Background: Obesity is an important public health issue that has increased globally in the last decade and continues to be one of the main causes of morbidity and premature mortality. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that contact with nature is a valuable resource for the promotion of a more active lifestyle and seems to have a central role in maintaining a healthy weight. The authors conducted a systematic review to summarize the findings of studies that investigated the relationship between natural spaces and obesity. Methods: Following Primary Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, a literature search was conducted using 11 databases for studies fully available in English and published between 2010 and 2020, with adults (18–64 y) and/or older people (≥65 y). Results: Fifty studies were found that met all the inclusion criteria. The majority (68%) of papers found that higher availability and less distance to green and blue spaces are associated with lower levels of adiposity. These associations were positive, even after adjusting for the demographic and socioeconomic factors. Conclusions: Exploring the characteristics of green and blue spaces seems to be a promising tool for urban planning and health policies. The authors suggest the implementation of exercise programs in contact with nature for future interventions.

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Valentin Bottollier, Matt R. Cross, Nicolas Coulmy, Loïc Le Quellec, and Jacques Prioux

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the test–retest reliability of the 80s-slide-test in well-trained alpine ski racers. Methods: The sample consisted of 8 well-trained alpine ski racers (age = 17.8 [0.7] y old; height = 1.80 [0.09] m; body mass = 72.1 [9.5] kg) who performed a lab-based maximal graded test on cycle ergometer and three 80s-slide-tests in 4 separate sessions. The 80s-slide-test consisting of maximal push-offs performed for 80s on a 8-ft slide board. Oxygen uptake (V˙O2) and heart rate (HR) were recorded continuously. Blood lactate ([La]b) was determined immediately prerun, followed by 3 minutes postrun. Three minutes after the completion of the session, the subjects were asked to indicate their rate of perceived exertion using Borg scale ranging from 6 to 20. Total and every 10s mean push-offs number were assessed by camera. Typical errors of measurement, intraclass correlation coefficients, and smallest worthwhile change were calculated. Results: The 80s-slide-test showed strong reliability for total push-offs number, V˙O2peak, V˙O2mean, HRpeak, and HRmean. Δ[La]b, fatigue index, and the rate of perceived exertion were moderately reliable. Conclusion: The 80s-slide-test is a reliable test for well-trained alpine ski racers and can be used easily by trainers.

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Chih-Chia (JJ) Chen, Shannon D.R. Ringenbach, Nathaniel E. Arnold, and Kahyun Nam

Deficits in motor performance have been well documented in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). However, only a few studies have focused on manipulative skills and older adults in this population. Given the associations between manipulative skills and daily living activities, more work is needed to examine the aging effect on individuals with DS. A total of 54 adults with DS participated in this study. The results indicated that older participants showed more lateralization than younger participants. They exhibited superior dominant hand preference compared to younger participants. In addition, participants with DS with high verbal ability had better performance in manual dexterity and handgrip force. Therefore, in the clinical setting, assessing mental age may help in identifying individuals with DS at a higher risk of motor impairment. Future work should examine additional determinants with a large sample size to understand the development of manipulative skills in individuals with DS. Furthermore, additional studies are needed to investigate the associations between mental age and other cognitive functions and motor performance in this population.