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  • Author: Dru A. Henson x
  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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David C. Nieman, Beverly J. Warren, Ruth G. Dotson, Diane E. Butterworth and Dru A. Henson

The relationship between cardiorespiratory exercise and psychological well-being and mood state was studied in elderly women. Thirty-two sedentary Caucasian women 67 to 85 years of age were randomly assigned to either a walking or an attention-placebo control group; 30 completed all phases of the study. Intervention groups exercised 30 to 40 minutes 5 days a week for 12 weeks, with the walking group training at 60% heart rate reserve and the control group engaging in mild range-of-motion and flexibility movements that kept their heart rates close to resting levels. In a separate analysis, 12 highly conditioned elderly women 65 to 84 years of age who were active in endurance competitions were recruited at baseline for cross-sectional comparisons. At baseline they exhibited superior scores on the profile of mood states (POMS) and general well-being (GWB) schedule. Twelve weeks of moderate cardiorespiratory exercise improved the VO2max of the sedentary subjects 12.6% but did not result in improvement in POMS or GWB scores greater than those of the attention-placebo control group.

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Edward E. Pistilli, David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson, David E. Kaminsky, Alan C. Utter, Debra M. Vinci, J. Mark Davis, Omar R. Fagoaga and Sandra L. Nehlsen-Cannarella

Immune changes in 75 younger (age 37.4 ± 0.9 years) and 23 older (57.0 ± 1.4 years) runners were compared after a competitive marathon, with blood samples collected pre- and immediately and 1.5 hr postrace. Race times were slower for the older group (4.7 ± 0.2 vs. 4.3 ± 0.1 hr, p = .015), but both groups performed at similar intensity (83.4 ± 0.9 vs. 82.9 ± 0.5% HRmax). The pattern of change in plasma cortisol, epinephrine, growth hormone, and blood leukocyte subsets did not differ significantly between the groups postrace. Blood lymphocyte counts were 20–24% lower in the older runners at each time point because of reduced T-cell counts. Postrace, plasma levels of IL-1ra, -10, -6, and -8 rose strongly in all runners, and salivary IgA secretion rate decreased, but no group differences in the pattern of change were noted. In conclusion, younger and older runners experienced similar hormonal and immune changes after running a marathon.