A 6-wk group balance-training program was conducted with physically active older adults (based on American College of Sports Medicine requirements) to investigate the effect of dose-related static and dynamic balance-specific training. All participants, age 60–87 yr, continued their regular exercise program while adding balance training in 1 of 3 doses: three 20-min sessions/wk (n = 20), one 20-min session/wk (n = 21), or no balance training (n = 19). Static balance (single-leg-stance, tandem), dynamic balance (alternate stepping, limits of stability), and balance confidence (ABC) were assessed pre- and posttraining. Significant interactions were observed for time in single-leg stance, excursion in limits of stability, and balance confidence, with the greatest increase observed in the group that completed 3 training sessions/wk. The results demonstrate a dose-response relationship indicating that those who are already physically active can improve balance performance with the addition of balance-specific training.
Kristen K. Maughan, Kristin A. Lowry, Warren D. Franke and Ann L. Smiley-Oyen
Ann L. Smiley-Oyen, Sonja A. Hall, Kristin A. Lowry and John P. Kerr
We investigated the effects of extensive practice of rapid aiming on bradykinesia and, more specifically, generation of peak velocity, in discrete rapid aiming and in transfer to reach-to-grasp. Twenty-one participants (seven young adults, seven older adults, and seven adults with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease (PD) while on medication) engaged in eight practice periods per week for three weeks (> 700 trials), with changes in performance measured weekly. Retention was measured weekly for three weeks postpractice. Movement time decreased with one week of practice, primarily due to a decrease in time-to-peak velocity. With practice and after retention, the PD group generated peak velocity as consistently as both neurologically healthy groups, but remained more variable in time-to-peak velocity. Transfer was observed in the neurologically healthy groups, but not in the PD group. We concluded that short-term practice (one week in our paradigm) is sufficient for decreasing movement time, but more extensive practice is needed to improve consistency of rapid aiming performance for people with mild to moderate PD.
Neil M. Johannsen, Zebblin M. Sullivan, Nicole R. Warnke, Ann L. Smiley-Oyen, Douglas S. King and Rick L. Sharp
To determine whether chicken noodle soup before exercise increases ad libitum water intake, fluid balance, and physical and cognitive performance compared with water.
Nine trained men (age 25 ± 3 yr, VO2peak 54.2 ± 5.1 ml · kg−1 · min−1; M ± SD) performed cycle exercise in the heat (wet bulb globe temperature = 25.9 ± 0.4 °C) for 90 min at 50% VO2peak, 45 min after ingesting 355 ml of either commercially available bottled water (WATER) or chicken noodle soup (SOUP). The same bottled water was allowed ad libitum throughout both trials. Participants then completed a time trial to finish a given amount of work (10 min at 90% VO2peak; n = 8). Cognitive performance was evaluated by the Stroop color–word task before, every 30 min during, and immediately after the time trial.
Ad libitum water intake throughout steady-state exercise was greater in SOUP than with WATER (1,435 ± 593 vs. 1,163 ± 427 g, respectively; p < .03). Total urine volume was similar in both trials (p = .13), resulting in a trend for greater water retention in SOUP than in WATER (87.7% ± 7.6% vs. 74.9% ± 21.7%, respectively; p = .09), possibly due to a change in free water clearance (–0.32 ± 1.22 vs. 0.51 ± 1.06 ml/min, respectively; p = .07). Fluid balance tended to be improved with SOUP (–106 ± 603 vs. –478 ± 594 g, p = .05). Likewise, change in plasma volume tended to be reduced in SOUP compared with WATER (p = .06). Only mild dehydration was achieved (<1%), and physical performance was not different between treatments (p = .77). The number of errors in the Stroop color–word task was lower in SOUP throughout the entire trial (treatment effect; p = .04).
SOUP before exercise increased ad libitum water intake and may alter kidney function.