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  • Author: Kevin D. Ballard x
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Amanda L. Zaleski, Linda S. Pescatello, Kevin D. Ballard, Gregory A. Panza, William Adams, Yuri Hosokawa, Paul D. Thompson and Beth A. Taylor

Context: Compression socks have become increasingly popular with athletes due to perceived enhancement of exercise performance and recovery. However, research examining the efficacy of compression socks to reduce exercise-associated muscle damage has been equivocal, with few direct measurements of markers of muscle damage. Objective: To examine the influence of compression socks worn during a marathon on creatine kinase (CK) levels. Design: A randomized controlled trial. Setting: 2013 Hartford Marathon, Hartford, CT. Participants: Adults (n = 20) randomized to control (CONTROL; n = 10) or compression sock (SOCK; n = 10) groups. Main Outcome Measures: Blood samples were collected 24 hours before, immediately after, and 24 hours following the marathon for the analysis of CK, a marker of muscle damage. Results: Baseline CK levels did not differ between CONTROL (89.3 [41.2] U/L) and SOCK (100.0 [56.2] U/L) (P = .63). Immediately following the marathon (≤1 h), CK increased 273% from baseline (P < .001 for time), with no difference in exercise-induced changes in CK from baseline between CONTROL (+293.9 [278.2] U/L) and SOCK (+233.1 [225.3] U/L; P = .60 for time × group). The day following the marathon (≤24 h), CK further increased 1094% from baseline (P < .001 for time), with no difference in changes in CK from baseline between CONTROL (+ 1191.9 [1194.8] U/L) and SOCK (+889.1 [760.2] U/L; P = .53 for time × group). These similar trends persisted despite controlling for potential covariates such as age, body mass index, and race finishing time (Ps > .29). Conclusions: Compression socks worn during a marathon do not appear to mitigate objectively measured markers of muscle damage immediately following and 24 hours after a marathon.

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Kate Sanders, Carl M. Maresh, Kevin D. Ballard, Brent C. Creighton, J. Luke Pryor, William J. Kraemer, Jeff S. Volek and Jeff M. Anderson

Compared with their physically active peers, overweight sedentary postmenopausal women demonstrate impaired vascular endothelial function (VEF), substantially increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Habitual exercise is associated with improved VEF and reduced CVD risk. The purpose of this study was to compare brachial artery flow mediated dilation (FMD), a measure of VEF, in overweight, postmenopausal women who were physically active (EX: n = 17, BMI: 29.3 ± 3.11 kg/m2) or sedentary (CON: n = 8, BMI: 30.3 ± 3.6 kg/m2). Anthropomorphic measures were similar in both groups (P > .05). FMD was significantly greater in EX (10.24 ± 2.36%) versus CON (6.60 ± 2.18%) (P < .002). FMD was not significantly correlated with estimated VO2max (EX: r = .17, P = .52; CON: r = .20, P = .60) but was negatively associated with percent body fat in EX group (EX: r = -.48, P = .05; CON: r = .41, P = .31). These results are consistent with the positive effects of habitual exercise on VEF in overweight postmenopausal women.