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David Travis Thomas, Laurie Wideman, and Cheryl A. Lovelady


To examine the effect of yogurt supplementation pre- and postexercise on changes in body composition in overweight women engaged in a resistance-training program.


Participants (age = 36.8 ± 4.8 yr) with a body-mass index of 29.1±2.1 kg/m2 were randomized to yogurt supplement (YOG; n = 15) or isoenergetic sucrose beverage (CONT; n = 14) consumed before and after exercise for 16 wk. Participants were also instructed to reduce energy intake daily (–1,046 kJ) during the study. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, waist circumference, and sagittal diameter. Strength was measured with 1-repetition maximum. Dietary recalls were obtained by a multipass approach using Nutrition Data System software. Insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like growth-factor-binding protein-3 were measured with ELISA.


Significant weight losses of 2.6 ± 4.5 kg (YOG) and 1.2 ± 2.5 kg (CONT) were observed. Total lean weight increased significantly over time in both YOG (0.8 ± 1.2 kg) and CONT (1.1 ± 0.9 kg). Significant reductions in total fat (YOG = 3.4 ± 4.1 kg vs. CONT = 2.3 ± 2.4 kg) were observed over time. Waist circumference, sagittal diameter, and trunk fat decreased significantly over time without group differences. Both groups significantly decreased energy intake while maintaining protein intake. Strength significantly increased over time in both groups. No changes over time or between groups were observed in hormone levels.


These data suggest that yogurt supplementation offered no added benefit for increasing lean mass when combined with resistance training and modest energy restriction.

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Heather L. Colleran, Andrea Hiatt, Laurie Wideman, and Cheryl A. Lovelady

Background: During lactation, women may lose up to 10% of bone mineral density (BMD) at trabecular-rich sites. Previous studies show that resistance exercise may slow BMD; however, the long-term effects of exercise on BMD during lactation have not been reported. Objective: To evaluate the effect of two 16-week exercise interventions (4- to 20-wk postpartum) in lactating women at 1-year postpartum on lumbar spine, total body, and hip BMD. Methods: To increase sample size at 1-year postpartum, two 16-week exercise interventions were combined for analysis. At 4-week postpartum, 55 women were randomized to intervention group (weight bearing aerobic exercise and resistance exercise) or control group (no exercise) for 16-week, with a 1-year postpartum follow-up. BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance was used to test for time and group differences for BMD controlling for prolactin concentration and dietary calcium at 1-year postpartum. Results: Change in lumbar spine BMD was significantly different over time and between groups from 4-week to 1-year postpartum, when controlling for prolactin concentration and dietary calcium. There were no significant differences between groups in total body and hip BMD. Conclusion: These results suggest that resistance exercise may slow bone loss during lactation, resulting in higher BMD levels at 1-year postpartum.

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Travis Anderson, Laurie Wideman, Flavio A. Cadegiani, and Claudio E. Kater

The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is a distinct component of the circadian cortisol profile and has promise as a biomarker for the monitoring of athlete readiness and training status. Although some studies have suggested the CAR may be affected by the development of overtraining syndrome (OTS), this has yet to be systematically investigated. Purpose: To compare the CAR and diurnal cortisol slope between athletes diagnosed with OTS, healthy athletes, and sedentary controls. Methods: This study was a secondary analysis of data from the Endocrine and Metabolic Responses on Overtraining study. Male participants were recruited to either OTS, healthy athlete, or sedentary control groups. The participants produced saliva samples immediately after waking (S1), 30 minutes after waking (S2), at 16:00 hours, and at 23:00 hours. Salivary cortisol concentration was determined by an electrochemiluminescence assay. Mixed-effects models were used to assess the conditional effect of group (sedentary controls, OTS, and healthy athletes) on the change in cortisol over time. Separate models were fit for the awakening samples (S1 and S2) and for the diurnal slope (linear change across S1, 16:00 h, and 23:00 h). Results: The models demonstrated significant time-by-group interaction for OTS for the 2 cortisol concentrations collected during the awakening period (β = −9.33, P < .001), but not for the diurnal cortisol slope (β = 0.02, P = .80). Conclusions: These results suggest the CAR may be associated with OTS and should be considered within a panel of biomarkers. Further research is necessary to determine whether alterations in the CAR may precede the diagnosis of OTS.

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Jennifer L. Etnier, William B. Karper, Se-Yun Park, Chia-Hao Shih, Aaron T. Piepmeier, and Laurie Wideman

As a population, middle-aged and older adults are not meeting national guidelines for exercise. The purpose of this study was to describe factors associated with exercise adherence in an 8-month program offered as part of a research study testing the effects of exercise on cognitive performance for persons with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). After completion of the program, participants provided open-ended responses indicating their reasons for adhering to the exercise program, and they completed the Motives for Physical Activities Measure-Revised. Results indicated that adherence was tied to an interest in contributing to our understanding of AD, the opportunity to join an exercise program, perceived exercise benefits, and social support. In addition, participants reported high levels of extrinsic (fitness-related) and intrinsic (interest/enjoyment) motivation. Other possible motivating factors which emerged from day-to-day observations in the program were identified. Findings suggest directions for exercise professionals with respect to exercise adherence.

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Travis Anderson, Sandra J. Shultz, Nancy I. Williams, Ellen Casey, Zachary Kincaid, Jay L. Lieberman, and Laurie Wideman

Evidence suggests menstrual cycle variation in the hormone relaxin may have an impact on ligament integrity and may be associated with risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury in physically active women. However, studies to date have only detected relaxin in a small number of participants, possibly due to inter-individual variability, frequency of sample collection, or analytical techniques. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze serial serum samples in moderately active, eumenorrheic women to identify the proportion of women with detectable relaxin concentrations. Secondary analyses were conducted on two independent data sets. Data Set I (DSI; N = 66) participants provided samples for 6 days of menses and 8–10 days of the luteal phase. Data Set II (DSII; N = 15) participants provided samples every 2–3 days for a full menstrual cycle. Samples were analyzed via a relaxin-2 specific ELISA assay. Limit of detection (LOD) was calculated from the empirical assay data. LOD was calculated as 3.57 pg·ml−1. Relaxin concentrations exceeded the LOD in 90.91% (DSI) and 93.33% (DSII) of participants on at least 1 day of sampling. Actual peak values ranged from 0.0 pg·ml−1 to 118.0 pg·ml−1. Relaxin was detectable in a higher proportion of young women representing a broad range of physical activity levels when sampled more frequently. Future studies investigating relaxin should consider sampling on more than 1 day to accurately capture values among normal menstruating women.

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Jennifer L. Etnier, Laurie Wideman, Jeffrey D. Labban, Aaron T. Piepmeier, Daniel M. Pendleton, Kelly K. Dvorak, and Katie Becofsky

Acute exercise benefits cognition, and some evidence suggests that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a role in this effect. The purpose of this study was to explore the dose–response relationship between exercise intensity, memory, and BDNF. Young adults completed 3 exercise sessions at different intensities relative to ventilator threshold (Vt) (VO2max, Vt – 20%, Vt + 20%). For each session, participants exercised for approximately 30 min. Following exercise, they performed the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) to assess short-term memory, learning, and long-term memory recall. Twenty-four hours later, they completed the RAVLT recognition trial, which provided another measure of long-term memory. Blood was drawn before exercise, immediately postexercise, and after the 30-min recall test. Results indicated that long-term memory as assessed after the 24-hr delay differed as a function of exercise intensity with the largest benefits observed following maximal intensity exercise. BDNF data showed a significant increase in response to exercise; however, there were no differences relative to exercise intensity and there were no significant associations between BDNF and memory. Future research is warranted so that we can better understand how to use exercise to benefit cognitive performance.

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Jennifer L. Etnier, Jeffrey D. Labban, William B. Karper, Laurie Wideman, Aaron T. Piepmeier, Chia-Hao Shih, Michael Castellano, Lauren M. Williams, Se-Yun Park, Vincent C. Henrich, William N. Dudley, and Kelli L. Rulison

Physical activity is predictive of better cognitive performance and lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) is a susceptibility gene for AD with the e4 allele being associated with a greater risk of AD. Cross-sectional and prospective research shows that physical activity is predictive of better cognitive performance for those at greater genetic risk for AD. However, the moderating role of APOE on the effects of a physical activity intervention on cognitive performance has not been examined. The purpose of this manuscript is to justify the need for such research and to describe the design, methods, and recruitment tactics used in the conductance of a study designed to provide insight as to the extent to which cognitive benefits resulting from an 8-month physical activity program are differentiated by APOE e4 status. The effectiveness of the recruitment strategies and the feasibility of recruiting APOE e4 carriers are discussed.