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Damiano Formenti, Luca Cavaggioni, Marco Duca, Athos Trecroci, Mattia Rapelli, Giampietro Alberti, John Komar, and Pierpaolo Iodice

Background: Recent evidence has suggested that chronic physical activities including balance exercises have positive effects on cognition, but their acute effects are still unknown. In the present study, the authors tested the hypothesis that an acute bout of balance exercise would enhance cognitive performance compared with aerobic activity. Methods: A total of 20 healthy middle-aged adults completed 2 acute 30-minute balance and moderate-intensity aerobic exercise sessions on 2 counterbalanced separate occasions. To assess cognitive functions, performance tasks in executive control, perceptual speed, and simple reaction time were tested before and immediately after each exercise session. Results: Although there were no significant interactions (time × exercise condition, P > .05), the main effects of time were significant in executive control (P < .05), perceptual speed (P < .05), and simple reaction time (P < .001), showing improvements after both exercises. Conclusions: These findings highlight that both types of exercise (aerobic, more metabolic and less cognitively demanding; balance, more cognitively and less metabolically demanding) were able to positively affect simple reaction time performance, perceptual speed, and executive control independently of physiological adjustments occurring during aerobic or balance exercise.

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Luca Cavaggioni, Athos Trecroci, Damiano Formenti, Luke Hogarth, Massimiliano Tosin, and Giampietro Alberti

The purpose of this study was to monitor the changes in breathing pattern, trunk muscle stabilization, and upper-body muscular power in Paralympic swimmers throughout a competitive season over three time points: October (T1), March (T2), and August (T3). Six top-level Paralympic swimmers voluntarily participated in this study. The Friedman test, the Bonferroni–Dunn multiple comparison post hoc analysis, and Kendall’s W concordance coefficient for the measure of effect were used. A significant difference was found in the breathing pattern, trunk stability, and upper-body power variables from the T1 to T3 season (p < .05). However, no significant changes were found in the T2 season. A long-term assessment of these fitness parameters may be of practical importance for better tailoring the training programs of top-level Paralympic swimmers.