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Brian C. Focht, Deborah J. Knapp, Timothy P. Gavin, Thomas D. Raedeke, and Robert C. Hickner

This study examined the psychological responses to an acute bout of aerobic exercise in sedentary older and younger adults. Eighteen young (mean age 24 years) and 15 older adults (mean age 64 years) completed a 20-min bout of stationary cycling at 65% of VO2peak. Affective responses were assessed before, during, and immediately after exercise. Participants’ exercise self-efficacy beliefs were assessed before and immediately after exercise. Both groups reported reduced pleasant feeling states and self-efficacy and increased physical exhaustion in response to acute exercise. Older adults also demonstrated a significant decrease in revitalization during and after cycling. Correlation analyses revealed that self-efficacy was related to feelings of fatigue during exercise and postexercise feelings of energy and fatigue. Both groups reported negative shifts in affect and self-efficacy during and 5 min after cycling. Acute affective and self-efficacy responses might influence one’s motivation to adopt and maintain regular physical activity. The relationship between these acute responses and physical activity behavior across the life span warrants future inquiry.

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Katrina D. DuBose, Andrew J. McKune, Patricia Brophy, Gabriel Geyer, and Robert C. Hickner

The relationship between physical activity levels and the metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) score was examined in 72 boys and girls (9.5 ± 1.2 years). A fasting blood draw was obtained; waist circumference and blood pressure measured, and an accelerometer was worn for 5 days. Established cut points were used to estimate time spent in moderate, vigorous, moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA), and total physical activity. A continuous MetSyn score was created from blood pressure, waist circumference, high-density-lipoprotein, triglyceride, and glucose values. Regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between physical activity levels, the MetSyn score, and its related components. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between meeting physical activity recommendations, the MetSyn score, and its related components. All analyses were controlled for body mass index group, age, sex, and race. Time spent in different physical activity levels or meeting physical activity recommendations (OR: 0.87, 95%CI: 0.69–1.09) was not related with the MetSyn score after controlling for potential confounders (p > .05). Moderate physical activity, MVPA, and meeting physical activity recommendations were related to a lower diastolic blood pressure (p < .05). No other relationships were observed (p > .05). While physical activity participation was not related with the MetSyn, lower diastolic blood pressure values were related to higher physical activity levels.

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Stacey Alvarez-Alvarado, Graig M. Chow, Nicole T. Gabana, Robert C. Hickner, and Gershon Tenenbaum

The extent to and manner in which psychological states change as a function of physical effort and related physiological responses have been addressed separately in various theoretical frameworks. The authors explored a proposed conceptual scheme examining the relationships among perceived exertion, attentional allocation, and affective responses under different workload domains. Thirty male participants performed an incremental cycling test to assess the progression of rating of perceived exertion, attentional focus, affect, and felt arousal along a parallel increase in heart rate using ventilatory threshold as a reference point. Results revealed that ventilatory threshold acts as a metabolic landmark for the attentional shifts toward aversive sensory cues, sustained increases in perceived exertion, negative valence, and physiological activation. Monitoring the dynamics of perceived exertion, attention, and affect can complement physiological measures for an accurate control of training workloads during exercise prescription.