The present study examined the effects of a 12-week Tai Chi (TC) training regimen on heart rate variability (HRV), symptomatology, muscle fitness and body composition in women with fibromyalgia. Participants were randomly assigned to either a TC training group (n = 18) or a control group (n = 19). HRV, symptomatology, muscle fitness and body composition were measured before and after 12 weeks. There were significant decreases (p < 0.05) in sympathovagal balance (LnLF/LnHF), sympathetic tone (LnLF, nLF), pain, and fatigue, and significant increases (p < 0.05) in parasympathetic tone (LnHF, nHF), strength and flexibility following TC compared with no changes after control. The changes in LnLF and LnLF/LnHF were correlated with changes in pain. There were no significant changes in HR, sleep quality and body composition after TC or control. TC may be an effective therapeutic intervention for improving sympathovagal balance, pain, fatigue, strength and flexibility in women with fibromyalgia.
Alexei Wong, Arturo Figueroa, Marcos A. Sanchez-Gonzalez, Won-Mok Son, Oksana Chernykh, and Song-Young Park
Alexei Wong, Marcos A. Sanchez-Gonzalez, Won-Mok Son, Yi-Sub Kwak, and Song-Young Park
Purpose: Childhood and adolescent obesity is a major international public health crisis. It is crucial to prevent the negative effects of obesity at an early age by implementing appropriate lifestyle interventions, such as exercise training. We evaluated the effects of a combined resistance and aerobic exercise training (CET) regimen on arterial stiffness, vasoactive substances, inflammatory markers, metabolic profile, and body composition in obese adolescent girls. Methods: A total of 30 obese adolescent girls were randomly assigned to a CET (n = 15) or a control group (n = 15). The CET group trained for 3 days per week. Plasma nitric oxide, endothelin-1, C-reactive protein, arterial stiffness, glucose, insulin, the adiponectin/leptin ratio, and body fat were measured before and after 12 weeks. Results: There were significant increases (P < .05) in nitric oxide (4.0 μM) and adiponectin/leptin ratio (0.33); and decreases (P < .05) in arterial stiffness (−1.0 m/s), C-reactive protein (−0.5 mg/L), glucose (−1.2 mmol/L), insulin (−17.1 μU/mL), and body fat (−3.6%) following CET compared with control. There were no significant changes in endothelin-1 after CET or control. Conclusions: The findings of this study indicate that CET improves arterial stiffness, nitric oxide, and inflammatory and metabolic markers in obese adolescent girls. CET may have important health implications for the prevention of atherosclerosis at an early age.
Sang-Ho Lee, Steven D. Scott, Elizabeth J. Pekas, Jeong-Gi Lee, and Song-Young Park
Purpose: Athletes in combat sports undergo rapid changes in body weight prior to competition in order to gain a size advantage over their opponent. However, these large weight changes with concomitant high-intensity exercise training create poor lipid profiles and high levels of oxidative stress, which can be detrimental to health and sport performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of the nutritional supplement octacosanol to combat the physiological detriments that occur in taekwondo players during rapid weight loss with high-intensity exercise training. Methods: A total of 26 male taekwondo players were randomly divided into 2 groups: An experimental group performed a 5% weight-loss and taekwondo training program with 40-mg octacosanol intake (OCT; n = 13) for 6 d, and a control group performed the same weight-loss and taekwondo training program with a placebo (CON; n = 13). Results: There were significant (P < .05) group × time interactions for low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides, which significantly decreased (Δ18  mg/dL and Δ80  mg/dL, respectively), and high-density lipoprotein, which significantly increased (Δ10  mg/dL), in the OCT group compared with the CON group. There were also significant (P < .05) group × time interactions for superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and malondialdehyde (MDA), with SOD increasing (Δ226  U/gHb) in the OCT group, while GPx decreased (Δ20  U/gHb) and MDA increased (Δ72 [0.04] nmol/mL) in the CON group. Conclusion: These results suggest that octacosanol may be a beneficial supplement to protect against the poor cholesterol levels and oxidative stress that occurs during taekwondo training.
Dong-Il Seo, Tae-Won Jun, Kae-Soon Park, Hyukki Chang, Wi-Young So, and Wook Song
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of combined exercise training on growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and metabolic-syndrome factors and determine whether the changes in GH and/or IGF-1 induced by exercise correlate to the metabolic-syndrome factors in healthy middle-aged women (50–65 years of age).
The participants were randomly assigned into an aerobic-exercise training (walking + aerobics) group (AEG; n = 7), a combined-exercise training (walking + resistance training) group (CEG; n = 8), or a control group (CG; n = 7). Exercise sessions were performed 3 times per wk for 12 wk. The aerobic-exercise training consisted of walking and aerobics at 60–80% of heart-rate reserve, and the combined-exercise training consisted of walking and resistance exercise at 50–70% of 1-repetition maximum.
GH, percentage body fat, fasting glucose, systolic blood pressure, and waist circumference were significantly improved in CEG (p < .05). However, GH induced by exercise training showed no correlation with metabolic-syndrome factors. IGF-1 was not significantly increased in either AEG or CEG compared with CG.
These results indicate that the combined-exercise training produced more enhancement of GH, body composition, and metabolic-syndrome factors than did aerobic-exercise training.
Yoonkyung Song, Hyuk In Yang, Eun-Young Lee, Mi-Seong Yu, Min Jae Kang, Hyun Joo Kang, Wook Song, YeonSoo Kim, Hyon Park, Han Joo Lee, Sang-hoon Suh, John C. Spence, and Justin Y. Jeon
South Korea’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first assessment of physical activity according to the indicators set by Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance.
National surveys were used as preferred sources of data. This was then supported by peer-reviewed papers and government reports identified by a systematic search of the literature written in English or Korean. A Research Working Group then graded indicators based on the collected evidence.
Each indicator was graded as follows: Overall Physical Activity, D-; Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation, C-; Active Transport, C+; Sedentary Behavior, F; School, D; Government and Investment, C; Active Play, Physical Literacy, Family and Peers, and Community and Built Environment were graded INC (incomplete) due to lack of available evidence.
Though the final grades of key indicators for South Korean children and youth are not satisfactory, increasing interests and investments have been demonstrated at a national level. More evidence is required for comprehensive assessment on all indicators to better inform policy and practice. This should be accompanied by the use of consistent criteria to contribute to global efforts for active healthy kids.