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Andy Roosen, Matthew T.G. Pain and Mickaël Begon

Much research is ongoing into improving the accuracy of functional algorithms to determine joint centers (JC), but there has been limited testing using human movement data. This paper is in three parts: Part 1, errors in determining JCs from real human movement data using the SCoRE method; Part 2, variability of marker combinations during a punch; Part 3, variability in the JC due to reconstruction. Results indicate determining the JC of the shoulder or elbow with a triad of markers per segment with an accuracy greater than 20 mm is unlikely. Part 2 suggests conducting a pilot study with abundant markers to obtain triads, which are most stable due to differences of 300–400% in variability between triads. Variability due to the choice of reference frame for reconstruction during the punch ranged from 2.5 to 13.8 mm for the shoulder and 1.5 to 21.1 mm for the elbow. It would appear more pertinent to enhance the practical methods in situ than to further improve theoretical accuracy of functional methods.

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Paraskevi Detopoulou and Vasilios Papamikos

Omega-3 fatty acids exert a plethora of physiological actions including triglycerides lowering, reduction of inflammatory indices, immunomodulation, anti- thrombotic effects and possibly promotion of exercise performance. Their use is widespread and for commonly ingested doses their side- effects are minimal. We report a case of a 60y amateur athlete who consumed about 20 g omega-3 fatty acids daily from supplements and natural sources for a year. After the intake of cortisone and antibiotics he presented duodenum ulcer and bleeding although he had no previous history of gastrointestinal problems. Although several animal data support gastro-protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids in the present case they were not able to prevent ulcer generation. The present observation may be explained by (i) the high dose of omega-3 fatty acids and their effect on bleeding, (ii) the fact that cortisone increases their oxidation and may render them proinflammatory, (iii) other antithrombotic microconstituents included in the consumed cod-oil and/or the diet of the subject and (iv) the differences in the coagulation and fibrinolytic systems of well- trained subjects. Further studies are needed to substantiate any possible interaction of cortisone and omega-3 fatty acids in wide ranges of intake.

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Eric C. Haakonssen, David T. Martin, Louise M. Burke and David G. Jenkins

Body composition in a female road cyclist was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (5 occasions) and anthropometry (10 occasions) at the start of the season (Dec to Mar), during a period of chronic fatigue associated with poor weight management (Jun to Aug), and in the following months of recovery and retraining (Aug to Nov). Dietary manipulation involved a modest reduction in energy availability to 30–40 kcal · kg fat-free mass−1 · d−1 and an increased intake of high-quality protein, particularly after training (20 g). Through the retraining period, total body mass decreased (−2.82 kg), lean mass increased (+0.88 kg), and fat mass decreased (−3.47 kg). Hemoglobin mass increased by 58.7 g (8.4%). Maximal aerobic- and anaerobic-power outputs were returned to within 2% of preseason values. The presented case shows that through a subtle energy restriction associated with increased protein intake and sufficient energy intake during training, fat mass can be reduced with simultaneous increases in lean mass, performance gains, and improved health.

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Fung Kuen Koo

This qualitative study explores how older Hong Kong Chinese Australians perceive aging and to what extent this perception affects their participation in physical activities. The main methods used were in-depth interviews with 22 participants ranging in age from 60 to 91 years. Interviews were translated from Chinese (Cantonese) and transcribed into English. Content analysis was used to find recurring themes from the interview data. The main findings indicate that the perception of aging is to some extent influenced by culture. Some participants defined aging as being measured in years, and others defined it by the state of one’s physical health, appearance, and capacity to continue fulfilling one’s social roles. These perceptions strongly influenced their preferences for and participation in physical activities. Acknowledging the fact that Chinese-speaking people are not culturally homogeneous, this article makes some recommendations to health service providers with regard to the development of appropriate physical activity programs.

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Deborah Fearnley, Louise Sutton, John O’Hara, Amy Brightmore, Roderick King and Carlton Cooke

The Vendée Globe is a solo round-the-world sailing race without stopovers or assistance, a physically demanding challenge for which appropriate nutrition should maintain energy balance and ensure optimum performance. This is an account of prerace nutritional preparation with a professional and experienced female racer and assessment of daily nutritional intake (NI) during the race using a multimethod approach. A daily energy intake (EI) of 15.1 MJ/day was recommended for the race and negotiated down by the racer to 12.7 MJ/day, with carbohydrate and fluid intake goals of 480 g/day and 3,020 ml/day, respectively. Throughout the 99-day voyage, daily NI was recorded using electronic food diaries and inventories piloted during training races. NI was assessed and a postrace interview and questionnaire were used to evaluate the intervention. Fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were assessed pre- (37 days) and postrace (11 days) using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and body mass was measured before the racer stepped on the yacht and immediately postrace. Mean EI was 9.2 MJ/day (2.4–14.3 MJ/day), representing a negative energy balance of 3.5 MJ/day under the negotiated EI goal, evidenced by a 7.9-kg loss of body mass (FM –7.5 kg, FFM –0.4 kg) during the voyage, with consequent underconsumption of carbohydrate by ~130 g/day. According to the postrace yacht food inventory, self-reported EI was underreported by 7%. This intervention demonstrates the practicality of the NI approach and assessment, but the racer’s nutrition strategy can be further improved to facilitate meeting more optimal NI goals for performance and health. It also shows that evaluation of NI is possible in this environment over prolonged periods, which can provide important information for optimizing nutritional strategies for ocean racing.

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Penny Harris Rosenzweig and Stella L. Volpe

Iron plays an important role in thyroid hormone metabolism; thus, iron deficiency anemia may lead to alterations in resting metabolic rate (RMR). Based on this premise, two iron-deficient-anemic female athletes, 18 (A 1) and 21 (A2) years of age, were supplemented with 23 mg/day of elemental iron to assess its effects on iron and thyroid hormone status and RMR at 0, 8, and 16 weeks. Anemia was clinically corrected in both subjects (hemoglobin: Al = 11.0 to 13.0 to 12.6 g/dL and A2 = 11.5 to 13.9 to 12.6 g/dL, 0 to 8 to 16 weeks, respectively). Serum ferritin (SF) concentration also improved in both subjects (Al: 5.0 to 11.0 to 15.0 ng/dL and A2: 5.0 to 16.0 to 20.0 ng/dL; 0 to 8 to 16 weeks, respectively); however, 16 weeks of iron supplementation did not fully replete iron stores. A2 increased dietary iron and ascorbic acid intakes from 8 to 16 weeks, possibly accounting for her higher SF concentrations. RMR and total thyroxine changed over time: Al increased while A2 decreased in these variables. Although clinical correction of iron deficiency anemia occurred after 16 weeks of low-level iron supplementation, RMR and thyroid hormone metabolism were oppositely affected in the two subjects.

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Craig Twist, Jamie Highton, Matthew Daniels, Nathan Mill and Graeme Close

Player loads and fatigue responses are reported in 15 professional rugby league players (24.3 ± 3.8 y) during a period of intensified fixtures. Repeated measures of internal and external loads, perceived well-being, and jump flight time were recorded across 22 d, comprising 9 training sessions and matches on days 5, 12, 15, and 21 (player exposure: 3.6 ± 0.6 matches). Mean training loads (session rating of perceived exertion × duration) between matches were 1177, 1083, 103, and 650 AU. Relative distance in match 1 (82 m/min) and match 4 (79 m/min) was very likely lower in match 2 (76 m/min) and likely higher in match 3 (86 m/min). High-intensity running (≥5.5 m/s) was likely to very likely lower than match 1 (5 m/min) in matches 2–4 (2, 4, and 3 m/min, respectively). Low-intensity activity was likely to very likely lower than match 1 (78 m/min) in match 2 (74 m/min) and match 4 (73 m/min) but likely higher in match 3 (81 m/min). Accumulated accelerometer loads for matches 1–4 were 384, 473, 373, and 391 AU, respectively. Perceived well-being returned to baseline values (~21 AU) before all matches but was very likely to most likely lower the day after each match (~17 AU). Prematch jump flight times were likely to most likely lower across the period, with mean values of 0.66, 0.65, 0.62, and 0.64 s before matches 1–4, respectively. Across a 22-d cycle with fixture congestion, professional rugby league players experience cumulative neuromuscular fatigue and impaired match running performance.

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Massimiliano Pau, Federica Corona, Bruno Leban, Simona Piredda, Maria Marcella Vacca and Gioia Mura

Background:

Considering the relevant amount of time spent by children at school, it is essential to ensure that suitable levels of physical activity (PA) are guaranteed. This study aimed to assess possible changes induced in the amount and type of PA performed following the 2 schedules in Italian primary schools, namely regular and full time (30–40 h/week respectively).

Methods:

A sample of 169 children wore a triaxial accelerometer 24h/day for 7 consecutive days. Raw data were processed to calculate the number of steps, amount and intensity of the PA performed in morning, afternoon and evening time slots.

Results:

During weekday afternoon times (1:30 to 4:30 PM), children attending the full-time schedule spent significantly less time in sedentary behavior with respect to those who attend the regular time (54.7% vs. 60.0%, P < .001) and more time in moderate-to-vigorous activity (18.0% vs. 15.0%, P = .004). No differences between morning and evening times were found.

Conclusions:

The structure of the full time schedule, which includes a second recess, promotes higher and more intense levels of PA during the afternoon. Such information represent a useful input in planning differential PA activities for children attending the regular time to achieve similar PA levels for the whole school population.

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Jackie A. Dabinett, Karen Reid and Nic James

The purpose of the present study was to develop a hydration strategy for use by female English field hockey players at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia. An additional aim was to initiate the process of acclimation. Fifteen elite players, mean age (±SEM) 24.1 ± 1.19 years, height 1.67 ± 0.01 m, and body mass 62.8 ± 1.76 kg, took part in a 5-day training camp immediately prior to departure for the Games. In order to develop the hydration strategy, training took place under similar environmental conditions to those to be experienced in Malaysia (i.e., 32 °C, 80% humidity). Acclimation training consisted of 30–50 min of either continuous, low intensity cycling or high intensity intermittent cycling, which more closely replicated the pattern of activity in field hockey. Body mass measures taken each morning, and pre and post training, together with urine color measures, were used to assess hydration status. Pre-loading with up to 1 L of a 3% carbohydrate-electrolyte solution or water immediately prior to acclimation training, as well as regular drinks throughout, ensured that players avoided significant dehydration, with percent body mass changes ranging from −0.34% to +4.24% post training. Furthermore, the protocol used was sufficient to initiate the process of acclimation as demonstrated by a significant reduction in exercising heart rate and core temperature at all time points by days 4 and 5. In conclusion, although labor intensive and time consuming, the camp was successful in developing a hydration strategy that players were able to utilize once at the Games.

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Fabio Y. Nakamura, Lucas A. Pereira, César C. Cal Abad, Emerson Franchini and Irineu Loturco

Purpose:

To quantify the training loads reported by karate athletes of the Brazilian national team in the week immediately before their participation in the 2015 Pan American Games.

Methods:

Eleven elite karate athletes (7 men and 4 women, 24.42 ± 3.75 y, 1.70 ± 0.09 m, 69.6 ± 13.2 kg) from the Brazilian national team took part in this study. Session rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE) was quantified in all training sessions. Moreover, resting heart-rate variability (HRV), as analyzed through the natural log of the root-mean-square difference of successive normal RR intervals (lnRMSSD), and countermovement-jump (CMJ) performance before and after 8 training sessions were assessed throughout the week. The differences based on magnitudes were calculated comparing pre- and posttraining session, as well as measures performed every morning during the week.

Results:

The weekly s-RPE was 2608.5 ± 431.2 a.u. The lnRMSSD was very likely higher on Monday than on the following days of the week, remaining stable during this period. CMJ height did not change during the week. Almost certain differences were observed in lnRMSSD pre- and posttraining session, while CMJ height did not change.

Conclusions:

The national karate-team athletes did not present signs of fatigue accumulation, as indicated by relatively steady HRV and unchanged CMJ during the week, as planned by the coaches for precompetition technical and tactical refinement.