This study aimed to ascertain perceived barriers and motivators to exercise in people age 74–85 and to clarify the meaning of these barriers and motivators by examining participant characteristics that relate to them. 324 community-dwelling participants age 74–85 completed a health questionnaire that included items on barriers and motivators to exercise, as well as questions on demographic variables, health, and exercise. Selected participants then completed a physical-performance battery to measure functional performance. Barriers and motivators were related internally, as well as to many other factors including pain and depressed affect on the Geriatric Depression Scale. The findings suggest a need for individualized and comprehensive approaches to the presentation of exercise programs. Health interventions are needed that will address both physical pain and depressed affect and explain the importance of exercise even in the presence of health problems. An understanding of the context of reported barriers and motivators is necessary for correct interpretation and program development.
Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Marcia S. Marx and Jack M. Guralnik
This experiment examined, through quantitative measures, exercise dependence in subjects who had been running at least a year and ran at least 5 days a week. The subjects, 24 males and 9 females, were randomly assigned to groups according to the Solomon four-group design. Two groups ran and the other two did not on the day of the experiment. Pretests were given to one of the running and one of the nonrunning groups. Dependent variables were the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and galvanic skin response. Overall multivariate analysis showed a significant running by pretest interaction. The nonpretested running group revealed significantly lower depression (POMS) and GSR scores than the nonpretested nonrunning group. The results suggest that even slight variations from running schedules may have a negative effect on habitual runners.
Allan J. Rowley, Daniel M. Landers, L. Blaine Kyllo and Jennifer L. Etnier
The Profile of Mood States (POMS) is commonly used to measure mental health in athletes. Athletes scoring below norms on scales of tension, depression, confusion, anger, and fatigue, and above norms on vigor, are said to possess a positive profile that graphically depicts an iceberg. However, the predictive power of the iceberg profile has recently been questioned. A meta-analysis was conducted on 33 studies comparing the POMS scores of athletes differing in success to estimate the magnitude of the findings. The overall effect size was calculated to be 0.15. Although this value was significantly different from zero, the amount of variance accounted for was less than 1%. The results suggest that across many different sports and levels of performance, successful athletes possess a mood profile slightly more positive than less successful athletes. However, with such a small and nonrobust effect, the utility of the POMS in predicting athletic success is questionable.
Judy D. Goss
The personality construct of hardiness has been introduced as a moderator in the stress-illness relationship. Hardy individuals are thought to alter their appraisal of stress into a less stressful form. Mood disturbances have been found to be a product of intensive physical training. This investigation examines the relationships between hardiness and mood disturbances in swimmers who are overtraining and between hardiness, mood disturbances, and coping behaviors. Swimmers (N=253) from eight universities and seven competitive club programs completed the Cognitive Hardiness Inventory, the Profile of Mood States, the Everly Coping Scale, and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale at the beginning of their competitive season, and at two 7-week intervals. Hardy swimmers experienced fewer mood disturbances during the season than nonhardy swimmers. Specifically, hardy swimmers had lower feelings of tension, depression, anger, fatigue, confusion, and higher feelings of vigor. Hardy swimmers also possessed more adaptive coping behaviors.
Eric J. Sprigings and Doris I. Miller
Optimized computer simulation, using a mathematical model of a diver, was employed to gain insight into the primary mechanical factors responsible for producing height and rotation in dives from the reverse group. The performance variable optimized was the total angular displacement of the diver as measured from last contact to the point where the diver's mass center passed the level of the springboard or platform. The times of onset, and lengths of activation for the joint torque actuators, were used as the control variables for the optimization process. The results of the platform simulation indicated that the magnitude of the hip torque was approximately twice that generated by the knee joint during the early extension phase of the takeoff. Most of the knee extension for the simulation model coincided with the period of reduced hip torque during the later phase of takeoff, suggesting that the knee torque served mainly to stabilize the lower limbs so that the force from the powerful hip extension could be delivered through to the platform. Maintaining a forward tilt of the lower legs (~50° from the horizontal) during hip and knee extension appeared to be paramount for successful reverse somersaults. Although the movement pattern exhibited by the springboard model was limited by the torque activation strategy employed, the results provided insight into the timing of knee extension. Peak knee extension torque was generated just prior to maximum springboard depression, allowing the diver's muscular efforts to be exerted against a stiffer board. It was also apparent that the diver must maintain an anatomically strong knee position (~140°) at maximum depression to resist the large upward force being exerted by the springboard against the diver's feet. The optimization process suggested that, as the number of reverse somersaults increases, both the angle of the lower legs with respect to the springboard and the angle of knee extension at completion of takeoff should decrease.
Stephen Hill, Wesley Box and Robert A. DiSilvestro
Lipid peroxides can be both a product and an initiator of oxidant stress. Conceivably, exercise can either increase concentrations of lipid peroxides (by causing oxidant stress), or decrease them (by accelerating peroxide breakdown). The net effect could depend on exercise intensity and nutritional intake of antioxidants. The present study examined the response of serum lipid peroxides to the combination of moderate intensity, weight resistance exercise plus intake of soy protein, a source of antioxidant phytochemicals. Recreationally trained, young adult men (N = 18) consumed soy protein or antioxidant-poor whey protein for 4 weeks (40 g protein/d) before a session of moderate intensity, weight resistance exercise. In the soy group, exercise decreased values for serum lipid peroxides at 5 min, 3 h, and 24 h post-exercise. The whey group showed the depression only at 24 h. In both the soy and whey groups, a small rise was seen for interleukin-8, which is consistent with the idea that the exercise session induced a moderate muscle stress. In summary, a moderate intensity, weight resistance exercise session, despite inducing mild inflammation, depressed plasma serum peroxide values, especially when combined with 4 weeks of soy consumption.
Clemens von Schacky, Maximilian Kemper, Robert Haslbauer and Martin Halle
The Omega-3 Index is defined as erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and represents an individual’s status in these two marine omega-3 fatty acids. A target range of 8 to 11% has been suggested, because values below predispose to cardiovascular events, especially sudden cardiac death, as well as to suboptimal brain function, like prolonged reaction times or even depression. Compared with the general population, elite athletes have an increased incidence of sudden death. The Omega-3 Index has not yet been investigated in elite athletes. In an exploratory approach, we determined the Omega-3 Index in 106 consecutive German national elite winter endurance athletes presenting for preparticipation screening, using a well-established analytical procedure (HS-Omega-3 Index). Surprisingly, only one athlete had a value within the target range, but all others had values <8%. We conclude that we have identified a deficiency of EPA and DHA in these elite athletes. This deficiency presents a potential option for prevention of cardiovascular events such as sudden cardiac death, and improving aspects of brain function. It will be important to scrutinize our finding by more thorough epidemiologic studies and appropriate intervention trials.
Takaaki Mishima, Takashi Yamada, Makoto Sakamoto, Minako Sugiyama, Satoshi Matsunaga, Hirohiko Maemura, Muneshige Shimizu, Yoshihisa Takahata, Fumiki Morimatsu and Masanobu Wada
This study was conducted to determine whether dietary chicken-breast extract (CBEX), a rich source of histidine-containing dipeptides, could modify exerciseinduced changes in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) function. After 5 weeks of dietary CBEX, SR Ca2+-handling ability was examined in the vastus lateralis muscles of rats subjected to high-intensity running for 2.5 min. Dietary CBEX caused an approximately 15% and 45% increase (p < .01) in muscle carnosine and anserine concentrations, respectively. In resting muscles, depressions in SR Ca2+–ATPase activity were evoked by dietary CBEX without concomitant changes in SR Ca2+ uptake and release rates. The data confirm that high-intensity exercise depresses SR Ca2+ handling. In spite of the same run time, SR Ca2+ handling was reduced to a lesser degree in muscles of CBEX-containing-chow-fed rats than in standard-chow-fed rats (p < .05). These results suggest that dietary CBEX might attenuate deteriorations in SR Ca2+-handling ability that occur with high-intensity exercise.
Ben Ewald, John Attia and Patrick McElduff
Although an overall public health target of 10,000 steps per day has been advocated, the dose–response relationship for each health benefit of physical activity may differ.
A representative community sample of 2458 Australian residents aged 55–85 wore a pedometer for a week in 2005–2007 and completed a health assessment. Age-standardized steps per day were compared with multiple markers of health using locally weighted regression to produce smoothed dose–response curves and then to select the steps per day matching 60% or 80% of the range in each health marker.
There is a linear relationship between activity level and markers of inflammation throughout the range of steps per day; this is also true for BMI in women and high density lipoprotein in men. For other markers, including waist:hip ratio, fasting glucose, depression, and SF-36 scores, the benefit of physical activity is mostly in the lower half of the distribution.
Older adults have no plateau in the curve for some health outcomes, even beyond 12,000 steps per day. For other markers, however, there is a threshold effect, indicating that most of the benefit is achieved by 8000 steps per day, supporting this as a suitable public health target for older adults.
Maria Francesca Piacentini and Romain Meeusen
This longitudinal case study evaluated the effectiveness of an online training-monitoring system to prevent nonfunctional overreaching (NFOR).
A female master track and field athlete was followed by means of a daily online training diary (www.spartanova.com) and a weekly profile of mood state (POMS). The online diary consists of objective training data and subjective feelings reported on a 10-cm visual analog scale. Furthermore, parameters that quantify and summarize training and adaptation to training were calculated. The novelty consists in the inclusion of a specific measuring parameter tested to detect NFOR (OR score).
During track-season preparation, the athlete was facing some major personal changes, and extratraining stress factors increased. Despite the fact that training load (TL) did not increase, the or score showed a 222% and then a 997% increase compared with baseline. POMS showed a 167% increase in fatigue, a 38% decrease in vigor, a 32% increase in depression scores, and a total mood increase of 22%, with a 1-wk shift compared with the OR score. A 41% decrease in TL restored the OR score and POMS to baseline values within 10 d.
The results demonstrate that immediate feedback obtained by “warning signals” to both athletes and coaches, based on individual baseline data, seems an optimal predictor of FOR/NFOR.