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André X. Bigard, Pierre Lavier, Lionel Ullmann, Hélène Legrand, Philippe Douce and Charles Y. Guezennec

This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation would minimize changes in body composition and alterations in plasma amino acid profile induced by prolonged exercises at altitude. Twenty-four highly trained subjects participated in six successive sessions of ski mountaineering (6-8 hr duration, altitude 2,500-4,100 m). Twelve subjects took a dietary supplement of BCAA (BCAA group) and 12 took a dietary supplement that was 98% carbohydrate (C group). Body weight decreased in C subjects (-2.1%,p < .01), while the body weight loss recorded in the BCAA group was not statistically significant (-1.2%, NS). Changes in body composition that resulted from repeated skiing exercise at altitude were not significantly minimized by BCAA administration. Peak power output recorded during an incremental bicycle exercise decreased in C subjects but did not change significantly in BCAA subjects. Results of this study demonstrate that neither changes in body composition related to the ski mountaineering program nor muscular performance during isometric contraction was significantly affected by BCAA administration.

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Helen T. Douda, Konstantina V. Kosmidou, Ilias Smilios, Konstantinos A. Volaklis and Savvas P. Tokmakidis

This five-year follow-up nonrandomized controlled study evaluated community-based training and detraining on body composition and functional ability in older women. Forty-two volunteers (64.3 ± 5.1 years) were divided into four groups: aerobic training, strength training, combined aerobic and strength, and control. Body composition and physical fitness were measured at baseline, after nine months of training and after three months of detraining every year. After five years of training, body fat decreased, and fat free mass, strength, and chair test performance increased (p < .05) in all training groups. Training-induced favorable adaptations were reversed during detraining but, eventually, training groups presented better values than the control group even after detraining. Thus, nine months of annual training, during a five-year period, induced favorable adaptations on body composition, muscular strength, and functional ability in older women. Three months of detraining, however, changed the favorable adaptations and underlined the need for uninterrupted exercise throughout life.

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Robert Gorinski and Wendy Stuhldreher

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Stuart J. Fairclough

This study assessed the physical activity levels of 20 high school girls (age 13 years, SD = 1.1) during physical education classes, over an 8-month period. Physical activity was measured by heart rate telemetry and accelerometry. Skinfold measurements were used to estimate percent body fat, and peak VO2 was assessed by maximal treadmill running. Girls engaged in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) for 38.5% of class time and produced 961.8 vector magnitude (Vmag) counts · min−1. Body fat was inversely correlated with Vmag counts · min−1 (r = −.65, p < .01) and peak VO2 (r = −.65, p < .01). Girls’ MVPA in physical education did not meet the Healthy People 2010 50% of class time criterion. Body fat significantly predicted 42% of the variance in Vmag counts · min−1. Cardiorespiratory fitness appeared not to influence physical activity during physical education, regardless of measurement method. Girls’ physical activity in physical education may be improved if schools advocate planned lesson outcomes that aim to maximize opportunities for physical activity.

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Kenneth H. Pitetti, Daniel A. Yarmer and Bo Fernhall

The purpose of this study was to compare the aerobic fitness and body mass index (BMI) of children and adolescents (8-18 yr) with and without mild mental retardation (MR). Sample size of participants with MR but without Down syndrome was 169 males and 99 females. Sample size of participants without MR was 289 males and 317 females. Analysis was made by gender and age: children (8-10 yr); early adolescents (11-14 yr); and late adolescents (15-18 yr). The 20-m shuttle run test (20 MST) was used to assess field test performance and predicted aerobic fitness. For all age groups, females and males without MR ran significantly more laps and had a significantly higher predicted aerobic fitness (V̇O2peak: ml $$ kg-1 $$ min-1) than their peers with MR. Additionally, participants with MR tended to have higher BMI than their peers without MR. The results of this study indicate that children and adolescents with MR have lower exercise capacity, lower aerobic fitness, and higher BMIs than their peers without MR.

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Jennifer Gornall and Rudolph G. Villani

The primary aim was to investigate whether the reduction in resting metabolic rate (RMR) and fat free mass (FFM) associated with a short-term very low kilojoule diet (VLKD) is altered by concurrent resistance exercise. Twenty overweight, premenopausal women were pair matched on body surface area and randomly assigned to either diet only (3,400 kJ/day) or diet combined with resistance training. Before and after 4 weeks of treatment, RMR was assessed by indirect calorimetry; total body mass (TBM), FFM, and fat mass (FM) by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry; total body water (TBW) by bioelectrical impedance; and strength by a weight-lifting test. Both groups had significantly lower TBM, FFM, FM, TBW, absolute RMR, and RMR, with FFM as the covariate, in the posttests than the pretests with no significant differences between groups. It was concluded that 4 weeks of resistance training did not prevent or reduce the decline in FFM and RMR observed with a VLKD.

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Ezzedine Bouhlel, Myriam Denguezli, Monia Zaouali, Zouhair Tabka and Roy J. Shephard

Purpose:

To evaluate the effect of Ramadan fasting on parameters of insulin resistance in trained athletes at rest and after aerobic exercise.

Methods:

Nine male rugby players (age 19 ± 2 yr, height 1.78 ± 0.74 m) were tested 3 times: 1 week before observance of Ramadan (C), at the end of the first week (R1), and during the fourth week (R2). They performed a progressive cycle-ergometer test at each visit. Data collected at rest and at the end of aerobic exercise included simple anthropometry (body mass, body-mass index, body fat, fat-free mass), biochemical parameters (serum glucose, cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, creatinine, and serum proteins), and selected hormone concentrations (plasma insulin, leptin, and adiponectin).

Results:

Ramadan fasting was associated with a reduction of body mass and body fat (R2 vs. C, p < .01) without significant change in leptin or adiponectin levels.

Conclusion:

Lipolysis might have occurred because of increased plasma triglycerides and HDL cholesterol concentrations.

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Peter Pagels, Anders Raustorp, Trevor Archer, Ulf Lidman and Marie Alricsson

Background:

Health organizations suggest that adults ought to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity daily physical activity. This study investigated the effects of a 30-minute single daily bout of brisk walking upon risk factors for coronary heart disease with blood lipid profile in particular.

Methods:

Thirty-three (25–45 y) adults, were randomly assigned into an exercise group (EG; n = 16, 9w) and a control group (CG; n = 17, 6w). The EG walked briskly 30 minutes daily during the 3-week test period. Compliance/adherence was maximal throughout the 3-week intervention due to stringent daily monitoring.

Results:

The EG showed a significant decrease in concentrations of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and total cholesterol (TC) during the intervention period. A significant inverse correlation between Δ energy expenditure/day and Δ LDL-C (r = –0.39, P < .05) and an improvement in weight and BMI in the EG was found. Average steps during 30 minutes brisk walking bout was 3669 steps/bout generating a mean energy expenditure of 191 kcal/ bout.

Conclusions:

The most unique findings were that daily single bouts of moderate-intensity physical activity for 30 minutes, during 3 weeks, induced favorable effects upon body weight, BMI, and blood concentration of LDL-C and TC in healthy adults.

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Lee E.F. Graves, Nicola D. Ridgers, Greg Atkinson and Gareth Stratton

Active video game interventions typically provide children a single game that may become unappealing. A peripheral device (jOG) encourages step-powered gaming on multiple games. This trial evaluated the effect of jOG on children’s objectively measured PA, body fat and self-reported behaviors. 42 of 58 eligible children (8–10 y) randomly assigned to an intervention (jOG) or control (CON) completed the trial. Intervention children received two jOG devices for home use. Analyses of covariance compared the intervention effect at 6 and 12 weeks from baseline. No differences were found between groups for counts per minute (CPM; primary outcome) at 6 and 12 weeks (p > .05). Active video gaming increased (adjusted change 0.95 (95% CI 0.25, 1.65) h·d−1, p<.01) and sedentary video gaming decreased (-0.34 (-1.24, 0.56) h·d−1, p > .05) at 6 weeks relative to CON. No body fat changes were observed between groups. Targeted changes in video game use did not positively affect PA. Larger trials are needed to verify the impact of active video games on children’s PA and health.