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Patricia A. Hageman, Susan Noble Walker, Carol H. Pullen, Linda S. Boeckner and Maureen K. Oberdorfer

This study investigated physical activity and fitness of midlife and older rural women. Random-digit dialing was used to recruit 225 women (57.9 ± 5.6 years old). Self-reported activity (moderate activity, flexibility, and strength) and fitness (body composition, flexibility, strength, and estimated VO2max) were assessed. The women demonstrated low daily energy expenditure (30.74 ± 10.63 kcal · kg−1 · day−1) and estimated VO2max (20.12 ± 7.81 ml · kg−1 · min−1), with 51.5% reporting fair or poor health. Few women reported meeting Healthy People 2010 targets for moderate activity (43.1%), flexibility (28.9%), or strength (14.2%). When classified by estimated VO2max into three categories, differences were observed for body-mass index, percent body fat, sit and reach, and timed chair stands, with the poorest performance by those with low cardiorespiratory fitness. Adherence to Healthy People 2010 targets for moderate activity and strengthening was associated with higher cardiorespiratory fitness. These rural women are targets for physical activity interventions because of their sedentary behaviors and low cardiorespiratory fitness.

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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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Kelly Samara Silva, Daniel Giordani Vasques, Caroline de Oliveira Martins, Laura Ashley Williams and Adair S. Lopes

Background:

Research has demonstrated that adolescents who actively commute have higher levels of physical activity (PA), which have declined precipitously over the past 30 years. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of active commuting to school; and to identify barriers associated with active commuting.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted with 1672 students (46.8% boys and 53.2% girls) from 11 to 17 years of age in Caxias do Sul/RS, Brazil. The students were asked to answer questionnaires about active transport, PA, and sedentary behaviors. They also completed a cardiovascular fitness test and body composition measurements. The study used a multivariate Poisson regression analysis.

Results:

A total of 62.5% of students were observed to actively commute and the prevalence ratio (PR) of not actively commuting was associated with the type of school (Private: 2.41; 1.47, 3.95) and the time spent on commuting (>20 min: 1.93; 1.23, 3.03). The associated barriers to passive commuting were distance (3.02; 1.95, 4.71), crime/ danger (2.65; 1.82, 3.85), and traffic (1.75; 1.19, 2.58).

Conclusions:

This study showed that environmental variables were strongly associated with active commuting. However, no alterations in body composition or other behavioral variables were observed after adjustment.

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Bruce W. Bailey, Pamela Borup, James D. LeCheminant, Larry A. Tucker and Jacob Bromley

Background:

The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between intensity of physical activity (PA) and body composition in 343 young women.

Methods:

Physical activity was objectively measured using accelerometers worn for 7 days in women 17 to 25 years. Body composition was assessed using the BOD POD.

Results:

Young women who spent less than 30 minutes a week performing vigorous PA had significantly higher body fat percentages than women who performed more than 30 minutes of vigorous PA per week (F = 4.54, P = .0113). Young women who spent less than 30 minutes per day in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) had significantly higher body fat percentages than those who obtained more than 30 minutes per day of MVPA (F = 7.47, P = .0066). Accumulating more than 90 minutes of MVPA per day was associated with the lowest percent body fat. For every 10 minutes spent in MVPA per day, the odds of having a body fat percentage above 32% decreased by 29% (P = .0002).

Conclusion:

Vigorous PA and MVPA are associated with lower adiposity. Young women should be encouraged to accumulate at least 30 minutes of MVPA per day, however getting more than 90 minutes a day is predictive of even lower levels of adiposity.

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Johann C. Bilsborough, Kate Greenway, Steuart Livingston, Justin Cordy and Aaron J. Coutts

The purpose of this study was to examine the seasonal changes in body composition, nutrition, and upper-body (UB) strength in professional Australian Football (AF) players. The prospective longitudinal study examined changes in anthropometry (body mass, fat-free soft-tissue mass [FFSTM], and fat mass) via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry 5 times during an AF season (start preseason, midpreseason, start season, midseason, end season) in 45 professional AF players. Dietary intakes and strength (bench press and bench pull) were also assessed at these time points. Players were categorized as experienced (>4 y experience, n = 23) or inexperienced (<4 y experience, n = 22). Fat mass decreased during the preseason but was stable through the in-season for both groups. %FFSTM was increased during the preseason and remained constant thereafter. UB strength increased during the preseason and was maintained during the in-season. Changes in UB FFSTM were related to changes in UB-strength performance (r = .37−.40). Total energy and carbohydrate intakes were similar between the experienced and inexperienced players during the season, but there was a greater ratio of dietary fat intake at the start-preseason point and an increased alcohol, reduced protein, and increased total energy intake at the end of the season. The inexperienced players consumed more fat at the start of season and less total protein during the season than the experienced players. Coaches should also be aware that it can take >1 y to develop the appropriate levels of FFSTM in young players and take a long-term view when developing the physical and performance abilities of inexperienced players.

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Regina M. Lewis, Maja Redzic and D. Travis Thomas

The purpose of this 6-month randomized, placebo-controlled trial was to determine the effect of season-long (September–March) vitamin D supplementation on changes in vitamin D status, which is measured as 25(OH) D, body composition, inflammation, and frequency of illness and injury. Forty-five male and female athletes were randomized to 4,000 IU vitamin D (n = 23) or placebo (n = 22). Bone turnover markers (NTx and BSAP), 25(OH)D, and inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL1-β) were measured at baseline, midpoint, and endpoint. Body composition was assessed by DXA and injury and illness data were collected. All athletes had sufficient 25(OH)D (> 32 ng/ml) at baseline (mean: 57 ng/ml). At midpoint and endpoint, 13% and 16% of the total sample had 25(OH)D < 32 ng/ml, respectively. 25(OH)D was not positively correlated with bone mineral density (BMD) in the total body, proximal dual femur, or lumbar spine. In men, total body (p = .04) and trunk (p = .04) mineral-free lean mass (MFL) were positively correlated with 25(OH)D. In women, right femoral neck BMD (p = .02) was positively correlated with 25(OH)D. 25(OH)D did not correlate with changes in bone turnover markers or inflammatory cytokines. Illness (n = 1) and injury (n = 13) were not related to 25(OH)D; however, 77% of injuries coincided with decreases in 25(OH)D. Our data suggests that 4,000 IU vitamin D supplementation is an inexpensive intervention that effectively increased 25(OH)D, which was positively correlated to bone measures in the proximal dual femur and MFL. Future studies with larger sample sizes and improved supplement compliance are needed to expand our understanding of the effects of vitamin D supplementation in athletes.

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Alisa Nana, Gary J. Slater, Will G. Hopkins, Shona L. Halson, David T. Martin, Nicholas P. West and Louise M. Burke

Purpose:

The implications of undertaking DXA scans using best practice protocols (subjects fasted and rested) or a less precise but more practical protocol in assessing chronic changes in body composition following training and a specialized recovery technique were investigated.

Methods:

Twenty-one male cyclists completed an overload training program, in which they were randomized to four sessions per week of either cold water immersion therapy or control groups. Whole-body DXA scans were undertaken with best practice protocol (Best) or random activity protocol (Random) at baseline, after 3 weeks of overload training, and after a 2-week taper. Magnitudes of changes in total, lean and fat mass from baseline-overload, overload-taper and baseline-taper were assessed by standardization (Δmean/SD).

Results:

The standard deviations of change scores for total and fat-free soft tissue mass (FFST) from Random scans (2–3%) were approximately double those observed in the Best (1–2%), owing to extra random errors associated with Random scans at baseline. There was little difference in change scores for fat mass. The effect of cold water immersion therapy on baseline-taper changes in FFST was possibly harmful (-0.7%; 90% confidence limits ±1.2%) with Best scans but unclear with Random scans (0.9%; ±2.0%). Both protocols gave similar possibly harmful effects of cold water immersion therapy on changes in fat mass (6.9%; ±13.5% and 5.5%; ±14.3%, respectively).

Conclusions:

An interesting effect of cold water immersion therapy on training-induced changes in body composition might have been missed with a less precise scanning protocol. DXA scans should be undertaken with Best.

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Andrew Pardue, Eric T. Trexler and Lisa K. Sprod

Extreme body composition demands of competitive bodybuilding have been associated with unfavorable physiological changes, including alterations in metabolic rate and endocrine profile. The current case study evaluated the effects of contest preparation (8 months), followed by recovery (5 months), on a competitive drug-free male bodybuilder over 13 months (M1-M13). Serum testosterone, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin were measured throughout the study. Body composition (BodPod, dualenergy x-ray absorptiometry [DXA]), anaerobic power (Wingate test), and resting metabolic rate (RMR) were assessed monthly. Sleep was assessed monthly via the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and actigraphy. From M1 to M8, testosterone (623–173 ng∙dL-1), T3 (123–40 ng∙dL-1), and T4 (5.8–4.1 mg∙dL-1) decreased, while cortisol (25.2–26.5 mg∙dL-1) and ghrelin (383–822 pg∙mL-1) increased. The participant lost 9.1 kg before competition as typical energy intake dropped from 3,860 to 1,724 kcal∙day-1; BodPod estimates of body fat percentage were 13.4% at M1, 9.6% at M8, and 14.9% at M13; DXA estimates were 13.8%, 5.1%, and 13.8%, respectively. Peak anaerobic power (753.0 to 536.5 Watts) and RMR (107.2% of predicted to 81.2% of predicted) also decreased throughout preparation. Subjective sleep quality decreased from M1 to M8, but objective measures indicated minimal change. By M13, physiological changes were largely, but not entirely, reversed. Contest preparation may yield transient, unfavorable changes in endocrine profile, power output, RMR, and subjective sleep outcomes. Research with larger samples must identify strategies that minimize unfavorable adaptations and facilitate recovery following competition.

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Jesper Nørregaard, Martin Gram, Andreas Vigelsø, Caroline Wiuff, Anja Birk Kuhlman, Jørn Wulff Helge and Flemming Dela

We studied the effect of physical inactivity and subsequent retraining on cardiovascular risk factors in 17 young (Y; 23.4 ± 0.5 years) and 15 older adult (O; 68.1 ± 1.1 years) men who underwent 14 days of one leg immobilization followed by six weeks of training. Body weight remained unchanged. Daily physical activity decreased by 31 ± 9% (Y) and 37 ± 9% (O) (p < .001). Maximal oxygen uptake decreased with inactivity (Y) and always increased with training. Visceral fat mass decreased (p < .05) with training. Concentrations of lipids in blood were always highest in the older adults. FFA and glycerol increased with reduced activity (p < .05), but reverted with training. Training resulted in increases in HDL-C (p < .05) and a decrease in LDL-C and TC:HDL-C ratio (p < .05). A minor reduction in daily physical activity for two weeks increased blood lipids in both young and older men. Six weeks of training improved blood lipids along with loss of visceral fat.