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Lisa A. Barella, Jennifer L. Etnier and Yu-Kai Chang

Research on the acute effects of exercise on cognitive performance by older adults is limited by a focus on nonhealthy populations. Furthermore, the duration of cognitive improvements after exercise has not been examined. Thus, this study was designed to test the immediate and delayed effects of acute exercise on cognitive performance of healthy older adults. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Stroop task. Participants were randomly assigned to an exercise (20 min of walking) or control (sitting quietly) condition. The Stroop task was administered at baseline and at 12 time points after treatment. Acute exercise resulted in better Stroop test performance immediately postexercise; however, the effects were limited to the color test. No effects of exercise on performance were observed for the Stroop interference or inhibition tests. Findings suggest that acute exercise performed by healthy older adults has short-term benefits for speed of processing but does not affect other types of cognitive functioning.

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Susan Shore and Roy J. Shephard

Immune responses have been examined in 11 children aged 10.3 ± 0.6 years before and after 12 weeks of aerobic training. Initial resting data showed high total lymphocyte, CD3+ and CD8+ counts, a low CD4+/CD8+ ratio and a low CD25+ count relative to young adults. Acute exercise (30 min at ventilatory threshold) initially increased CD4+, CD8+, and CD56+ counts, and decreased CD4+/CD8+ ratio, but CD56+ count did not decrease during recovery. After training, relative aerobic power remained unchanged at 50 ±3 ml · kg−1 · min−1. However, resting leukocyte, CD3’ and CD25’ counts were decreased, and acute exercise induced smaller changes in leukocyte and subset counts. We conclude that immune responses to exercise are generally similar in children and young adults.

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Jeffrey A. Woods and Brandt D. Pence

Exercise immunology is a relatively new discipline in the exercise sciences that seeks to understand how exercise affects the immune system and susceptibility to infectious and chronic diseases. This brief review will focus on three major observations that have driven the field to date including: (1) acute exercise-induced leukocytosis, (2) the observation that intense, prolonged exercise results in upper respiratory tract symptoms, and (3) the paradoxical effect of acute and chronic exercise on inflammation. This framework will be used to examine the mechanisms and implications behind these seminal observations. Data generally support the conclusion that moderate intensity exercise enhances immune function, whereas prolonged, intense exercise diminishes immune function.

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Margaret Schneider, Andrea Dunn and Daniel Cooper

Many adolescents do not meet public health recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). In studies of variables influencing adolescent MVPA, one that has been understudied is the affective response to exercise. We hypothesized that adolescents with a more positive affective response to acute exercise would be more active. Adolescents (N = 124; 46% male) completed two 30-min exercise tasks (above and below the ventilatory threshold [VT]), and wore ActiGraph accelerometers for 6.5 ± 0.7 days. Affective valence was assessed before, during, and after each task. A more positive affective response during exercise below the VT was associated with greater participation in MVPA (p < .05). The results are consistent with the hypothesis that individuals who have a more positive affective response to exercise will engage in more MVPA. To promote greater participation in MVPA among adolescents, programs should be designed to facilitate a positive affective experience during exercise.

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Brian C. Focht and Heather A. Hausenblas

The primary purpose of the present study was to examine psychological responses of 50 young women following single episodes of aerobic exercise (AE) performed in a naturalistic exercise setting and quiet rest (QR). Given the salience of self-presentational qualities in a naturalistic exercise setting, a secondary purpose was to examine whether psychological responses to acute exercise varied as a function of social physique anxiety (SPA). The dependent measures of state anxiety, positive engagement, revitalization, tranquility, and physical exhaustion were assessed immediately prior to and then at 5 and 30 minutes following each condition. It was found that (a) AE and QR were associated with decreases in state anxiety and increases in tranquility; (b) AE was associated with increases in positive engagement and revitalization; and (c) these changes did not vary as a function of SPA level.

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Caterina Pesce, Lucio Cereatti, Rita Casella, Carlo Baldari and Laura Capranica

This study investigated the visual attention of older expert orienteers and older adults not practicing activities with high attentional and psychomotor demands, and considered whether prolonged practice of orienteering may counteract the age-related deterioration of visual attentional performance both at rest and under acute exercise. In two discriminative reaction time experiments, performed both at rest and under submaximal physical workload, visual attention was cued by means of spatial cues of different sizes followed, at different stimulus-onset asynchronies, by compound stimuli with local and global target features. Orienteers, as compared to nonathletes, showed a faster reaction speed and a complex pattern of attentional differences depending on the time constraints of the attentional task, the demands on endogenous attentional control, and the presence or absence of a concomitant effortful motor task. Results suggest that older expert orienteers have developed attentional skills that outweigh, at least at rest, the age-related deficits of visual attentional focusing.

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Fiona Barnett

Background:

This study examined the self-efficacy and affective responses to an acute exercise bout in sedentary older and younger women to determine whether aging has an effect on affective states.

Methods:

Twenty-five sedentary younger (mean age = 19.9 yrs) and 25 older (mean age = 55.7 yrs) women completed an acute bout of exercise. Affective responses were measured before, during, and immediately following exercise. Self-efficacy responses were measured before and immediately following exercise.

Results:

Positive engagement, revitalization, tranquility, Felt Arousal and Feeling Scale responses, and self-efficacy were all higher immediately following compared with before or during exercise for both groups of women. In addition, older women experienced higher overall positive engagement and lower physical exhaustion compared with younger women as well as higher tranquility and Feeling Scale responses immediately following exercise.

Conclusions:

This investigation found that an acute bout of moderate-intensity exercise produced more positive and fewer negative affective states in both younger and older women.

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Marcin Baranowski, Jan Górski, Barbara Klapcinska, Zbigniew Waskiewicz and Ewa Sadowska-Krepa

We have previously shown that acute exercise increases the level of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) in plasma and ceramide in erythrocytes of untrained subjects. The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of ultramarathon run on the plasma and erythrocyte levels of the following bioactive sphingolipids: S1P, sphinganine-1-phosphate (SA1P), sphingosine, sphinganine, and ceramide. Blood samples were collected from seven male amateur runners participating in a 48-hr ultramarathon race before the run, after 24 and 48 hr of running, and following 24 and 48 hr of recovery. The sphingolipids were quantified by means of HPLC. Sustained running for 48 hr resulted in a progressive decline in plasma S1P to a level significantly lower than at prerace, and then remained stable over the next 48 hr of recovery. In erythrocytes, S1P content was stable until 24 hr of recovery, then rose abruptly to reach peak values after 48 hr of recovery. The plasma level of SA1P decreased progressively during the competition and remained unchanged over the recovery. In erythrocytes, the level of SA1P increased after 24 hr running and normalized thereafter. The level of ceramide, both in plasma and erythrocytes, was not significantly affected by the ultraendurance run. We speculate that reduction in plasma level of S1P during and after the run reduces its biological actions and might be responsible for some negative side-effects of the ultraendurance effort.

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Amy S. Welch, Angie Hulley and Mark Beauchamp

To investigate the relationship between cognitive and affective responses during acute exercise, 24 low-active females completed two 30-min bouts of cycle ergometer exercise at 90% of the ventilatory threshold. In one condition participants had full knowledge of the exercise duration (KD); in the other, exercise duration was unknown (UD). Affect and self-efficacy were measured before and every 3 min during exercise, and affect was also measured postexercise. Affect declined throughout the first half of both conditions, and continued its decline until the end of the UD condition, when a rebound effect was observed. Self-efficacy during exercise displayed a similar pattern. Hierarchical regression analyses demonstrated that during-exercise self-efficacy was a stronger predictor of during-exercise affect than preexercise self-efficacy, and that this relationship was strongest at the end of exercise when duration was unknown. These results indicate that repetitive cognitive appraisal of self and the task could impact the exercise experiences of low-active women during the adoption phase of an exercise program.

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Andrea T. Duran, Erik Gertz, Daniel A. Judelson, Andrea M. Haqq, Susan J. Clark, Kavin W. Tsang and Daniela Rubin

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), the best characterized form of syndromic obesity, presents with abnormally high fat mass. In children, obesity presents with low-grade systemic inflammation. This study evaluated if PWS and/or nonsyndromic obesity affected cytokine responses to intermittent aerobic exercise in children. Eleven children with PWS (11 ± 2 y, 45.4 ± 9.5% body fat), 12 children with obesity (OB) (9 ± 1 y, 39.9 ± 6.8% body fat), and 12 lean (LN) children (9 ± 1 y, 17.5 ± 4.6% body fat) participated. Children completed 10 2-min cycling bouts of vigorous intensity, separated by 1-min rest. Blood samples were collected preexercise (PRE), immediately postexercise (IP), and 15, 30, and 60 min into recovery to analyze possible changes in cytokines. In all groups, IL-6 and IL-8 concentrations were greater during recovery compared with PRE. PWS and OB exhibited higher IL-6 area under the curve (AUC) than LN (p < .01 for both). PWS demonstrated higher IL-8 AUC than LN (p < .04). IL-10, TNF-α, and IFN-γ did not change with exercise (p > .05 for all). Results indicate that children with PWS respond with increased Il-6 and IL-8 concentrations to acute exercise similarly to controls. Excess adiposity and epigenetic modifications may explain the greater integrated IL-6 and IL-8 responses in PWS compared with controls.