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Tanya M.F. Scarapicchia, Catherine M. Sabiston, Ross E. Andersen and Enrique Garcia Bengoechea

Young inactive healthy-weight females (n = 42) were randomly assigned to exercise at a self-selected pace on a treadmill beside a confederate who was providing either intrinsic or externally regulated verbal primes. Heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), percentage of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and exercise continuance were recorded. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire assessing mood pre- and postexercise session and postexercise motivational outcomes. The intrinsic motivation group reported higher RPE values after 8 min of exercise, had higher recorded HR measures at all 5 recorded time points, exercised at a higher %HR max, spent more time in MVPA, and were more likely to continue to exercise than participants in the externally regulated motivation group. A time effect was noted for vigor. Based on these findings, exercise motivation can be “contagious” through verbal primes, suggesting that exercising with or around intrinsically motivated individuals may have beneficial outcomes.

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Danielle R. Bouchard, K. Ashlee McGuire, Lance Davidson and Robert Ross

One hundred forty-six abdominally obese adults age 60–80 yr were studied to investigate the interaction between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and obesity on functional limitation. Obesity was determined by fat mass (FM), CRF was determined by a maximal treadmill test, and functional limitation was based on 4 different tasks that are predictive of subsequent disability. Both FM (r = –.34, p ≤ .01) and CRF (r = .54, p ≤ .01) were independently associated with functional limitation in bivariate analysis. After further control for sex, age, and the interaction term (CRF × FM), FM was no longer independently associated with functional limitation (p = .10). Analyses were also based on sex-specific tertiles of FM and CRF. The referent group demonstrated significantly lower functional limitation than the low-CRF/low-FM and the low-CRF/high-FM groups (both p ≤ .05). These results highlight the value of recommending exercise for abdominally obese adults.

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Jasmin C. Hutchinson and Costas I. Karageorghis

We examined independent and combined influences of asynchronous music and dominant attentional style (DAS) on psychological and psychophysical variables during exercise using mixed methods. Participants (N = 34) were grouped according to DAS and completed treadmill runs at three intensities (low, moderate, high) crossed with three music conditions (motivational, oudeterous, no-music control). State attentional focus shifted from dissociative to associative with increasing intensity and was most aligned with DAS during moderate-intensity exercise. Both music conditions facilitated dissociation at low-to-moderate intensities. At high exercise intensity, both music conditions were associated with reduced RPE among participants with an associative DAS. Dissociators reported higher RPE overall during moderate and high intensities. Psychological responses were most positive in the motivational condition, followed by oudeterous and control. Findings illustrate the relevance of individual differences in DAS as well as task intensity and duration when selecting music for exercise.

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K. Fiona Iredale and Myra A. Nimmo

Thirty-three men (age 26–55 years) who did not exercise regularly were exercised to exhaustion using an incremental treadmill protocol. Blood lactate concentration was measured to identify lactate threshold (LT, oxygen consumption at which blood lactate concentration begins to systematically increase). The correlation coefficient for LT (ml · kg−1 · min−1) with age was not significant, but when LT was expressed as a percentage of peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak), the correlation was r = +.69 (p < .01). This was despite a lack of significant correlation between age and VO2 peak (r = −.33). The correlation between reserve capacity (the difference between VO2 peak and LT) and age was r = −.73 (p < .01 ), and reserve capacity decreased at a rate of 3.1 ml · kg−1 · min−1 per decade. It was concluded that the percentage of VO2 peak at which LT occurs increases progressively with age, with a resultant decrease in reserve capacity.

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Linda Schücker, Christian Knopf, Bernd Strauss and Norbert Hagemann

The aim of this study was to examine differentiated effects of internally focused attention in endurance sports. Thirty-two active runners ran 24 min on a treadmill at a fixed speed of moderate intensity. For each 6-min block, participants had to direct their attention on different internal aspects (movement execution, breathing, or feeling of the body) or received no instructions. Oxygen consumption (VO2) was measured continuously to determine running economy. Results revealed that the different internal focus instructions had differentiated effects on VO2: A focus on breathing as well as a focus on the running movement led to higher VO2 than a focus on feeling of the body which showed similar VO2 as the control condition. We conclude that an internal focus of attention is solely detrimental to performance when directed to highly automated processes (e.g., breathing or movement). However, an internal focus on how the body feels during exercise does not disrupt movement efficiency.

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Nora E. Miller, Scott J. Strath, Ann M. Swartz and Susan E. Cashin

This study examined the predictive validity of accelerometers (ACC) to estimate physical activity intensity (PAI) across age and differences in intensity predictions when expressed in relative and absolute PAI terms. Ninety adults categorized into 3 age groups (20–29, 40–49, and 60–69 yr) completed a treadmill calibration study with simultaneous ACC (7164 Actigraph) and oxygen-consumption assessment. Results revealed strong linear relations between ACC output and measured PAI (R 2 = .62–.89) across age and similar ACC cut-point ranges across age delineating absolute PAI ranges compared with previous findings. Comparing measured metabolic equivalents (METs) with estimated METs derived from previously published regression equations revealed that age did not affect predictive validity of ACC estimates of absolute PAI. Comparing ACC output expressed in relative vs. absolute terms across age revealed substantial differences in PAI ACC count ranges. Further work is warranted to increase the applicability of ACC use relative to PAI differences associated with physiological changes with age.

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Benjamin A. Sibley, Jennifer L. Etnier and Guy C. Le Masurier

Recent reviews of the literature have demonstrated that exercise has a positive impact on cognitive performance. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of an acute bout of aerobic exercise on executive functioning in college-age adults. For the experimental intervention, the effects of 20 min of self-paced moderate-intensity exercise on a treadmill were compared to the effects of a 20-min sedentary control period. Executive functioning was assessed using Stroop color-word interference and negative priming tests. Results indicated that the bout of exercise led to improved performance on the Stroop color-word interference task but no change in performance on the negative priming task. This finding suggests that exercise may facilitate cognitive performance by improving the maintenance of goal-oriented processing in the brain.

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Kate Lyden, Sarah Kozey Keadle, John Staudenmayer, Patty Freedson and Sofiya Alhassan

Background:

The Compendium of Energy Expenditures for Youth assigns MET values to a wide range of activities. However, only 35% of activity MET values were derived from energy cost data measured in youth; the remaining activities were estimated from adult values.

Purpose:

To determine the energy cost of common activities performed by children and adolescents and compare these data to similar activities reported in the compendium.

Methods:

Thirty-two children (8−11 years old) and 28 adolescents (12−16 years) completed 4 locomotion activities on a treadmill (TRD) and 5 age-specific activities of daily living (ADL). Oxygen consumption was measured using a portable metabolic analyzer.

Results:

In children, measured METs were significantly lower than compendium METs for 3 activities [basketball, bike riding, and Wii tennis (1.1−3.5 METs lower)]. In adolescents, measured METs were significantly lower than compendium METs for 4 ADLs [basketball, bike riding, board games, and Wii tennis (0.3−2.5 METs lower)] and 3 TRDs [2.24 m·s-1, 1.56 m·s-1, and 1.34 m·s-1 (0.4−0.8 METs lower)].

Conclusion:

The Compendium of Energy Expenditures for Youth is an invaluable resource to applied researchers. Inclusion of empirically derived data would improve the validity of the Compendium of Energy Expenditures for Youth.

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Lauren Gulka, James Dziura and Loretta DiPietro

Background:

Little attention has been paid to the study of transient growth hormone (GH) responses to exercise in older women. We determined the effect of a single bout of exercise on GH in fit and unfit older (age 55 to 81 y; n = 19) and younger (age 18 to 25 y; n = 19) women.

Methods:

Exercise consisted of five 15-min intervals of treadmill exercise at 75% VO2peak. Blood samples were taken before, during, and following exercise for determination of plasma GH and insulin concentrations.

Results:

GH responses to exercise were attenuated in older compared with younger women (P < 0.01); however, these age differences were minimized in older age by fitness level. Adjusted area under the curve for GH was 5.50 and 1.76 µg/L · 102 for fit and unfit older women (P < 0.01), and 8.46 and 8.46 µg/L · 102 for fit and unfit younger women.

Conclusions:

Low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness in older women may require a greater relative exercise stimulus to augment meaningful GH responses.

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Benjamin J. Darter, Kathleen F. Janz, Michael L. Puthoff, Barbara Broffitt and David H. Nielsen

Background:

A new triaxial accelerometer (AMP 331) provides a novel approach to understanding free-living activity through its ability to measure real time speed, cadence, and step length. This study examined the reliability and accuracy of the AMP 331, along with construction of prediction equations for oxygen consumption and energy cost.

Methods:

Young adult volunteers (n = 41) wearing two AMP units walked and ran on a treadmill with energy cost data simultaneously collected through indirect calorimetry.

Results:

Statistically significant differences exist in inter-AMP unit reliability for speed and step length and in accuracy between the AMP units and criterion measures for speed, oxygen consumption, and energy cost. However, the differences in accuracy for speed were very small during walking (≤ 0.16 km/h) and not clinically relevant. Prediction equations constructed for walking oxygen uptake and energy expenditure demonstrated R 2 between 0.76 to 0.90 and between subject deviations were 1.53 mL O2 · kg-1 · min−1 and 0.43 kcal/min.

Conclusions:

In young adults, the AMP 331 is acceptable for monitoring walking speeds and the output can be used in predicting energy cost during walking but not running.