In exercise and cognition research, few studies have investigated whether and how the qualitative aspects of physical exercise may impact cognitive performance in the short or long term. This commentary, after recalling the evidence on the “dose-response” relationship, shifts the focus to intersections between different research areas that are proposed to shed light on how qualitative exercise characteristics can be used to obtain cognitive benefits. As concerns the acute exercise area, this commentary highlights the applied relevance of developmental and aging studies investigating the effects of exercise bouts differing in movement task complexity and cognitive demands. As regards the chronic exercise area, potential links to research on cognitive expertise in sport, functional ability in aging, and life skills training during development are discussed. “Gross-motor cognitive training” is proposed as a key concept with relevant implications for intervention strategies in childhood and older adulthood.
Mirko Schmidt, Katja Jäger, Fabienne Egger, Claudia M. Roebers, and Achim Conzelmann
Although the positive effects of different kinds of physical activity (PA) on cognitive functioning have already been demonstrated in a variety of studies, the role of cognitive engagement in promoting children’s executive functions is still unclear. The aim of the current study was therefore to investigate the effects of two qualitatively different chronic PA interventions on executive functions in primary school children. Children (N = 181) aged between 10 and 12 years were assigned to either a 6-week physical education program with a high level of physical exertion and high cognitive engagement (team games), a physical education program with high physical exertion but low cognitive engagement (aerobic exercise), or to a physical education program with both low physical exertion and low cognitive engagement (control condition). Executive functions (updating, inhibition, shifting) and aerobic fitness (multistage 20-m shuttle run test) were measured before and after the respective condition. Results revealed that both interventions (team games and aerobic exercise) have a positive impact on children’s aerobic fitness (4–5% increase in estimated VO2max). Importantly, an improvement in shifting performance was found only in the team games and not in the aerobic exercise or control condition. Thus, the inclusion of cognitive engagement in PA seems to be the most promising type of chronic intervention to enhance executive functions in children, providing further evidence for the importance of the qualitative aspects of PA.
Daniel G. Syrotuik, Kirsten L. MacFadyen, Vicki J. Harber, and Gordon J. Bell
To examine the effects of elk velvet antler supplementation (EVA) combined with training on resting and exercise-stimulated hormonal response, male (n = 25) and female (n = 21) rowers ingested either E VA (560 mg/d) or placebo (PL) during 10 wk of training. VO2max, 2000 m rowing time, leg and bench press strength were determined before and after 5 and 10 wk of training. Serum hormone levels were measured prior to and 5 and 60 min after a simulated 2000 m rowing race. VO2max and strength increased and 2000 m times decreased similarly (P < 0.05) with training. There was no significant difference between the EVA and PL group for any hormonal response. Testosterone (males only) and growth hormone (both genders) were higher 5 min after the simulated race (P < 0.05) but returned to baseline at 60 min. Cortisol was higher 5 and 60 min compared to rest (both genders) (P < 0.05) and was higher 60 min post-exercise following 5 and 10 wk of training. It appears that 10 wk of EVA supplementation does not significantly improve rowing performance nor alter hormonal responses at rest or after acute exercise than training alone.
Yu-Kai Chang, Chien-Yu Pan, Feng-Tzu Chen, Chia-Liang Tsai, and Chi-Chang Huang
Several studies have demonstrated that exercise helps reduce or prevent cognitive deterioration among older adults, and recent studies have further examined the effects of resistance-exercise training on cognition. The purpose of this review was to examine the role of resistance-exercise training on cognition in healthy older adults. Specifically, it describes the definition, health benefits, and the design of resistance-exercise training. The authors also review the research related to resistance exercises and cognition and found that this exercise modality may enhance specific cognitive performances. Next, they examine the potential mechanisms underlying resistance exercise and cognitive enhancement. Finally, they consider potential therapeutics and recommendations for further research on resistance-exercise training and cognition in older adults.
Renato Sobral Monteiro-Junior, Paulo de Tarso Maciel-Pinheiro, Eduardo da Matta Mello Portugal, Luiz Felipe da Silva Figueiredo, Rodrigo Terra, Lara S. F. Carneiro, Vinícius Dias Rodrigues, Osvaldo J. M. Nascimento, Andrea Camaz Deslandes, and Jerson Laks
the inflammation biomarkers and their relationships with exercise is not entirely clear. Furthermore, there are few longitudinal studies, which analyzed the chronic low-grade inflammation and exercise. In the present meta-analysis, we hypothesized that chronic exercise can reduce chronic inflammation
Rachel Massie, James Smallcombe, and Keith Tolfrey
delayed for 2 hours in 15- to 20-year-old males ( 3 ). Chronic exercise intervention studies (≥3 wk duration) examining exercise-induced energy compensation with adolescents are limited and have examined EI and EE independently. A study in which participants were prescribed a 6-week activity and diet
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.
Anatoli Petridou, Despina Lazaridou, and Vassilis Mougios
Although chronic exercise is generally believed to improve the lipidemic profile, it is not clear whether this is due to exercise training or to other determinants such as the usually low body fat of athletes. The aim of the present study was to compare the lipidemic profile of young lean athletes and non-athletes matched for percentage body fat. Fourteen endurance athletes and fourteen sedentary men participated in the study. Participants provided two blood samples at the beginning and end of a 7-d period, during which they recorded physical activity and food intake. Athletes had significantly higher energy expenditure and energy intake but not significantly different macronutrient composition of their diet from non-athletes. No significant differences were found in serum triacylglycerol, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations between groups. These data suggest that athletes and non-athletes with similar body fat do not differ in their lipidemic profiles.
Ira Jacobs, Ethan Ruderman, and Mackenzie McLaughlin
A traditional focus of exercise scientists studying the interaction of drugs and exercise has been on the effects of drugs on exercise performance or functional capacity. In contrast, there is limited information available about the effects of exercise on the efficacy of drugs that have been prescribed and ingested for therapeutic reasons. Those requesting the approval for the manufacture, distribution, and sale of new drugs to the public are required to submit evidence of drug effectiveness and safety to drug regulatory bodies. But, there is no associated requirement to include among that evidence the interactions of exercise with drugs. However, the physiological adaptations to acute and chronic exercise are such that there is good reason to suspect that exercise has the potential to significantly influence drug absorption and bioavailability, drug distribution within the body, and drug elimination from the body. This paper reviews the potential for interaction between exercise and pharmacokinetics.
Shawn M. Arent, Daniel M. Landers, and Jennifer L. Etnier
This meta-analysis examined the exercise-mood relationship in older adults. 158 effect sizes (ESs) from 32 studies were grouped intoexperimental-versus-control, gains, and correlational ESs. Each study was coded for moderator variables related to descriptive, design, participant, exercise, and mood-assessment characteristics. Experimental-versus-control ESs for negative (NA) and positive affect (PA) were 0.35 (p < .05) and 0.33 (p > .05), respectively, with an overall ES of 0.34, p < .05. The gains ESs for NA and PA in an exercise group were 0.39 (p < .05) and 0.35 (p < .05), respectively, with an overall ES of 0.38, p < .05. All effects were significantly greater than those for the control groups. Correlational ESs of 0.47 and 0.42 were found for NA and PA. respectively. It was concluded that chronic exercise is associated with improved mood in the elderly. Moderating variables and implications for exercise prescription to improve mood in the elderly are discussed.