This investigation examined the role that different doses of acute aerobic exercise (AE) have on psychophysiological responses to mental stress. Eighty women participated in one of four experimental conditions: (a) attention control, (b) 10 min of exercise, (c) 25 min of exercise, or (d) 40 min of exercise. All exercise sessions were performed at 70% of each subject's heart rate reserve. Following each condition, subjects rested for 20 min and then completed a modified Stroop test. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were monitored at rest and during the stressor. Positive and negative affect were assessed upon entry to the laboratory, postexercise (after the 20-min rest), prior to the stressor, and after a 5-min recovery period. A priori comparisons of the 40-min exercise condition versus the attention control manipulation revealed that a demanding bout of acute AE lowered DBP and MAP reactivity to the Stroop; however, there were no significant linear trends between the dose of exercise and the extent of blood pressure (BP) reactivity. Analysis of the positive and negative affect data revealed no differences between any of the four treatment groups either prior to performing the Stroop task or following a 5-min period of recovery.
Does the Dose of Acute Exercise Mediate Psychophysiological Responses to Mental Stress?
Michele L. Hobson and W. Jack Rejeski
Brain Dynamics and Motor Behavior: A Case for Efficiency and Refinement for Superior Performance
Bradley D. Hatfield
perspective, is extended to a cascade of neural processes that serve to maintain a fundamental quality of skilled cognitive-motor performance (i.e., the minimization of effort) while performing under conditions of mental stress. In general, expert motor performance is characterized by attenuation of energy
The Effects of Aerobic Training on Cardiovascular Responses to Mental Stress: An Examination of Underlying Mechanisms
Karla A. Kubitz and Daniel M. Landers
This study examined the effects of an 8-week aerobic training program on cardiovascular responses to mental stress. Dependent variables included electrocardiographic activity, blood pressure, electroencephalographic (EEG) activity, state anxiety, and state anger. Quantification of indicators of sympathetic, parasympathetic, and central nervous system activity (i.e., respiratory sinus arrhythmia, T-wave amplitude, and EEG activity, respectively) allowed examination of possible underlying mechanisms. Subjects (n = 24) were randomly assigned to experimental (training) and control (no training) conditions. Pre- and posttesting examined cardiorespiratory fitness and responses to mental stress (i.e., Stroop and mental arithmetic tasks). MANOVAs identified a significant effect on cardiorespiratory fitness, heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and EEG alpha laterality. The results appear consistent with the hypothesis that enhanced parasympathetic nervous system activity and decreased central nervous system laterality serve as mechanisms underlying certain aerobic training effects.
Effects of Powerchair Football: Contextual Factors That Impact Participation
Aurelien Vandenbergue, J.P. Barfield, Said Ahmaidi, Stephanie Williams, and Thierry Weissland
makes you tired.” Julian, an elite-player, succinctly highlighted the combined impact of physical and mental stress on players: “After playing I’m very tired, I’m drained. Let’s say I’m physically tired.” Responses to interviews clearly articulated the individual (physical and emotional stress) and
College Soccer Student-Athletes Demonstrate Differences in Self-Reported Athlete Health When Grouped by Match Volume
Brett S. Pexa, Justin P. Waxman, Audrey E. Westbrook, and Kevin R. Ford
Context: Physical changes following activity are well documented, but there is limited information about self-reported outcomes around competitive matches. High training volumes and poor recovery could predispose athletes to overuse injury. The purpose of this study was to identify the changes in daily athlete health measures before, during, and after the day of each match in high- and low-volume groups. Design: Prospective cohort. Methods: Fifty-five soccer athletes (age: 19.8 [1.2] y, 26 males, 29 females) provided daily measures of readiness, physical fatigue, mental stress, sleep quality, and soreness intensity match days, days 1 (D01) and 2 (D02) following matches, and standard practice days. Participants were grouped into high volume and low volume, based off the minutes played during the season. Results: Soreness increased, readiness decreased, and fatigue increased on D01 compared with match days (P < .008) in the high-volume group. Between groups, the high-volume group demonstrated higher soreness on D01 and D02, lower readiness on D01 and D02, and lower fatigue on D01, compared with the low-volume group (P < .008). Conclusions: Soccer athletes demonstrate significant changes in self-reported athlete health variables around competitive matches. These changes are similar to physical outcomes, potentially indicating that the athlete health variables may be used to track athlete recovery from competition, potentially limiting the impact of overuse injuries.
The Effects of Varying Doses of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Psychophysiological Stress Responses in Highly Trained Cyclists
W. Jack Rejeski, Edward Gregg, Amy Thompson, and Michael Berry
In this investigation, we examined the role of acute aerobic exercise (AE) in buffering physiological responses to mental stress. Twelve trained cyclists participated in three counterbalanced treatment conditions on separate days: attention control, light exercise (50% of VO2max for 30 min), and heavy exercise (80% of VO2max for 60 min). After a 30-min rest period following each condition, subjects completed a modified Stroop task. Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were monitored for (a) baseline responses, (b) task reactivity, and (c), 5 min of recovery following the stressor. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) revealed that reactivity was attenuated by both heavy- and light-exercise conditions as compared to responses in the control condition. Moreover, heavy exercise was more effective in reducing MAP reactivity than light exercise. Systolic BP during the task was significantly higher in the control and light-exercise conditions than following heavy exercise; diastolic BP was significantly higher in the control condition than in either exercise condition. There were no significant effects for HR. These results suggest that there is a dose-response relationship between acute AE and the attenuation of psychophysiological reactivity during stress.
Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions in High School and College Athletes for Reducing Stress and Injury, and Improving Quality of Life
Haley Petterson and Bernadette L. Olson
Student athletes experience a variety of stressors from school and social activities, as well as the additional demands of sport participation. Mindfulness-based interventions can help increase mental awareness and acceptance, as well as mitigate negative thoughts and emotions. The use of mindfulness-based interventions may be beneficial for reducing thoughts of stress, injury reduction, and improving overall wellbeing.
Does the use of mindfulness-based interventions for student-athletes aged 13–24 years reduce stress and injury as well as improve overall quality of life?
Summary of Findings:
The literature was searched for studies that investigated the use of mindfulness-based strategies for student-athletes specifically for reducing stress and injury and/or improving quality of life. The literature search returned 8 possible studies related to the clinical question and 3 studies met the inclusion criteria (1 randomized control trial, 2 nonrandomized control cohort studies). All 3 included studies demonstrated overall improved levels of mindfulness among student-athletes after the use of a mindfulness-based intervention. Mindfulness-based interventions had positive effects for reducing negative thoughts and levels of perceived stress. The number of injury occurrences were found to decrease following the integration of a mindfulness-based intervention within an athletic population.
Clinical Bottom Line:
There is sufficient evidence supporting the use of mindfulness-based interventions with student-athletes for increasing mindfulness, managing negative emotions and perceived stress, as well as improving overall well-being. There is also current literature that advocates the use of mindfulness-based interventions for reducing injury, but further research is needed for support.
Strength of Recommendation:
Grade B evidence exists to support that the use of mindfulness-based interventions for student-athletes will reduce stress and improve overall well-being as well as support the possibility that if a student-athlete is more mindful, it may help decrease risk of injury incurred if the student-athlete is under mental stress.
Decision Outcomes in Sport: Influence of Type and Level of Stress
Teri J. Hepler and Matt Andre
.g., performance expectations, negative feedback, or attentional demands) stressors ( Anshel & Wells, 2000 ; Mellalieu, Neil, Hanton, & Fletcher, 2009 ). According to the SIDI model, physical and mental stressors may have different effects on decision making ( Yu, 2016 ). Previous research supports the need to examine the
Caffeine Improves Triathlon Performance: A Field Study in Males and Females
Sunita Potgieter, Hattie H. Wright, and Carine Smith
gender difference: In their study, the combination of mental stress and caffeine intake resulted in only a small, transient cortisol response in women, but a larger, prolonged response in men. Thus, if mental stress was a significant factor during the triathlon races, this could account for the gender
A Multiday Professional Padel Tournament Impairs Sleep, Mental Toughness, and Reaction Time: A World Padel Tour Field Study
Jesús Díaz-García, Bart Roelands, Jelle Habay, Inmaculada González-Ponce, Miguel Ángel López-Gajardo, Tomás García-Calvo, and Jeroen Van Cutsem
. Mechanisms Underlying the Impact of a WPT Competition on Self-Reported Sleep, MT, and Reaction Time Self-Reported Sleep In the review of Fullagar et al. ( 2015 ), it was suggested that precompetitive anxiety could manifest as nervousness and an elevation in mental stress. This nervousness and elevated mental