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Raquel Aparicio-Ugarriza, Raquel Pedrero-Chamizo, María del Mar Bibiloni, Gonzalo Palacios, Antoni Sureda, Agustín Meléndez-Ortega, Josep Antoni Tur Marí and Marcela González-Gross

discussion in the literature to clarify (1) if it is physical activity (PA) or physical fitness (PF) that is the main influence in health-related factors, 4 , 5 (2) which of them should be measured or addressed in scientific studies and clinical care, 6 and (3) which of the terms should be used. 7

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Karin Hesseberg, Hege Bentzen, Anette Hylen Ranhoff, Knut Engedal and Astrid Bergland

Maintenance of physical activity and good physical fitness is important for functional independence. This study had two aims: examine the physical fitness level in older persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, and examine the relationship between the components of physical fitness and cognitive domains in this group. The cross-sectional study included community-living older people ≥ 65 years of age with MCI or dementia. Physical fitness and cognition were assessed using the Senior Fitness Test and five cognitive tests. Most of the participants scored below the criteria for maintaining physical independence in later years. There were significant associations between the components of physical fitness and cognition, except flexibility. Declines in executive function were most related to declines in physical fitness. These factors should receive more attention in people with MCI and dementia because they risk losing independence.

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Job Fransen, Dieter Deprez, Johan Pion, Isabel B Tallir, Eva D’Hondt, Roel Vaeyens, Matthieu Lenoir and Renaat M. Philippaerts

The goal of this study was to investigate differences in physical fitness and sports participation over 2 years in children with relatively high, average, and low motor competence. Physical fitness and gross motor coordination of 501 children between 6–10 years were measured at baseline and baseline+2 years. The sample compromised 2 age cohorts: 6.00–7.99 and 8.00–9.99 years. An age and sex-specific motor quotient at baseline testing was used to subdivide these children into low (MQ < P33), average (P33 ≤ MQ < P66) and high (MQ ≥ P66) motor competence groups. Measures of sports participation were obtained through a physical activity questionnaire in 278 of the same children. Repeated Measures MANCOVA and two separate ANOVAs were used to analyze differences in changes in physical fitness and measures of sports participation respectively. Children with high motor competence scored better on physical fitness tests and participated in sports more often. Since physical fitness levels between groups changed similarly over time, low motor competent children might be at risk for being less physically fit throughout their life. Furthermore, since low motor competent children participate less in sports, they have fewer opportunities of developing motor abilities and physical fitness and this may further prevent them from catching up with their peers with an average or high motor competence.

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Dahn Shaulis, Lawrence A. Golding and Richard D. Tandy

The primary purpose of this paper, one of the first physiological studies of Senior Olympic athletes, was to determine the physical fitness level of Senior Olympic participants 50 to 86 years of age. It was hypothesized that Senior Olympic athletes would be more physically fit than healthy older adults not classified as Senior Olympic athletes. The athletes’ screening questionnaire (PAR-Q) results showed a 43% positive rate, making maximal testing and underwater testing impractical and possibly unsafe. However, all subjects were allowed to perform the AAHPERD functional fitness test battery. Senior Olympic athletes did not perform better (p < .05) on any of the AAHPERD functional fitness tests than a group of nonathletes who lived independently. Furthermore, questionnaire results suggested that some athletes were competing with little or no training. These results indicated that researchers and events managers should not assume that all Senior Olympic athletes are exceptionally healthy or physically fit.

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Sijie Tan, Cheng Chen, Mingyang Sui, Lunan Xue and Jianxiong Wang

Objectives:

To explore the effects of exercise training on body composition, cardiovascular function, and physical fitness in 5-year-old obese and lean children.

Methods:

42 obese and 62 lean children were randomly allocated into exercise and control groups separately. Body composition, cardiovascular function, and physical fitness were measured at baseline and the end of the intervention. The exercise groups participated in 10 weeks of supervised moderate intensity exercise training (at 50% of heart rate reserve), 50 training sessions in total.

Results:

The physical activity program was successfully completed and no sport injury occurred. Exercise training decreased BMI, waist circumference, body fat%, and fat mass; and slowed down the growth speed of body mass of both trained obese and lean children. Exercise training significantly decreased systolic blood pressure of obese children and decreased their heart rate responses during exercise. Trained obese children improved the performances of long jump, 10-m × 4 shuttle run, and 3-m balance beam walk; while trained lean children improved more items of physical fitness.

Conclusions:

10 weeks of moderate intensity exercise training is an effective and safe treatment for children aged 5 years, either obese or with normal body mass.

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Olivier Rey, Jean-Marc Vallier, Caroline Nicol, Charles-Symphorien Mercier and Christophe Maïano

Purpose:

This study examined the effects of a five-week intervention combining vigorous interval training (VIT) with diet among twenty-four obese adolescents. Fourteen girls and ten boys (aged 14–15) schooled in a pediatric rehabilitation center participated.

Methods:

The VIT intensity was targeted and remained above 80% of maximal heart rate (HR) and over six kilocalories per minute. Pre- and postintervention measures were body composition (BMI, weight, body fat percentage), physical self-perceptions (PSP), physical fitness (6-min walking distance and work) and its associated physiological responses (HRpeak and blood lactate concentration). A series of two-way analyses of variance or covariance controlling for weight loss were used to examine the changes.

Results:

Significant improvements were found in body composition, physical fitness and PSP (endurance, activity level, sport competence, global physical self-concept and appearance). In addition, boys presented higher levels of perceived strength and global physical self-concept than girls. Finally, there was a significant increase in perceived endurance, sport competence, and global physical self-concept in girls only.

Conclusion:

This five-week VIT program combined with diet represents an effective means for improving body composition, physical fitness, and PSP in obese adolescents, the effects on PSP being larger among girls.

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Anis Zribi, Mohamed Zouch, Hamada Chaari, Elyes Bouajina, Hela Ben Nasr, Monia Zaouali and Zouhair Tabka

The effects of a 9-week lower-body plyometric training program on bone mass, bone markers and physical fitness was examined in 51 early pubertal male basketball players divided randomly into a plyometric group (PG: 25 participants) and a control group (CG: 26 participants). Areal bone mineral density (aBMD), bone mineral content (BMC), and bone area (BA) in the whole body, L2-L4 vertebrae, and in total hip, serum levels of osteocalcin (Oc) and C-terminal telopeptide fragment of Type I collagen (CTx), jump, sprint and power abilities were assessed at baseline and 9 weeks. Group comparisons were done by independent student’s t-test between means and analyses of (ANOVA) and covariance (ANCOVA), adjusting for baseline values. PG experienced a significant increase in Oc (p < .01) and all physical fitness except for the 5-jump test. However, there was no improvement in aBMD, BMC and BA in any measured site, except in whole body BMC of the PG. A positive correlation was observed between percentage increase (Δ%) of physical fitness and those of (Oc) for the PG. In summary, biweekly sessions of lower body plyometric training program were successful for improving whole body BMC, bone formation marker (Oc) and physical fitness in early pubertal male basketball players.

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Rodrigo Antunes Lima, Lisbeth Runge Larsen, Anna Bugge and Lars Bo Andersen

physical inactivity in schools on students’ health and academic performance encouraged the research community to increase the focus on the association between physical activity, physical fitness, and academic performance in children and adolescents ( 3 ). It has been shown that higher physical fitness

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Soubhagyalaxmi Mohanty, Balaram Pradhan and Alex Hankey

increasingly throughout the world, together with appreciation of the therapeutic benefits of its various component practices: asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing practices), and meditation. Contemporary texts assert that these practices promote physical fitness, mental, and emotional well

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Shinichi Demura, Masaki Minami, Yoshinori Nagasawa, Nobuhiko Tada, Jinzaburo Matsuzawa and Susumu Sato

This cross-sectional study determined physical-fitness levels of more than 1,000 Japanese older men and women, including 338 participants who were 75 years of age and older. Each participant performed 11 tests representing 4 domains of functioning (muscular, joint, neural, and respiratory). Two-way ANOVA was used to examine gender and age differences for each variable. Performance on every test decreased with advancing age, but the declines did not occur at a uniform rate. In addition, men and women did not decline at the same rate for each variable. Although leg strength, balance ability, and reaction time did not decline until after the age of 65, they exhibited the steepest decline of all the variables after age 75. These findings suggest that significant declines in physical fitness occur with advancing age, especially those that are related to mobility and risk for falls.