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Special Issue "Sports and Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Exercise and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The number of recreational athletes of both sexes and all age groups engaging in regular exercise training and participating in competitions (e.g., outdoors running races such as half-marathons) has increased during recent decades. This trend might be partially explained by the well-documented beneficial role of exercise for health. However, participating in sports has not been without risk for health, especially for recreational athletes who, unlike competitive runners, lack sport experience and the advantages of specialized and supervised training. Thus, the main challenge in this field is to provide evidence-based recommendations for optimal exercise levels to maximize the benefits for health and minimize the risks.

The aim of this Special Issue is to attract papers about the relationship between health and sport participation across all lifestyles with an emphasis on recreational athletes. We encourage submissions of cross-sectional studies on large datasets of endurance athletes focusing on the relationship between performance and health outcomes. In addition, we especially welcome experimental studies that examine the effect of different training programs (varying for volume, intensity, frequency, mode, and recovery) on physiology and pathophysiology. Review articles describing the current state of the art in relevant topics are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Beat Knechtle
Dr. Pantelis T. Nikolaidis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Age
  • Cycling
  • Endurance
  • Hyponatremia
  • Musculoskeletal injury
  • Marathon
  • Nutrition
  • Sex
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Master athlete
  • Recreational athlete
  • Women in sport

Published Papers (52 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Is It Time for Sports and Health in the Era of Covid-19 Pandemic?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 372; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020372 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 943
Abstract
When we took the initiative for this Special Issue, we were uncertain about its success [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Insights Gained in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Follow-Up Survey of a Recreational Training Program, Focusing on Sense of Coherence and Sleep Quality
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9201; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17249201 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 993
Abstract
The original aim of this study was a follow-up assessment of a recreational program running for six months (September 2019–February 2020) within controlled conditions. Following the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey acquired a new goal: how do the subjects of the [...] Read more.
The original aim of this study was a follow-up assessment of a recreational program running for six months (September 2019–February 2020) within controlled conditions. Following the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey acquired a new goal: how do the subjects of the follow-up sampling experience this severe stress situation, and in this experience, what role does physical activity and a salutogenetic sense of coherence play. Austrian women (N = 53) took part in the training program, whose physical condition was assessed before the start of the program, then reassessed after three months and after six months; the organizers also had them fill out the sense of coherence questionnaire (SOC) as well as the Regensburger insomnia scale. After the lifting of the lockdown introduced due to the pandemic, participants completed an online survey relating to their changed life conditions, physical activities, sense of coherence and sleep quality. Results: After the first three months of the training, no significant changes were detected. After six months, the participants SOC and sleep quality improved (Friedman test: p = 0.005 and p < 0.001). During the lockdown, sleep quality generally deteriorated (W-rank test: p = 0.001), while SOC did not change. The women in possession of a relatively stronger SOC continued the training (OR = 3.6, CI 95% = 1.2–12.2), and their sleep quality deteriorated to a lesser degree. (OR = 1.7, CI 95% = 1.1–2.8). Conclusion: The data reinforce the interdependency between physical exercise (PE) and SOC; furthermore, the personal training that the authors formulated for middle-aged women proved to be successful in strengthening their sense of coherence, and it also reduced the deterioration in sleep quality due to stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
The Influence of Thermal Alterations on Prefrontal Cortex Activation and Neuromuscular Function during a Fatiguing Task
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7194; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17197194 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 837
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation, neuromuscular function, and perceptual measures in response to a fatiguing task, following thermal alterations of an exercising arm. Nineteen healthy adults completed three experimental sessions. At baseline, participants performed maximum voluntary [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation, neuromuscular function, and perceptual measures in response to a fatiguing task, following thermal alterations of an exercising arm. Nineteen healthy adults completed three experimental sessions. At baseline, participants performed maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) of the elbow flexors. Next, participants submerged their right arm in a water bath for 15 min. Cold (C), neutral (N), and hot (H) water temperatures were maintained at 8, 33, and 44 °C, respectively. Following water immersion, participants performed an isometric elbow flexion contraction, at 20% of their MVIC, for 5 min. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), muscular discomfort, and task demands were assessed. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure activation (oxygenation) of the PFC during the fatiguing task. Reductions in MVIC torque at the end of the fatiguing task were greater for the H (25.7 ± 8.4%) and N (22.2 ± 9.6%) conditions, compared to the C condition (17.5 ± 8.9%, p < 0.05). The increase in oxygenation of the PFC was greater for the H (13.3 ± 4.9 μmol/L) and N (12.4 ± 4.4 μmol/L) conditions, compared to the C condition (10.3 ± 3.8 μmol/L, p < 0.001) at the end of the fatiguing task. The increase in RPE, muscular discomfort, and task demands were greater in the H condition compared to the N and C conditions (p < 0.01). These results indicate that precooling an exercising arm attenuates the rise in PFC activation, muscle fatigue, and psychological rating during a fatiguing task. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Health and Wellness Status Perception of Half-Marathon Runners: Influence of Age, Sex, Injury, and Training with Qualified Staff
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5649; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165649 - 05 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the health and wellness status perception in amateur half-marathon runners according to sex, age, being injured or not during the two months prior to the race, and having the support or not of qualified staff [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze the health and wellness status perception in amateur half-marathon runners according to sex, age, being injured or not during the two months prior to the race, and having the support or not of qualified staff for race preparation. Six hundred and twenty-four amateur level half-marathon athletes (515 men and 107 women; 41.5 ± 10.1 years) participated in the study. One week before competing in a half-marathon, participants answered the Hooper Index and the SF-36 questionnaire. Women stated higher stress before competing in the race (p < 0.01) compared to men and the group of runners of <40 years stated greater fatigue (p < 0.05) compared to the group of >40 years. Women showed a better quality of life in physical and emotional role dimensions (p < 0.05), and the group of >40 years showed a better quality of life in the emotional role dimension (p < 0.05). The group that had suffered an injury (InjuryYes) declared greater muscle soreness (MusclSore; p < 0.01), and the group that had qualified staff (QualifStaffYes) declared a higher level of stress (p < 0.05) and fatigue (p < 0.01). The Injury No (InjuryNo) group showed a better quality of life in the physical function dimension (p < 0.01). The group that did not have qualified staff (QualifStaffNo) showed a better quality of life in the dimensions of body pain, general health, vitality, social function (p < 0.05), and mental health (p < 0.01), while the QualifStaffYes group showed better results in the dimensions of physical function and emotional role (p < 0.05). Sex, age, being injured or not during the two months prior to the race, and having the support or not of qualified staff for the race preparation can influence the health and wellness status perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Article
Healthy Promotion for Fighting Metabolic Syndrome: Insights from Multi-Center HeRO-FiT Cohort
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5424; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17155424 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 832
Abstract
We know that metabolic syndrome (MS) is a modern cardiovascular (CV) “epidemic”, especially in western populations. MS is indeed strictly related to the risk of developing CV diseases (CVD) and/or diabetes. Therefore, the aim of our multi-center study was to promote a “healthy [...] Read more.
We know that metabolic syndrome (MS) is a modern cardiovascular (CV) “epidemic”, especially in western populations. MS is indeed strictly related to the risk of developing CV diseases (CVD) and/or diabetes. Therefore, the aim of our multi-center study was to promote a “healthy style” for fighting MS. Each participating center analyzed its own database of outpatients and globally we have pulled out 100 volunteers to participate in the study. Before starting, we collected their written consent. Enrolled subjects have not any history of overt CVD and/or diabetes, but they matched National Cholesterol Education Program/Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP/ATP) criteria for MS. After enrolment (t0), subjects were randomly divided into two homogeneous groups: a) only diet suggestions; b) both diet and exercise prescription. Later, we measured for each subject: blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), height, weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist hip ratio (WHR), six-minute walking test (WT6M), distance and common blood tests such as fasting plasma glucose, high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides (T1 assessments). At six months (T2), the same parameters were measured and then statistical comparisons were performed. Attention to diet caused significant changes only in WC and WHR, whilst a coupling of exercise and diet revealed a statistically significant improvement in HR, BP, BMI, blood samplings and WT6M too. In conclusion, a healthy lifestyle should be more encouraged by physicians and/or collaborators (such as dieticians) operating in preventive settings. Diet and physical activity may be early useful strategies in the “battle” against MS even before any medication choices. Further studies will be necessary in order to better address the topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Exercise, Comorbidities, and Health-Related Quality of Life in People Living with HIV: The HIBES Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5138; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17145138 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
(1) Background: People with HIV (PWH) may perform more than one type of exercise cumulatively. The objective of this study is to investigate recreational exercise and its association with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and comorbidities in relation to potential covariates. (2) [...] Read more.
(1) Background: People with HIV (PWH) may perform more than one type of exercise cumulatively. The objective of this study is to investigate recreational exercise and its association with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and comorbidities in relation to potential covariates. (2) Methods: The HIBES study (HIV-Begleiterkrankungen-Sport) is a cross-sectional study for people with HIV. The differences between non-exercisers versus exercisers (cumulated vs. single type of exercises) were investigated using regression models based on 454 participants. (3) Results: Exercisers showed a higher HRQOL score compared to non-exercisers (Wilcox r = 0.2 to 0.239). Psychological disorders were identified as the main covariate. Participants performing exercise cumulatively showed higher scores in duration, frequency, and intensity when compared to participants performing only one type of exercise. The mental health summary score was higher for the cumulated and single type of exercise if a psychological disorder existed. Duration and intensity were associated with an increase of HRQOL, whilst a stronger association between psychological disorders and exercise variables were evident. Exercise duration (minutes) showed a significant effect on QOL (standardized beta = 0.1) and for participants with psychological disorders (standardized beta = 0.3), respectively. (4) Conclusions: Psychological disorders and other covariates have a prominent effect on HRQOL and its association with exercise. For PWH with a psychological disorder, a stronger relationship between HRQOL with exercise duration and intensity emerged. However, differentiation of high-HRQOL individuals warrants further investigation by considering additional factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Effect of Simulated Matches on Post-Exercise Biochemical Parameters in Women’s Indoor and Beach Handball
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5046; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17145046 - 14 Jul 2020
Viewed by 726
Abstract
This study assesses the status of hydration and the acid-base balance in female handball players in the Polish Second League before and after simulated matches in both indoor (hall) and beach (outdoor) conditions. The values of biochemical indicators useful for describing water-electrolyte management, [...] Read more.
This study assesses the status of hydration and the acid-base balance in female handball players in the Polish Second League before and after simulated matches in both indoor (hall) and beach (outdoor) conditions. The values of biochemical indicators useful for describing water-electrolyte management, such as osmolality, hematocrit, aldosterone, sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride and magnesium, were determined in the players’ fingertip capillary blood. Furthermore, the blood parameters of the acid-base balance were analysed, including pH, standard base excess, lactate and bicarbonate ion concentration. Additionally, the pH and specific gravity of the players’ urine were determined. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05. It was found that both indoor and beach simulated matches caused post-exercise changes in the biochemical profiles of the players’ blood and urine in terms of water-electrolyte and acid-base balance. Interestingly, the location of a simulated match (indoors vs. beach) had a statistically significant effect on only two of the parameters measured post-exercise: concentration of calcium ions (lower indoors) and urine pH (lower on the beach). A single simulated game, regardless of its location, directly affected the acid-base balance and, to a smaller extent, the water-electrolyte balance, depending mostly on the time spent physically active during the match. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Adductor Muscles Strength and Strength Asymmetry as Risk Factors for Groin Injuries among Professional Soccer Players: A Prospective Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 4946; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17144946 - 09 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1702
Abstract
The aim of this study was to prospectively examine the association between isometric hip adductor strength and between-limb strength asymmetry to groin injuries in male professional soccer players. Isometric hip adductor strength and between-limb strength asymmetry of 45 professional outfield soccer players from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to prospectively examine the association between isometric hip adductor strength and between-limb strength asymmetry to groin injuries in male professional soccer players. Isometric hip adductor strength and between-limb strength asymmetry of 45 professional outfield soccer players from three First Division teams were tested during the 2017/2018 preseason. Players were then monitored throughout the 2017/2018 season for groin injuries. Ten groin injuries were recorded. When compared with uninjured players, players who sustained groin injury had significantly lower strength of respective muscle groups and significantly higher between-limb strength asymmetries (all p < 0.05; ES = 1.16 and 0.88; mean % difference = 26% and 51%). Isometric hip adductor strength had a significant inverse relationship with the incidence of occurring groin injuries (p = 0.016). No significant relationship between hip adductor strength asymmetry and the incidence of future groin injury was observed (p = 0.09). Finally, players’ age and previous groin injury were not significantly associated with the incidence of future groin injuries (all p > 0.05). These results generally suggest that isometric adductor strength is a significant predictor of future groin injuries in men’s professional football; however, due to the relatively low sample size, further studies are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Bottom-Up Kinetic Chain in Drop Landing among University Athletes with Normal Dynamic Knee Valgus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4418; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17124418 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 973
Abstract
The study investigated the influence of ankle strength and its range of motion (ROM) on knee kinematics during drop landing. Fifteen male and fifteen female university athletes with a normal range of dynamic knee valgus (DKV) (knee frontal plane projection angle: men = [...] Read more.
The study investigated the influence of ankle strength and its range of motion (ROM) on knee kinematics during drop landing. Fifteen male and fifteen female university athletes with a normal range of dynamic knee valgus (DKV) (knee frontal plane projection angle: men = 3° to 8°, females = 7° to 13°) were recruited. They performed drop landing at height 30 cm and 45 cm with three-dimensional motion capture and analysis. Knee angles were compared at specific landing phases. Isokinetic ankle strength was tested at 60°/s angular velocity while the weight-bearing lunge test was conducted to evaluate ankle ROM. For males, strength for both plantarflexors and dorsiflexors were associated with knee kinematics at both heights (30 cm: r = −0.50, p = 0.03; 45 cm: r = −0.45, p = 0.05) during maximum vertical ground reaction force (MVGRF) phase. For females, ankle invertor strength and knee kinematics were associated at both 30cm (r = 0.53; p = 0.02,) and 45 cm landing heights (r = 0.49, p = 0.03), while plantarflexor strength and knee kinematics showed a significant association during initial contact (r = 0.70, p < 0.01) and MVGRF (r = 0.55, p = 0.02) phases at height 30 cm only. Male and female athletes with normal range of DKV showed a significant relationship between ankle strength and knee kinematics at specific landing phases. These relationships varied with increased landing height. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Exercise Addiction and Its Relationship with Health Outcomes in Indoor Cycling Practitioners in Fitness Centers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4159; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17114159 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1143
Abstract
We studied the prevalence and possible association between exercise addiction and health in indoor cycling practitioners. In 1014 (492 women) adult indoor cyclists and 926 (597 women) controls with low levels of physical activity according to the short form of the International Physical [...] Read more.
We studied the prevalence and possible association between exercise addiction and health in indoor cycling practitioners. In 1014 (492 women) adult indoor cyclists and 926 (597 women) controls with low levels of physical activity according to the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, we examined the risk of exercise addiction according to the Exercise Addiction Inventory and several health outcomes through a web-based experiment. The prevalence of a high risk of exercise addiction in cyclists was 13.3%, and it was higher in men than in women (16.5% vs. 10.0%, p = 0.002). Women cyclists with a high risk of exercise addiction had higher levels of physical activity (p < 0.001; effect size = −0.62, 95% CI: (−0.91, −0.32)) and anxiety symptom severity (p = 0.001; Effect Size (ES) = −0.59 (−0.89, −0.30)) than those with a low risk. For both sexes, cyclists with a low risk of exercise addiction had better social function, emotional role, and anxiety symptom severity compared with the controls (all p < 0.002; ES ranged from 0.25 to 0.47). Higher anxiety symptom severity and cardiorespiratory fitness were the main determinants of exercise addiction in cyclists (both p < 0.001). Our data suggest the importance of considering exercise addiction in indoor cyclists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on Physical Activity Behavior and Well-Being of Canadians
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3899; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17113899 - 31 May 2020
Cited by 166 | Viewed by 14385
Abstract
A global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in restrictions to daily living for Canadians, including social distancing and closure of city and provincial recreation facilities, national parks and playgrounds. The objective of this study was to assess how these preemptive [...] Read more.
A global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in restrictions to daily living for Canadians, including social distancing and closure of city and provincial recreation facilities, national parks and playgrounds. The objective of this study was to assess how these preemptive measures impacted physical activity behaviour and well-being of Canadians. An online survey was utilized to measure participant physical activity behavior, nature exposure, well-being and anxiety levels. Results indicate that while 40.5% of inactive individuals became less active, only 22.4% of active individuals became less active. Comparatively, 33% of inactive individuals became more active while 40.3% of active individuals became more active. There were significant differences in well-being outcomes in the inactive population between those who were more active, the same or less active (p < 0.001) but this was not seen in the active population. Inactive participants who spent more time engaged in outdoor physical activity had lower anxiety than those who spent less time in outdoor physical activity. Public health measures differentially affected Canadians who were active and inactive and physical activity was strongly associated with well-being outcomes in inactive individuals. This suggests that health promoting measures directed towards inactive individuals may be essential to improving well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Article
Pacing in World-Class Age Group Swimmers in 100 and 200 m Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3875; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17113875 - 30 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Pacing in swimming has been investigated in pool swimming for elite-standard and age group freestyle swimmers, but little is known about pacing in age group swimmers competing at world class level in backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. The aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
Pacing in swimming has been investigated in pool swimming for elite-standard and age group freestyle swimmers, but little is known about pacing in age group swimmers competing at world class level in backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. The aim of this study was to investigate pacing for age group swimmers competing at world class level in 100 and 200 m in the four single disciplines (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly). Data on 18,187 unique finishers competing in four FINA Master World Championships between 2014 and 2019 were analyzed. The sample included 3334 women and 14,853 men. Swimming speed decreased with increasing age (p < 0.05). Freestyle was the fastest and breaststroke the slowest (p < 0.05) stroke. Women and men were faster in 100 m (p < 0.05) than in 200 m. Backstroke was the stroke with the lowest and butterfly with the highest coefficient of variation in swimming speed. One hundred meters had a higher coefficient of variation in swimming speed than breaststroke (p < 0.05). For 100 m, swimming speed decreased for all strokes and all age groups during the second lap. For 200 m, swimming speed was the fastest for all strokes and all age groups during the first lap. In summary, the FINA World Masters Championships presented the unique characteristic that, when all competitors were considered, (i) swimming speed decreased with increasing age, (ii) women and men were faster in 100 m than in 200 m, (iii) freestyle was the fastest stroke and (iv) the largest increase in swimming time for 100 m all strokes and all age groups occurred during the second (out of two) lap and for 200 m, swimming speed was the fastest for all strokes and age groups during the first lap. These findings should help coaches to develop age- and event-tailored pacing strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Effect of Different Running Exercise Modalities on Post-Exercise Oxidative Stress Markers in Trained Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3729; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103729 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1310
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of running exercise modality on oxidative stress. Thirteen endurance athletes (age: 21.46 ± 0.66 years) performed three different running exercise modalities (Continuous running exercise (CR): continuous running exercise at 75% of VO2max [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of running exercise modality on oxidative stress. Thirteen endurance athletes (age: 21.46 ± 0.66 years) performed three different running exercise modalities (Continuous running exercise (CR): continuous running exercise at 75% of VO2max for 25 min; intermittent running exercise #1 (15/15): intermittent running protocol, 15 s running at 75% of VO2max, 15 s passive recovery, performed for 50 min; intermittent running exercise #2 (30/30): intermittent running protocol, 30 s running at 75% of VO2max, 30 s passive recovery, performed for 50 min) in a randomized order. Blood samples were drawn at rest and immediately after each running exercise and assessed for malondialdehyde (MDA), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), superoxide dismutase(SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities. MDA increased by 55% following 30/30 exercise (p < 0.01), while it remained unchanged with CR and15/15 exercise. SOD increased after CR (+13.9%, p < 0.05), and also remained unchanged after 15/15 (p > 0.05) and decreased after 30/30 (−19.7% p < 0.05). GPX and AOPP did not change after exercise in all experimental sessions (p > 0.05). In conclusion, 30/30 intermittent running induced higher lipid damages than the 15/15 and CR exercise. 15/15 intermittent exercise promoted a better balance between free radicals production and antioxidant defense compared to continuous exercise and intermittent 30/30 exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Analysis of Cyclist’s Drag on the Aero Position Using Numerical Simulations and Analytical Procedures: A Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3430; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103430 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Background: Resistance acting on a cyclist is a major concern among the cycling fraternity. Most of the testing methods require previous training or expensive equipment and time-consuming set-ups. By contrast, analytical procedures are more affordable and numerical simulations are perfect for manipulating and [...] Read more.
Background: Resistance acting on a cyclist is a major concern among the cycling fraternity. Most of the testing methods require previous training or expensive equipment and time-consuming set-ups. By contrast, analytical procedures are more affordable and numerical simulations are perfect for manipulating and controlling inputs. The aim of this case study was to compare the drag of a cyclist in the aero position as measured using numerical simulation and analytical procedures. Methods: An elite male cyclist (65 kg in mass and 1.72 m in height) volunteered to take part in this research. The cyclist was wearing his competition gear, helmet and bicycle. A three-dimensional model of the bicycle and cyclist in the aero position was obtained to run the numerical simulations. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and a set of analytical procedures were carried out to assess drag, frontal area and drag coefficient, between 1 m/s and 22 m/s, with increments of 1 m/s. The t-test paired samples and linear regression were selected to compare, correlate and assess the methods agreement. Results: No significant differences (t = 2.826; p = 0.275) between CFD and analytical procedures were found. The linear regression showed a very high adjustment for drag (R2 = 0.995; p < 0.001). However, the drag values obtained by the analytical procedures seemed to be overestimated, even though without effect (d = 0.11). Conclusions: These findings suggest that drag might be assessed using both a set of analytical procedures and CFD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Lacrosse Athletes Load and Recovery Monitoring: Comparison between Objective and Subjective Methods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3329; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093329 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Both objective (OM) and subjective (SM) methods are used in athletic studies, regardless of sport type, to identify and analyze load and recovery status of athletes. As little information exists about the comparison of these two methodologies, the aim of this study is [...] Read more.
Both objective (OM) and subjective (SM) methods are used in athletic studies, regardless of sport type, to identify and analyze load and recovery status of athletes. As little information exists about the comparison of these two methodologies, the aim of this study is to compare and contrast information that defines the relationship between both methods. Twelve international male lacrosse athletes participated in this study over the course of which participants heart-rate-variability and questionnaire-data were collected. Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate changes over time and correlations between used methods. Comparison between baseline values and competition showed a reduction in root-mean-square of successive differences (RMSSD) (p < 0.01) and the proportion of beat-intervals (NN) that differ by more than 50 ms divided by total number of NNs (pNN50) (p < 0.01). Further, RMSSD values showed differences during competition with large effects (p = 0.02; η2 = 0.24). SM (p < 0.01) showed different progression during competition. Correlation was found for used SM and OM, when considered separately. No evidence for a reliable prediction of OM values using SM could be found. According to these findings, we recommend using a combination of SM and OM data to quantify the physiological stress of training and competition, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Flexibility in Spanish Elite Inline Hockey Players: Profile, Sex, Tightness and Asymmetry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3295; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093295 - 09 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1316
Abstract
Limited ranges of motion (ROM) have been considered as a relevant risk factor for team sports injuries. The main purposes of the current study were to describe the lower extremity ROM profile, muscular tightness and asymmetries in elite inline hockey players and to [...] Read more.
Limited ranges of motion (ROM) have been considered as a relevant risk factor for team sports injuries. The main purposes of the current study were to describe the lower extremity ROM profile, muscular tightness and asymmetries in elite inline hockey players and to examine sex-related differences. Twenty professional inline hockey players from 2 Spanish National Teams (male and female) were measured of passive hip extension [HE], hip adduction with hip flexed 90° [HAD-HF], hip flexion with the knee flexed [HF-KF] and extended [HF-KE], hip abduction with the hip neutral [HAB] and hip flexed 90° [HAB-HF], hip external [HER] and internal [HIR] rotation, knee flexion [KF], ankle dorsiflexion with the knee flexed [ADF-KF] and extended [ADF-KE] ROMs of the dominant and non-dominant leg ROMs were taken. A paired t-test was carried out to assess asymmetries. ROM values were classified as “normal versus tightness”, and “normal versus asymmetry” according to the proposed reference values. The effect size for each variable was analyzed. Male team exhibited asymmetry in HF-KF (133.2° dominant vs. 129.8° non-dominant; p = 0.042; d = 0.7243 [moderate effect sizes]) and female team in ADF-KF (38.8° dominant vs. 41.0 non-dominant; p = 0.001; d = 0.6 [moderate effect sizes]) and HAB ROM (41.2° dominant vs. 38.8 non-dominant; p = 0.005; d = 1.1767 [moderate effect sizes]). Male players reported asymmetry in HAD-HF (n = 5), HER (n = 4) and HE (n = 3), whereas female players presented asymmetries in HER (n = 4), HE (n = 3) and KF (n = 2). Overall, 20–100% of all participants showed limited KF, HF_KE, HIR, HE, ADF_KF, HAD-HF, HF-KF, ADF_KE, HTR and HER ROM. The results of this study reinforce the requirement of prescribing exercises aimed at improving hip, knee and ankle ROM within everyday inline hockey practices. In addition, as some asymmetries were found, unilateral flexibility training should be considered where appropriate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Do Surface Slope and Posture Influence Lower Extremity Joint Kinetics during Cycling?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2846; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082846 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1015
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of surface slope and body posture (i.e., seated and standing) on lower extremity joint kinetics during cycling. Fourteen participants cycled at 250 watts power in three cycling conditions: level seated, uphill seated and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of surface slope and body posture (i.e., seated and standing) on lower extremity joint kinetics during cycling. Fourteen participants cycled at 250 watts power in three cycling conditions: level seated, uphill seated and uphill standing at a 14% slope. A motion analysis system and custom instrumented pedal were used to collect the data of fifteen consecutive cycles of kinematics and pedal reaction force. One crank cycle was equally divided into four phases (90° for each phase). A two-factor repeated measures MANOVA was used to examine the effects of the slope and posture on the selected variables. Results showed that both slope and posture influenced joint moments and mechanical work in the hip, knee and ankle joints (p < 0.05). Specifically, the relative contribution of the knee joint to the total mechanical work increased when the body posture changed from a seated position to a standing position. In conclusion, both surface slope and body posture significantly influenced the lower extremity joint kinetics during cycling. Besides the hip joint, the knee joint also played the role as the power source during uphill standing cycling in the early downstroke phase. Therefore, adopting a standing posture for more power output during uphill cycling is recommended, but not for long periods, in view of the risk of knee injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Effects of Aerobic-, Anaerobic- and Combined-Based Exercises on Plasma Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in Healthy Untrained Young Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2601; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072601 - 10 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1474
Abstract
Currently, it is well accepted that physical exercise-induced oxidative stress may damage biological structures and impair cellular functions. However, it is still unclear which type of exercise results in the greatest oxidative stress responses among a healthy untrained population. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Currently, it is well accepted that physical exercise-induced oxidative stress may damage biological structures and impair cellular functions. However, it is still unclear which type of exercise results in the greatest oxidative stress responses among a healthy untrained population. The aim of the present study was to compare the acute oxidative stress response (i.e., 0 to 20 min) following different types of exercise (anaerobic, aerobic, and combined). Ten healthy, untrained males (19.5 ± 1.7 years) performed three randomized exercise bouts: anaerobic (30 s Wingate test), aerobic (30 min at 60% maximal aerobic power (MAP)) or combined (anaerobic and aerobic). Venous blood samples were collected before, as well as at 0 (P0), 5 (P5), 10 (P10), and 20 (P20) min after each session. Rates of malondialdehyde (MDA) and antioxidant activities (i.e., glutathione peroxidase (GPX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione reductase (GR), α-tocopherol, and total antioxidant status (TAS)) were assessed. Independent of exercise type, plasma MDA, GPX, SOD, and GR contents increased above baseline, whereas plasma α-tocopherol decreased under baseline after the test sessions (p < 0.05). Aerobic and anaerobic exercises generated faster responses (at P0) when compared to the combined exercise (P5 to P10) for the majority of the tested parameters. Plasma TAS content only increased following the aerobic exercise at P10 (p = 0.03). Five to twenty-minutes post exercise, the highest MDA response was registered in the aerobic condition, and the highest GPX and SOD responses were recorded in the anaerobic (at P5) and aerobic (at P20) conditions (p < 0.05). In conclusion, aerobic, anaerobic, or combined exercises have the potential to acutely increase oxidative stress and antioxidant activities, but with different responses magnitude. These findings confirm that oxidative stress response seems to be dependent on the intensity and the duration of the physical exercise and may help in understanding how varying exercise bouts influence the degree of oxidative stress among healthy untrained young adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Implicit Theories about Athletic Ability Modulate the Effects of If-Then Planning on Performance in a Standardized Endurance Task
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2576; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072576 - 09 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1200
Abstract
Muscular strength has a strong positive impact on cardiometabolic health and fitness. However, building up strength endurance requires effortful exercises. From a health perspective, it is important to understand which psychological strategies help people deal with straining exercise. Self-regulation strategies like if-then planning [...] Read more.
Muscular strength has a strong positive impact on cardiometabolic health and fitness. However, building up strength endurance requires effortful exercises. From a health perspective, it is important to understand which psychological strategies help people deal with straining exercise. Self-regulation strategies like if-then planning (also known as implementation intentions) appear particularly promising because they might directly alter how people deal with exercise-induced sensations. However, research on the effects of if-then planning on exercise performance has yielded mixed results so far. One possible reason for these inconsistent results is the lack of tailored interventions and the neglect of potential moderators. To address this, we investigated the efficacy of if-then plans that were tailored to perceived limits of endurance performance (i.e., perceptions of exertion versus pain). In addition, we investigated the effects of these tailored if-then plans while taking into account the potentially moderating effects of individual differences in implicit theories. Specifically, we were interested in the role of implicit theories about athletic performance (i.e., entity versus incremental beliefs) and about the limitation of athletic performance by mental versus physical factors (i.e., mind-over-body beliefs). N = 66 male students (age: M = 25.8 years, SD = 3.2) performed a static muscular endurance task twice (measurement: baseline task vs. main task) and were randomly assigned to a goal or an implementation intention condition. They were instructed to hold two intertwined rings for as long as possible while avoiding contacts between them (measure of performance: time-to-failure and errors). After the baseline task, participants were either given an implementation intention or were simply asked to rehearse the task instructions. The content of the instruction depended on whether they ascribed ultimate baseline task termination to perceptions of exertion or pain. After the main task, implicit theories on athletic ability were assessed. No differences in performance emerged between conditions. In the implementation intention condition, however, stronger entity beliefs were associated with increasing time-to-failure when participants planned to ignore exertion but with decreasing time-to-failure when they planned to ignore pain. This pattern of results was reversed with regard to mind-over-body beliefs. These findings indicate that the efficacy of psychological strategies hinges on recreational athletes’ beliefs regarding athletic performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Mediation Effect of Age Category on the Relationship between Body Composition and the Physical Fitness Profile in Youth Handball Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2350; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072350 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
The aims of the present study were (1) to determine the differences in body composition and the physical and physiological profile of handball youths across age categories, and (2) to analyze the mediation effect of different categories on the relationship between lean mass [...] Read more.
The aims of the present study were (1) to determine the differences in body composition and the physical and physiological profile of handball youths across age categories, and (2) to analyze the mediation effect of different categories on the relationship between lean mass or fat mass and specific physical handball capacities. Fifty-four young handball players aged 13 to 18 were assigned to U14 (13- and 14-year-olds), U16 (15- and 16-year-olds), and U18 (17- and 18-year-olds). Body composition was measured using multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance (Inbody®, 230). Handball physical fitness was assessed using handgrip force, jumping tests (squat jump, countermovement jump, countermovement jump with aimed arms), a 30-m sprint, a change-of-direction test (T-half agility test and modified Illinois test), and a Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1. Simple mediation analysis was performed to analyze whether the category mediated the relationship between lean mass or fat mass and physical capacities. No significant differences were observed according to category for the majority of the measured parameters, except for height, lean body mass, and arm span. Lean body mass increased significantly as player category increased (p < 0.05; = 4.66–9.38; effect size (ES) = 0.96–1.92). The increase in handball category enhanced the majority of the physical capacities evaluated; however, these differences were reduced between the U16 vs. U18 categories. The indirect mediation effect suggests that handball category mediated the relationship between lean mass and upper and lower strength, velocity, agility, and cardiorespiratory fitness. In contrast, an indirect effect suggests that category mediated the relationship between fat mass only in agility and cardiorespiratory fitness. We conclude that U18s showed better body composition parameters, as well as better physical performance scores. Handball category clearly mediated the relationship between body composition through lean mass and fat mass and the physiological profile in handball youth, but lean mass proved to be more relevant when mediating physical performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Streamlining Analysis of RR Interval Variability in Elite Soccer Players: Preliminary Experience with a Composite Indicator of Cardiac Autonomic Regulation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1844; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17061844 - 12 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1201
Abstract
It is well recognized that regular physical activity may improve cardiac autonomic regulation preventing chronic non-communicable diseases. Accordingly, the assessment of cardiac autonomic regulation (CAR) with non-invasive techniques, such as RR interval Variability (V) might be of practical interest. We studied 56 soccer [...] Read more.
It is well recognized that regular physical activity may improve cardiac autonomic regulation preventing chronic non-communicable diseases. Accordingly, the assessment of cardiac autonomic regulation (CAR) with non-invasive techniques, such as RR interval Variability (V) might be of practical interest. We studied 56 soccer players (21.2 ± 4.2 years.) and 56 controls (22.2 ± 1.5 years.) and used a ranked Autonomic Nervous System Index (ANSI), resulting from the combination of multivariate statistical methodologies applied to spectral analysis derived indices from RRV. We hypothesized that ANSI would be higher in soccer players as compared to controls (p < 0.001) and that values would be greatest in defenders and midfielders, who are known to run longer distances during competitions. Conversely in the intrinsically stationary goalkeepers ANSI would be similar to controls. Our data show that it is possible to assess the overall level of autonomic performance in soccer players as compared to the general population, using a ranked composite autonomic proxy (ANSI). This approach suggests as well that CAR is better in those players who during competitions run for a greater distance. We conclude that it is possible to highlight the differences in autonomic profile due to distinct exercise routines, using ANSI, a simple ranked, composite autonomic proxy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Participation and Performance Trends in the Oldest 100-km Ultramarathon in the World
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1719; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051719 - 06 Mar 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1163
Abstract
Participation and performance trends in ultramarathon running have been investigated for large datasets and long period of times with an increase in participants and an improvement in performance. However, the analysis of ultramarathons across many decades is missing. We analyzed these trends for [...] Read more.
Participation and performance trends in ultramarathon running have been investigated for large datasets and long period of times with an increase in participants and an improvement in performance. However, the analysis of ultramarathons across many decades is missing. We analyzed these trends for 96,036 athletes (88,286 men and 7750 women) from 67 countries competing between 1956 and 2019 in ‘100 km Lauf Biel’ in Switzerland, the oldest 100-km ultramarathon in the world. More men than women participated in all years. The number of male participants reached a peak at around 1985 and a decline in participation occurred thereafter. Women started competing in 1962. Men were always faster than women and both women and men reduced their race times over years. After about 1985, both overall women and men and both female and male winners were not able to improve race times. For men, athletes from all age groups below the age of 49 years old reached a peak of participation in the 1980s, and showed a decrease since then. Regarding age groups, the decrease first started in age group 20–29 years, followed by 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, and 60–69 years. For athletes in age groups 70–79 and 80–89 years, no decrease occurred. For women, age group athletes in age groups 40–49, 50–59, and 60–69 years increased their participation, whereas age groups 20–29 and 30–39 peaked in the late 1980s and started to decrease or stabilize, respectively. Switzerland, Germany, and France were the countries with the highest numbers of participants throughout the history of the race. In men, race times increased after about 1990 for most nationalities; only runners from Germany seemed to stabilize their performance. In women, runners from Italy, France, and Austria improved their performance over the years. In summary, the analysis of the oldest 100-km ultramarathon in the world showed a decrease in participation and an impairment in performance in the last 60 years. These changes were due to a decrease in the number of male ultramarathoners in around the 1980s, where mainly the number of age group runners younger than 70 years decreased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Effects of An Acute Physical Activity Break on Test Anxiety and Math Test Performance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1523; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051523 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1541
Abstract
(1) Background: Test anxiety has been found to negatively affect students’ mental health and academic performance. A primary explanation for this is that anxiety-related thoughts occupy working memory resources during testing that cannot be used for test-related processes (such as information retrieval and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Test anxiety has been found to negatively affect students’ mental health and academic performance. A primary explanation for this is that anxiety-related thoughts occupy working memory resources during testing that cannot be used for test-related processes (such as information retrieval and problem-solving). The present intervention study investigated whether physical activity could decrease anxiety levels and improve maths test performance in sixth-grade children. (2) Methods: Sixty-eight children of 11–12 years from two primary schools in New South Wales, Australia were categorised as low or high anxious from their scores on a trait-anxiety questionnaire. After this assessment, they were randomly assigned to the activity break condition, in which they had to do several physical activities of moderate intensity (e.g., star jumps) for 10 min, or the control condition, in which they played a vocabulary game for 10 min. The outcome measures were children’s anxiety levels at the beginning, during, and at the end of the test, invested mental effort, perceived task difficulty and maths test performance. (3) Results: Results showed that regardless of the condition, low anxious students performed better on the maths test than high anxious children. No differences were found for any of the variables between the activity break condition and the control condition. (4) Conclusions: Although test anxiety was not reduced as expected, this study showed that short physical activity breaks can be used before examinations without impeding academic performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Validation of the Portuguese Version of the Healthy Lifestyle Questionnaire
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1458; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17041458 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1681
Abstract
The main objective of this study was the validation of the Healthy Lifestyle Questionnaire (EVS II), using a confirmatory factorial analysis of the measurement model, with veteran athletes. A total of 348 veteran Portuguese athletes of both genders, aged between 30 and 60 [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study was the validation of the Healthy Lifestyle Questionnaire (EVS II), using a confirmatory factorial analysis of the measurement model, with veteran athletes. A total of 348 veteran Portuguese athletes of both genders, aged between 30 and 60 years (M = 41.64, SD = 9.83), of whom 200 were males and 148 were females, from several sports. The results of the confirmatory factor analysis demonstrate the adequacy of the adapted version of the EVS II, as the factorial structure (6 factors/24 items) has acceptable validity indexes: χ2 = 305.925, p = 0.000, df = 120.017, χ2/df = 2.549, NFI (Normed Fit Index) = 0.909, TLI (Tucker Lewis Index) = 0.918, CFI (Comparative Fit Index) = 0.944, GFI (Goodness of Fit Index) = 0.944, AGFI (Adjusted Goodness of Fit Index) = 0.909, SRMR (Standardized Root Mean Square Residual) = 0.048, RMSEA (Root Mean Square of Approximation) = 0.060, allowing evaluation of the dimensions of balanced diet, respect for mealtime, tobacco and alcohol consumption, other drugs consumption and resting habits. The adaptation to sport of the Portuguese version of EVS II can be used with reasonable confidence in the evaluation of healthy lifestyles in the context of sport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Using Smart Sensors to Monitor Physical Activity and Technical–Tactical Actions in Junior Tennis Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1068; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031068 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
The use of smart devices to obtain real-time data has notably increased in the context of training. These technological tools provide data which monitor the external load and technical–tactical actions related to psychological and physical health in junior tennis players. The purpose of [...] Read more.
The use of smart devices to obtain real-time data has notably increased in the context of training. These technological tools provide data which monitor the external load and technical–tactical actions related to psychological and physical health in junior tennis players. The purpose of this paper is to monitor technical–tactical actions and physical activity during a current tennis competition in the Green stage using a Zepp Tennis Smart Sensor 2. The participants were 20 junior tennis players (under 10 years of age), with an average age of 9.46 years. The total number of strokes (n= 21,477) during 75 matches was analyzed. The study variables were the following aspects: (a) number of strokes, (b) ball impact in the sweet spot; (c) racket speed; (d) ball spin; (e) calories burned; and (f) match time. The current system of competition, based on knockout, does not meet the World Health Organization’s recommendations for daily physical activity time. Players mainly used flat forehands with a lack of variability in technical–tactical actions which did not meet the current learning opportunity criteria of comprehensive methodologies. The competition system in under-11 tennis should be adapted to the players’ characteristics by improving the variability and quantity of practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Individualized Breakfast Programs or Glycogen Super-Compensation: Which Is the Better Performing Strategy? Insights from an Italian Soccer Referees Cohort
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1014; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031014 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
The role of soccer referees has grown in importance in the last decades, as has attention to their performance, which may be influenced and improved with specific and evolved training programs. Today, multiple specialists are working as a team in order to develop [...] Read more.
The role of soccer referees has grown in importance in the last decades, as has attention to their performance, which may be influenced and improved with specific and evolved training programs. Today, multiple specialists are working as a team in order to develop effective training programs. Moreover, for athletes, it is becoming more and more important to be attentive to nutrition. By considering such items, in this study, we aimed to investigate the nutritional habits of a group of referees belonging to the Italian Soccer Referees’ Association (on behalf of AIA-FIGC). Our main aim was to spread a “culture of nutrition” in refereeing, starting with a survey on referees’ breakfast attitudes and in order to disseminate such a “culture”, we chose top-level elite referees who were younger subjects (despite the average 4 years’ experience). Therefore, we enrolled 31 subjects (aged 22.74 ± 1.79, BMI 22.30 ± 1.53) and asked them about their breakfast habits. Then, for measuring their performance, we used the conventional fitness test named Yo-Yo (YYiR1), performed in three different sessions (test 1, test 2, test 3). Test 1 was carried out without any nutritional indications, test 2 was given after individualized breakfast suggestions by a designed dietician, and test 3 after an individualized glycogen super-compensation strategy. The Wilcoxon statistical analysis indicates that following an individualized breakfast strategy may enhance referees’ performance (p < 0.0001), whereas no significant effects were observed with the glycogen super-compensation option. However, further studies will be necessary to better address this topic and clarify whether high-carbohydrates (high-CHO) intake may be useful in other sports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Alterations in Running Biomechanics after 12 Week Gait Retraining with Minimalist Shoes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 818; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17030818 - 28 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1696
Abstract
Purpose: The intervention of 12 week gait retraining with minimalist shoes was established to examine its effect on impact forces, joint mechanics, and vertical stiffness during running. Methods: Thirty male recreational runners were randomly assigned to the gait retraining + minimalist [...] Read more.
Purpose: The intervention of 12 week gait retraining with minimalist shoes was established to examine its effect on impact forces, joint mechanics, and vertical stiffness during running. Methods: Thirty male recreational runners were randomly assigned to the gait retraining + minimalist shoe (n = 15, GR) and minimalist shoe (n = 15, MIN) groups. The ground reaction force and marker trajectories were collected before and after intervention at a speed of 3.33 ± 5% m/s. Results: A total of 17 participants (9 in the GR group and 8 in the MIN group) completed the training. After training, (1) the loading rate of both groups decreased significantly, and the loading rate of the GR group was lower than that of the MIN group. (2) The foot strike angle of the GR group decreased significantly after training, and the plantarflexion angle and hip joint angular extension velocity increased in both groups. (3) The moment of ankle joint increased in the GR group, and the stiffness of lower limbs was significantly improved in both groups. Conclusion: The 12 week gait retraining with minimalist shoes converted rearfoot strikers into forefoot strikers with a rate of 78% (7/9). More importantly, such a combined program, compared to the training with only minimalist shoes, can avoid the peak impact force and decrease the loading rate more effectively, thus providing a potential means of reducing risk of running injury caused by impact forces. Moreover, the increased vertical stiffness of lower extremity after gait retraining may improve running economy and corresponding energy utilization. However, these observations also suggest that the sole use of minimalist footwear may have limited effects on reducing running-related impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
From Sedentary and Physical Inactive Behaviours to an Ultra Cycling Race: A Mixed-Method Case Report
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 502; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17020502 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1027
Abstract
In faculties of health sciences, almost 30% of nursing students exercise less than once a week. This mixed-method case report presents the 38-month evolution of the physiological and psychological health parameters of a sedentary and physically inactive nursing student. During this period, she [...] Read more.
In faculties of health sciences, almost 30% of nursing students exercise less than once a week. This mixed-method case report presents the 38-month evolution of the physiological and psychological health parameters of a sedentary and physically inactive nursing student. During this period, she first took part in a one-semester institutional physical activity (PA) program that was offered by her university before being selected for participation in the Race Across America (RAAM) with a university relay team. In the four months leading up to the RAAM, she followed a cycling training program. After the RAAM, she was followed-up for the next 28 months. The results showed that each phase of the study had an important impact on the subject and showed that sedentary and physical inactive behaviours are reversible. Institutional PA programs, including training education in addition to concurrent strength and endurance training, can lead to physiological and psychological health improvements. For some individuals, participating in an athletic challenge can improve motivation and long-term adherence to PA participation. An individualised approach should be considered in future interventions that aim to promote PA participation. In the specific context of a university of health sciences, this kind of initiative could positively influence the general population’s health by empowering students to become role models towards PA promotion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
The Impact of Modern Ultramarathons on Shaping the Social Identity of Runners. The Case Study of Karkonosze Winter Ultramarathon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010116 - 23 Dec 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Despite the growing interest in extreme sports around the world, researchers have rarely investigated the complex factors that have led to a developed commitment to extreme sports in recent years. Precisely, the social identity of ultramarathoners remains a research niche. The aim of [...] Read more.
Despite the growing interest in extreme sports around the world, researchers have rarely investigated the complex factors that have led to a developed commitment to extreme sports in recent years. Precisely, the social identity of ultramarathoners remains a research niche. The aim of the article is to analyze the impact of a sports event on shaping social identity of ultramarathon runners on the example of Karkonosze Winter Ultramarathon (held in Poland). The qualitative method used in the article—interviews with runners—made it possible to examine the factors that create social identity, among which the motives for participation, sports subculture, and the authenticity of the experience play a key role. The first part of the article describes the theoretical aspects of social identity in sport. The second, empirical part presents the research results supplemented by the statements of the contestants. In this case, the subject of analysis is the motives for participation in a winter ultramarathon and their characteristics. Lastly, the article analyzes the subculture of ultramarathoners and the experience of contestants’ authenticity. The investigated winter ultramarathon created the perfect space for creation, deepening and celebrating the social identity of ultramarathoners assessed as a value in itself. The article enriches the present knowledge about the motivation of ultramarathoners because, unlike the results of quantitative research, it presents in-depth responses of runners who were not always concerned by existing research questionnaires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Effects of Physical Self-Concept, Emotional Isolation, and Family Functioning on Attitudes towards Physical Education in Adolescents: Structural Equation Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 94; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010094 - 21 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
(1) Background: The present research seeks to define and contrast an explanatory model of physical self-concept, emotional isolation, attitude towards physical education, and family functioning, and analyse the existing associations between these variables. (2) Methods: The sample was made up of 2388 adolescents [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The present research seeks to define and contrast an explanatory model of physical self-concept, emotional isolation, attitude towards physical education, and family functioning, and analyse the existing associations between these variables. (2) Methods: The sample was made up of 2388 adolescents (43.39% male and 56.61% female), with ages of 11–17 years (M = 13.85; SD = 1.26) from Spain. Self-concept (AF-5), Isolation (UCLA), Attitude towards Physical Education (CAEF), and Family Functioning (APGAR) were analyzed. (3) Results: Good fit was obtained for all evaluation indices included in the structural equation model, which was significantly adjusted (χ2 = 233,023; DF = 14; p < 0.001; comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.913; normalized fit index (NFI) = 0.917; incremental fit index (IFI) = 0.906; root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.072). (4) Conclusions: Attitudes towards physical activity were found to be positive when isolation levels were low and where adequate self-concept existed, specifically in students reporting high family functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Prevalence of Underweight and Overweight and Its Association with Physical Fitness in Egyptian Schoolchildren
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010075 - 20 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
Underweight and overweight are serious health concerns for many children and could be associated with low physical-fitness levels. This study aimed (i) to evaluate the prevalence of underweight and overweight and (ii) to examine its association with the physical fitness levels in primary [...] Read more.
Underweight and overweight are serious health concerns for many children and could be associated with low physical-fitness levels. This study aimed (i) to evaluate the prevalence of underweight and overweight and (ii) to examine its association with the physical fitness levels in primary male and female schoolchildren. Including 13 government primary-schools, a cross-sectional survey was conducted between 2014 and 2017. Anthropometric characteristics together with the physical-fitness level were measured in 931 schoolchildren aged between 6- and 11-years old. The prevalence of under- and overweight children were 8.49% and 24.06%, respectively. These proportions were not significantly different between males and females and were affected by age (p < 0.001), with a higher prevalence of overweight and a lower prevalence of underweight at 9–11 years, compared to 6–8 years old. Concerning the physical fitness levels, statistical analysis showed a better performance among males compared to females, among participants aged 9–11 years, compared to 6–8 years old, and among underweight and normal-weight, compared to overweight children (p < 0.001). There was a higher prevalence of overweight and lower prevalence of underweight at 9–11 years compared to 6–8 years old. Physical fitness levels were better in (i) males, compared to females, (ii) schoolchildren aged 9–11 years, compared to 6–8 years old, and (iii) underweight and normal-weight, compared to overweight children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Observation Criteria for Physical Education Teachers to Identify Gifted Children through Invasion Games
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4830; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16234830 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1396
Abstract
Whilst in other curriculum subjects, it exists observation criteria to detect gifted pupils, there is a paucity of information in Physical Education. For that reason, we aimed to reveal the observation criteria for identifying gifted pupils in Physical Education in an invasion game. [...] Read more.
Whilst in other curriculum subjects, it exists observation criteria to detect gifted pupils, there is a paucity of information in Physical Education. For that reason, we aimed to reveal the observation criteria for identifying gifted pupils in Physical Education in an invasion game. Physical Education (PE) talent was evaluated combining results of questionnaire to experts, parents, and students. A validated nomination scale (NSIFT) and the Game Performance Evaluation Tool (GPET) were used. The research approach used in this study was transversal, descriptive, and inferential. The talent pool was composed of 18 gifted pupils aged 8–14 (Mage = 11.67, SD = 1.53). The results showed that the most discriminating criteria to identify PE talent were found to be precocity in both execution and decision-making in the acquisition of tactical principles and tactical-technical skills. Getting free was the skill that they best mastered. In conclusion, the importance of tactical principles and decision-making as observation criteria is emphasized. Future studies should focus on developing mentoring programs in Physical Education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Article
Specific Eccentric–Isokinetic Cluster Training Improves Static Strength Elements on Rings for Elite Gymnasts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4571; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16224571 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1839
Abstract
In gymnastics, coaches are constantly searching for efficient training methods in order to improve the athletes’ performance. Therefore, in this study we aimed to investigate the effects of a novel, four-week, gymnastic-specific, eccentric–isokinetic (0.1 m/s) cluster training on a computer-controlled training device on [...] Read more.
In gymnastics, coaches are constantly searching for efficient training methods in order to improve the athletes’ performance. Therefore, in this study we aimed to investigate the effects of a novel, four-week, gymnastic-specific, eccentric–isokinetic (0.1 m/s) cluster training on a computer-controlled training device on the improvement of two static strength elements on rings (swallow and support scale). Nine elite male gymnasts participated in this study. Outcome parameters were maximum strength and strength endurance in maintaining the static position of both elements. After four weeks of training, specific maximum strength increased significantly (swallow: +4.1%; d = 0.85; p = 0.01; support scale: +3.6%; d = 2.47; p = 0.0002) and strength endurance tended to improve (swallow: +104.8%; d = 0.60; p = 0.07; support scale: +26.8%; d = 0.27; p = 0.19). Our results demonstrate that top athletes can considerably improve ring-specific strength and strength endurance in only four weeks. We assumed that the high specificity but also the unfamiliar stimulus of slow eccentric movements with very long times under maximal muscle tension led to these improvements. We suggest to use this type of training periodically and during phases in which the technical training load is low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
The Effect of Aquatic Exercise on Postural Mobility of Healthy Older Adults with Endomorphic Somatotype
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4387; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16224387 - 10 Nov 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1364
Abstract
The fear of falling (FOF) limits the movements of the older adults, which, in turn, might impair postural mobility. An aquatic environment has a relatively low risk of falling and can improve motor abilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the [...] Read more.
The fear of falling (FOF) limits the movements of the older adults, which, in turn, might impair postural mobility. An aquatic environment has a relatively low risk of falling and can improve motor abilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of aquatic exercise on postural mobility of the healthy endomorph elderly somatotype. Therefore, 37 healthy endomorphic older adults with an average age of 64.38 ± 4.12 years participated in this study. Participants were randomly divided into four groups (i.e., Aquatic exercise, Dry-land exercise, Aquatic control, and Dry-land control). The Heath-Carter method was used to estimate the criterion somatotype, and the Tinetti method was used to determine postural mobility. Covariance analysis was used to examine the mean differences at a significance level of p < 0.05. The results showed that there was a significant difference between the aquatic exercise group and the two control groups (p < 0.01), and the dry-land exercise group was significantly different from the aquatic control (p < 0.05) and dry-land control groups (p < 0.01). The results indicate that the design of aquatic exercise programs, especially for endomorphic older adults with inappropriate body shape, for whom dry-land exercises are not appropriate, likely, has a positive effect on the motor control and both the balance and gait and provide appropriate postural mobility without FOF in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Hand Preference and Performance in Basketball Tasks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4336; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16224336 - 07 Nov 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
The aims of this study were to develop and validate an instrument to quantitatively assess the handedness of basketballers in basketball tasks (Basketball Handedness Inventory, BaHI) and to compare it with their handedness in daily activities by the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI). The [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to develop and validate an instrument to quantitatively assess the handedness of basketballers in basketball tasks (Basketball Handedness Inventory, BaHI) and to compare it with their handedness in daily activities by the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI). The participants were 111 basketballers and 40 controls. All subjects completed the EHI and only basketballers filled in the BaHI. To validate the BaHI, a voluntary subsample of basketballers repeated the BaHI. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a two-factor model. Our results show that: (i) Handedness score (R) in daily actions did not differ between basketball players (R by EHI = 69.3 ± 44.6) and the control group (R by EHI = 64.5 ± 58.6); (ii) basketballers more frequently favored performing certain sport tasks with the left hand or mixed hands (as highlighted by R by BaHI = 50.1 ± 47.1), although their choice was primarily the right hand in everyday gestures; and (iii) this preference was especially true for athletes at the highest levels of performance (R by BaHI of A1 league = 38.6 ± 58.3) and for those playing in selected roles (point guard’s R = 29.4 ± 67.4). Our findings suggest that professional training induces handedness changes in basketball tasks. The BaHI provides a valid and reliable measure of the skilled hand in basketball. This will allow coaches to assess mastery of the ball according to the hand used by the athlete in the different tasks and roles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Match Performance of Soccer Teams in the Chinese Super League—Effects of Situational and Environmental Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4238; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16214238 - 01 Nov 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1720
Abstract
To investigate the effects of situational factors (match location, strength of team and opponent) and environmental factors (relative air humidity, temperature and air quality index) on the technical and physical match performance of Chinese Soccer Super League teams (CSL). The generalized mixed modelling [...] Read more.
To investigate the effects of situational factors (match location, strength of team and opponent) and environmental factors (relative air humidity, temperature and air quality index) on the technical and physical match performance of Chinese Soccer Super League teams (CSL). The generalized mixed modelling was employed to determine the effects by using the data of all 240 matches in the season 2015 collected by Amisco Pro®. Increase in the rank difference would increase the number of goal-scoring related, passing and organizing related actions to a small-to-moderate extent (Effect size [ES]: 0.37–0.99). Match location had small positive effects on goal-scoring related, passing and organizing related variables (ES: 0.27–0.51), while a small negative effect on yellow card (ES = −0.35). Increment in relative air humidity and air quality index would only bring trivial or small effects on all the technical performance (ES: −0.06–0.23). Increase in humidity would decrease the physical performance at a small magnitude (ES: −0.55–−0.38). Teams achieved the highest number in the physical performance-related parameters at the temperature between 11.6 and 15.1 °C. In the CSL, situational variables had major effects on the technical performance but trivial effects on the physical performance, on the contrary, environmental factors affected mainly the physical performance but had only trivial or small impact on the technical performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Why Are You Running and Does It Hurt? Pain, Motivations and Beliefs about Injury Prevention among Participants of a Large-Scale Public Running Event
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3766; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16193766 - 07 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2144
Abstract
Organized running events have gained substantial popularity. This study aimed to elucidate the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, knowledge about injury prevention as well as the attitudes and motivations of individuals participating in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt (Germany). A total of [...] Read more.
Organized running events have gained substantial popularity. This study aimed to elucidate the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, knowledge about injury prevention as well as the attitudes and motivations of individuals participating in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt (Germany). A total of 720 recreational runners completed a digital questionnaire immediately prior to the start. The majority of them displayed low to moderate physical activity levels and were rather unambitious regarding targeted finishing time. One quarter (25.3%) participated for the first time in an organized race. The most stated reasons to register were team building (76.4%) and experiencing the run’s atmosphere (50.6%). In contrast, improving health played a minor role (19.4%). More than one in five individuals (n = 159 runners) reported pain, with the most common locations being the knee and lower back. Both at rest (3.2/10 on a numerical rating scale) and during activity (4.7/10), average pain intensity was clinically relevant. Almost three thirds of the participants believed that stretching and wearing appropriate shoes would be effective for injury prevention while other methods such as resistance training, balance exercise or wearing of orthoses were rarely named. Musculoskeletal pain is a significant burden in runners participating in an urban mass event. In view of the poor knowledge about injury prevention, organizers and coaches may consider offering structured preparation programs as well as tailored running-related health education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Transformational Leadership, Task-Involving Climate, and Their Implications in Male Junior Soccer Players: A Multilevel Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3649; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16193649 - 28 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1549
Abstract
Despite the well-known positive consequences of transformational coaches in sport, there is still little research exploring the mechanisms through which coaches’ transformational leadership exerts its impact on athletes. Multilevel SEM was used to examine the relationship between coaches’ transformational leadership style, a task-involving [...] Read more.
Despite the well-known positive consequences of transformational coaches in sport, there is still little research exploring the mechanisms through which coaches’ transformational leadership exerts its impact on athletes. Multilevel SEM was used to examine the relationship between coaches’ transformational leadership style, a task-involving climate, and leadership effectiveness outcome criteria (i.e., players’ extra effort, coach effectiveness, and satisfaction with their coach), separately estimating between and within effects. A representative sample of 625 Spanish male soccer players ranging from 16 to 18 years old and nested in 50 teams completed a questionnaire package tapping the variables of interest. Results confirmed that at the team level, team perceptions of transformational leadership positively predicted teams’ perceptions of task climate, which in turn positively predicted the three outcome criteria. At the individual level, players’ perceptions of transformational leadership positively predicted teams’ perceptions of task climate, which in turn positively predicted teams’ extra effort and coach effectiveness. Mediation effects appeared at the team level for all the outcome criteria, and at the individual only for extra effort. Transformational leadership is recommended to enhance task climate, in order to increase players’ extra effort, their perceptions of the effectiveness of their coach, and their satisfaction with his/her leadership style. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Effect of Time-of-Day-Exercise in Group Settings on Level of Mood and Depression of Former Elite Male Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3541; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16193541 - 22 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
Since the prevalence of depression is high among athletes at the end of their athletic career, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of time-of-day-exercise in group settings on the level of the mood and depression of former elite male [...] Read more.
Since the prevalence of depression is high among athletes at the end of their athletic career, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of time-of-day-exercise in group settings on the level of the mood and depression of former elite male athletes.Out of 187 volunteers referring to the sports counseling clinic, 71 retired male athletes who had a national championship record were randomly divided into two morning and evening exercise groups. The inclusion criteria were severe depression (high score in the Beck Depression Inventory-II), the age range of 50 to 60 years, the absence of metabolic syndrome, and the body mass index (BMI) between 28 and 35. All body composition variables were measured using body composition analysis (In Body 320; Korea). The second stage was the collection of data after three months (completion of the training protocol). After data collection, independent and dependent t-tests were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that both groups had a significant improvement in depression compared to the pre-test (p ≤ 0.05), while there was no significant difference between the two groups (p ≥ 0.05). The overall conclusion is that exercise at different times of the morning or evening can improve the psychological state and reduce depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
The Influence of Tobacco Use on Pulmonary Function in Elite Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3515; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16193515 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1213
Abstract
Objective: We sought to investigate the prevalence of smoking and lung function in the large cohort of elite athletes. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 804 athletes competing at international level who were consecutively examined from January to December 2017. Elite athletes were classified [...] Read more.
Objective: We sought to investigate the prevalence of smoking and lung function in the large cohort of elite athletes. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 804 athletes competing at international level who were consecutively examined from January to December 2017. Elite athletes were classified in four groups of sport disciplines (skill, power, endurance and mixed): skill (n = 141), power (n = 107), endurance (n = 105) and mixed sport disciplines (n = 451). All participants underwent pre-participation screening, including spirometry. Results: Study included 745 (92.7%) non-smokers, 20 (2.5%) former smokers and 39 (4.8%) active smokers. The percentage of body fat was higher and the percentage of muscle was lower in active smokers than in non-smokers and former smokers. Active smokers were more prevalent among skill and mixed than in power and endurance sports. FEV1 and FVC, as well as FEV1/FVC ratio, were significantly lower in active smokers than in non-smokers. There was no significant difference in PEF assessed in absolute values and in percentages. Forced expiratory flows, evaluated at the usual intervals (25%, 50% and 75% of FVC), were significantly lower in active smokers than in non-smokers. FEV1 and MEF25 were the lowest among active smokers in the skill sport group, whereas FEV1/FVC, MEF50 and MEF25 were the lowest among active smokers in the power sport group. In mixed and endurance disciplines there was no difference in pulmonary function between non-smokers, former smokers and active smokers. Conclusions: Pulmonary function was reduced in active smokers and these differences were the most prominent in skill and power sports. The percentage of body fat was the highest and percentage of muscle was the lowest in active smokers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Article
The Associations of Vitamin D Status with Athletic Performance and Blood-borne Markers in Adolescent Athletes: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3422; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16183422 - 14 Sep 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of vitamin D status with athletic performance and blood-borne markers in adolescent athletes. This cross-sectional study included forty-seven Taekwondo athletes, aged 15–18 years old. Athletic performance was assessed using maximal oxygen consumption (VO [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of vitamin D status with athletic performance and blood-borne markers in adolescent athletes. This cross-sectional study included forty-seven Taekwondo athletes, aged 15–18 years old. Athletic performance was assessed using maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), Wingate anaerobic power test, vertical jump, agility T-test, lower limb muscle strength, and fatigue resistance. Blood samples were collected to assess serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], free-testosterone, cortisol, creatine kinase, and urea. One-way ANOVAs were applied using Bonferroni adjusted alpha levels, which was 0.02 (i.e., 0.05/3). Multiple linear regressions analyses as well as Pearson and partial correlation analyses were used to examine the relationship among 25(OH)D concentration, athletic performance, and blood-borne markers. The participants 25(OH)D concentration were ranged from 16 to 73.25 nmol/L, indicating that 74.5% of the adolescent athletes have vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. The vitamin D status did not show any significant effects on the performance factors or blood-borne markers. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was positively correlated with mean power output (r = 0.359, p < 0.05) and relative mean power output (r = 0.325, p < 0.05) after adjusting for bone age, height, weight, training experience, lean body mass, and fat mass. However, 25(OH)D concentration was not associated with other performance-related factors and blood-borne markers. In addition, multiple linear regressions analyses revealed that serum 25(OH)D concentration were not significant predictors of athletic performance in adolescent athletes. In conclusion, vitamin D status is weakly correlated with anaerobic capacity; moreover, the underlying mechanisms of how vitamin D influence anaerobic performance is unclear in the present study. Nevertheless, the importance of vitamin D on health benefits should not be underestimated, especially during growth periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Article
Association between Club Sports Participation and Physical Fitness across 6- to 14-Year-Old Austrian Youth
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3392; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16183392 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1988
Abstract
Changes in social and built environments most likely contribute to a decline in physical activity (PA) and physical fitness in children and adolescents. Organized sports may be an important component in ensuring adequate fitness, which is an important aspect in general health and [...] Read more.
Changes in social and built environments most likely contribute to a decline in physical activity (PA) and physical fitness in children and adolescents. Organized sports may be an important component in ensuring adequate fitness, which is an important aspect in general health and well-being. The present study examines differences by club sports participation in cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility and balance in 3293 (55.1% male) Austrian children and adolescents between 6 and 14 years of age. Anthropometric measurements (height and weight) were taken and participants completed the German motor test during regular class time. Even though there was no significant difference in body weight between club sports participants and non-club sports participants, club sports participation was associated with higher physical fitness, particularly regarding endurance, strength, power, and agility. Differences by club sports participation, however, declined during the elementary school years (6–10 years of age), while they became more pronounced during middle school years (10–14 years of age). Club sports participation, therefore, may be a viable option in the promotion of physical fitness, particularly during adolescence. At younger ages, other sources of PA, such as physical education and free play, however, should be considered to ensure sufficient fitness levels that contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Does the Mode of Exercise Influence the Benefits Obtained by Green Exercise?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 3004; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16163004 - 20 Aug 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
Green exercise studies have tended to use walking as a modality of exercise to establish benefits to mental health. Whether green exercise benefits translate into different forms of green exercise has been deemed an important research gap. A mixed-methods study design was used [...] Read more.
Green exercise studies have tended to use walking as a modality of exercise to establish benefits to mental health. Whether green exercise benefits translate into different forms of green exercise has been deemed an important research gap. A mixed-methods study design was used to compare psychological responses between two forms of green exercise; golf and walking. A total of 20 participants (10 in each group), with a range of ages and experience were recruited to take part in the study. Participants in the walking condition exhibited significantly greater levels of dissociative cognitions than golf condition participants. Consequently, only the walking condition significantly improved in a directed attention test. Results from the Exercise-Induced Feeling Inventory questionnaire found the walking condition demonstrated increases in all four subscales, whereas the golf condition showed no significant improvements. Based on the findings from the qualitative analysis, distinct differences were seen with regards to the perception of the environment. Participants in the golf condition noted natural elements as obstacles to effective performance, whereas the walking group noted natural stimuli as evoking positive feelings. In agreement with the Attention Restoration Theory, the current study demonstrates that the benefits of green exercise are somewhat reduced when greater levels of directed attention towards the activity are exhibited during green exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
The Effect of Static and Dynamic Stretching Exercises on Sprint Ability of Recreational Male Volleyball Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2835; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16162835 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2490
Abstract
The aim of the present trial was to investigate the effect of two stretching programs, a dynamic and a static one, on the sprint ability of recreational volleyball players. The sample consisted of 27 male recreational volleyball players (age 21.6 ± 2.1 years, [...] Read more.
The aim of the present trial was to investigate the effect of two stretching programs, a dynamic and a static one, on the sprint ability of recreational volleyball players. The sample consisted of 27 male recreational volleyball players (age 21.6 ± 2.1 years, mean ± standard deviation, body mass 80.3 ± 8.9 kg, height 1.82 ± 0.06 m, body mass index 24.3 ± 2.5 kg.m−2, volleyball experience 7.7 ± 2.9 years). Participants were randomly divided into three groups: (a) the first performing dynamic stretching exercises three times per week, (b) the second following a static stretching protocol on the same frequency, and (c) the third being the control group, abstaining from any stretching protocol. The duration of the stretching exercise intervention period was 6 weeks, with all groups performing baseline and final field sprinting tests at 4.5 and 9 m. The post-test sprint times were faster in both the 4.5 (p = 0.027, η2 = 0.188) and 9 m tests (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.605) compared to the pre-test values. A large time × group interaction was shown in both the 4.5 (p = 0.007, η2 = 0.341) and 9 m tests (p = 0.004, η2 = 0.363) with the static and dynamic stretching groups being faster in the post-test than in the pre-test, whereas no change was found in the control group. The percentage change in the 4.5 m sprint time correlated with volleyball experience (r = −0.38, p = 0.050), i.e., the longer the volleyball experience, the larger the improvement in the 4.5 m sprint. Thus, it is concluded that both stretching techniques have a positive effect on the velocity of recreational male volleyball players, when performed at a frequency of three times per week for 6 weeks under the same conditions as defined in the study protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Effectiveness of Reverse vs. Traditional Linear Training Periodization in Triathlon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2807; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16152807 - 06 Aug 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3080
Abstract
The present research aimed to analyze the modification in performance, body composition, and autonomic modulation of reverse and traditional linear training periodization in amateur triathletes. We analyzed running and swimming performance, strength manifestation, body composition, and autonomic modulation before and after a traditional [...] Read more.
The present research aimed to analyze the modification in performance, body composition, and autonomic modulation of reverse and traditional linear training periodization in amateur triathletes. We analyzed running and swimming performance, strength manifestation, body composition, and autonomic modulation before and after a traditional linear training periodization (four weeks of volume-based training plus four weeks of intensity-based training plus two-week tapering), a reverse linear training periodization (four weeks of intensity-based training plus four weeks of volume-based training plus two-week tapering), and a free training control physical active group (10-week free training) in 32 amateur athletes. Independently of the periodization model, the combination of two four-week mesocycles followed by a two-week taper is an efficiency strategy to avoid overreaching, obtaining an increase in parasympathetic modulation. Moreover, both types of training periodization proposed in this study do not modified body composition of amateur triathletes. Also, compared with traditional periodization, reverse periodization efficiently improves horizontal jump performance. Finally, reverse and traditional periodization were an effective strategy to improve running biomechanical, performance, and physiological variables, as well as efficient periodization strategies to improve swimming technical ability, aerobic, and anaerobic swimming performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Effects of a Motivational Climate on Psychological Needs Satisfaction, Motivation and Commitment in Teen Handball Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2702; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16152702 - 29 Jul 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2218
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the motivational climate created by the coach and perceived by a group of young high-performance handball players on their sport motivation, self-determination, sport psychological needs and sport commitment. The study participants were [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the motivational climate created by the coach and perceived by a group of young high-performance handball players on their sport motivation, self-determination, sport psychological needs and sport commitment. The study participants were 479 young handball players. The age range was 16–17 years old. Players were administered a battery composed of a Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire, Sport Motivation Scale, the Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale and Sport Commitment Questionnaire to measure the above-mentioned theoretical constructs. Results showed that the handball players showed high levels of a task-involving climate, of basic psychological needs satisfaction and of self-determined motivation and commitment. Higher levels of basic psychological needs such as autonomy and competence were associated with a higher task-involving climate, self-determined index and sport commitment (task-involving climate–basic psychological needs (β = 0.55; 95% IC 0.387/0.682; p = 0.001); Ego-involving climate–basic psychological needs (β = 0.06; 95% IC −0.069/0.181; p = 0.387); Basic psychological needs–self-determined index (β = 0.48; 95% IC 0.376/0.571; p = 0.001); Self-determined index–commitment (β = 0.58; 95% IC 0.488/0.663; p = 0.001). The obtained model showed that basic psychological needs mediated the association between a task-involving climate and self-determination, and self-determination mediated the association between basic psychological needs satisfaction and commitment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Motivation in the Athens Classic Marathon: The Role of Sex, Age, and Performance Level in Greek Recreational Marathon Runners
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2549; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16142549 - 17 Jul 2019
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 1416
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to examine the motivation of recreational runners and its variation by sex, age, and performance level. Finishers (female: n = 32, age 40.1 ± 9.0 years old, height 162 ± 7 cm, body mass 57.7 ± [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to examine the motivation of recreational runners and its variation by sex, age, and performance level. Finishers (female: n = 32, age 40.1 ± 9.0 years old, height 162 ± 7 cm, body mass 57.7 ± 7.5 kg, race record 4:34 ± 0:39 h:min; male: n = 134, 44.2 ± 8.6 years, 176 ± 6 cm, 77.0 ± 9.3 kg, 4:02 ± 0:44 h:min) in the Athens Classic Marathon 2017 completed the Motivations of Marathoners Scales (MOMS) 56-item questionnaire. The highest scores in the MOMS were observed in the general health orientation and personal goal achievement categories, and the lowest in the recognition and competition areas. Female participants scored higher in coping, self-esteem, and goal achievement than their male counterparts (p < 0.05). The <30 age group scored higher than the 35–40 and 40–45 age groups in “competing with other runners” for male participants (p < 0.05). The average performance group outscored the slowest group in “achieving personal goals” and “competing with other runners” in female participants, whereas an effect of performance on these two themes was shown in male participants as well (p < 0.05). In summary, we partially confirmed that female and male marathon runners differ for their motivations. In addition, novel findings were the identification of age and performance level as correlates of motivations. The knowledge of these trends would be of great practical value for practitioners to optimize the motivation of their athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
Women Reduce the Performance Difference to Men with Increasing Age in Ultra-Marathon Running
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2377; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16132377 - 04 Jul 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
Age and sex are well-known factors influencing ultra-marathon race performance. The fact that women in older age groups are able to achieve a similar performance as men has been documented in swimming. In ultra-marathon running, knowledge is still limited. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Age and sex are well-known factors influencing ultra-marathon race performance. The fact that women in older age groups are able to achieve a similar performance as men has been documented in swimming. In ultra-marathon running, knowledge is still limited. The aim of this study was to analyze sex-specific performance in ultra-marathon running according to age and distance. All ultra-marathon races documented in the online database of the German Society for Ultra-Marathon from 1964 to 2017 for 50-mile races (i.e., 231,980 records from 91,665 finishers) and from 1953 to 2017 for 100-mile races (i.e., 107,445 records from 39,870 finishers) were analyzed. In 50-mile races, race times were 11.74 ± 1.95 h for men and 12.31 ± 1.69 h for women. In 100-mile races, race times were 26.6 ± 3.49 h for men and 27.47 ± 3.6 h for women. The sex differences decreased with older age and were smaller in 100-mile (4.41%) than in 50-mile races (9.13%). The overall age of peak performance was 33 years for both distances. In summary, women reduced the performance difference to men with advancing age, the relative difference being smaller in 100-mile compared to 50-mile races. These findings might aid coaches and ultra-marathon runners set long-term training goals considering their sex and age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
American Masters Road Running Records—The Performance Gap Between Female and Male Age Group Runners from 5 Km to 6 Days Running
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2310; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16132310 - 29 Jun 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Recent studies investigating elite and master athletes in pool- and long-distance open-water swimming showed for elite swimmers that the fastest women were able to outperform the fastest men, and for master athletes that elderly women were able to achieve a similar performance to [...] Read more.
Recent studies investigating elite and master athletes in pool- and long-distance open-water swimming showed for elite swimmers that the fastest women were able to outperform the fastest men, and for master athletes that elderly women were able to achieve a similar performance to elderly men. The present study investigating age group records in runners from 5 km to 6 days aimed to test this hypothesis for master runners. Data from the American Master Road Running Records were analyzed, for 5 km, 8 km, 10 km, 10 miles, 20 km, half-marathon, 25 km, 30 km, marathon, 50 km, 50 miles, 100 km, 100 miles, 12 h, 24 h, 48 h and 144 h, for athletes in age groups ranging from 40 to 99 years old. The performance gap between men and women showed higher effects in events lengthening from 5 km to 10 miles (d = 0.617) and lower effects in events lengthening from 12 to 144 h (d = 0.304) running. Both other groups showed similar effects, being 20 km to the marathon (d = 0.607) and 50 km to 100 miles (d = 0.563). The performance gap between men and women showed higher effects in the age groups 85 years and above (d = 0.953) followed by 55 to 69 years (d = 0.633), and lower effects for the age groups 40 to 54 years (d = 0.558) and 70 to 84 years (d = 0.508). In summary, men are faster than women in American road running events, however, the sex gap decreases with increasing age but not with increasing event length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Article
New 20 m Progressive Shuttle Test Protocol and Equation for Predicting the Maximal Oxygen Uptake of Korean Adolescents Aged 13–18 Years
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2265; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16132265 - 27 Jun 2019
Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Background: Although several equations for predicting VO2max in children and adolescents have been reported, the validity of application of these equations to the Korean population has not been verified. The purpose of study was to develop and validate regression models to [...] Read more.
Background: Although several equations for predicting VO2max in children and adolescents have been reported, the validity of application of these equations to the Korean population has not been verified. The purpose of study was to develop and validate regression models to estimate maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) using a newly developed 20 m progressive shuttle test (20 m PST) protocol in Korean male (n = 80, 15.3 ± 1.86 years) and female (n = 81, 15.5 ± 1.73 years) adolescents aged 13–18 years. Methods: The modified 20 m PST was performed and the VO2max was assessed in a sample of 161 participants. The participants underwent a treadmill test (TT) in the laboratory and the modified 20 m PST in a gymnasium. For the validation study, the participants performed the TT with a stationary metabolic cart and the 20 m PST with a portable metabolic cart once. In addition, they performed the 20 m PST two more times to establish test–retest reliability. Results: The mean VO2max (49.6 ± 8.7 mL·kg−1·min−1) measured with the potable metabolic cart was significantly higher than that measured in the graded exercise test with the stationary metabolic cart (46.6 ± 8.9 mL·kg−1·min−1, p < 0.001) using the new 20 m PST protocol. The standard error of the estimate (SEE) between these two measurements was 1.35 mL·kg−1·min−1. However, the VO2max derived from the newly developed equation was 46.7 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1 (p > 0.05) and the SEE was 2.90 mL·kg−1·min−1. The test and retest trials of the 20 m PST yielded comparable results (laps, r = 0.96; last speed, r = 0.93). Conclusions: Our data suggest that the new 20 m PST protocol is valid and reliable and that the equation developed in this study provides a valid estimate of VO2max in Korean male and female adolescents aged 13–18 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Review

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Review
A Matter of Degrees: A Systematic Review of the Ergogenic Effect of Pre-Cooling in Highly Trained Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082952 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1439
Abstract
The current systematic review evaluated the effects of different pre-cooling techniques on sports performance in highly-trained athletes under high temperature conditions. PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, CENTRAL, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched from inception to December 2019. Studies performing pre-cooling interventions in [...] Read more.
The current systematic review evaluated the effects of different pre-cooling techniques on sports performance in highly-trained athletes under high temperature conditions. PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, CENTRAL, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched from inception to December 2019. Studies performing pre-cooling interventions in non-acclimatized highly-trained athletes (>55 mL/kg/min of maximal oxygen consumption) under heat conditions (≥30 °C) were included. The searched reported 26 articles. Pre-cooling techniques can be external (exposure to ice water, cold packs, or cooling clothes), internal (intake of cold water or ice), or mixed. Cooling prior to exercise concluded increases in distance covered (1.5–13.1%), mean power output (0.9–6.9%), time to exhaustion (19–31.9%), work (0.1–8.5%), and mean peak torque (10.4–22.6%), as well as reductions in completion time (0.6–6.5%). Mixed strategies followed by cold water immersion seem to be the most effective techniques, being directly related with the duration of cooling and showing the major effects in prolonged exercise protocols. The present review showed that pre-cooling methods are an effective strategy to increase sports performance in hot environments. This improvement is associated with the body surface exposed and its sensibility, as well as the time of application, obtaining the best results in prolonged physical exercise protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Review
Atrial Fibrillation in Athletes—Features of Development, Current Approaches to the Treatment, and Prevention of Complications
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4890; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244890 - 04 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1543
Abstract
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common types of cardiac arrhythmias. This review article highlights the problem of the development of atrial fibrillation in individuals engaged in physical activity and sports. Predisposing factors, causes, and development mechanisms of atrial fibrillation in [...] Read more.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common types of cardiac arrhythmias. This review article highlights the problem of the development of atrial fibrillation in individuals engaged in physical activity and sports. Predisposing factors, causes, and development mechanisms of atrial fibrillation in athletes from the perspective of the authors are described. Methods of treatment, as well as prevention of thromboembolic complications, are discussed. Directions for further studies of this problem and prevention of complications are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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