Biological Mechanisms Underlying Physical Fitness and Sports Performance

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (16 May 2022) | Viewed by 101256

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Special Issue Editors

Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Sport and Leisure, 4960-320 Melgaço, Portugal
Interests: football; soccer; match analysis; performance analysis; network analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Physiology and Biochemistry Department, Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: biology; biochemistry and physiology of exercise; exercise and performance; exercise monitoring; physical activity assessment; exercise benefits; physiological adaptation; adipose tissue; adipokines; myokines; BDNF; irisin; neuroplasticity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to have this Special Issue on “Biological Mechanisms Underlying Physical Fitness and Sports Performance” in the Biology journal.

In general, the concept of mechanism in biology has three distinct meanings. It may refer to a philosophical thesis about the nature of life and biology, to the internal workings of a machine-like structure, or to the causal explanation of a particular phenomenon. In this Special Issue, we try to discuss these possible biological mechanisms that underly the beneficial effects of physical fitness and sports performance, as well their importance and role/influences on physical health.

Understanding the biological mechanisms that justify acute and chronic physiological responses to exercise interventions is determinant to sustain training principles and training methods. A strong understanding of the effects of exercise in humans may help to identify which causes may justify specific biological changes and properly identify the most adequate processes for implementing the training stimulus.

Despite the significant body of knowledge regarding the physiological and physical effects of different training methods (based on dimensions of load), some of the biological causes for those changes are still unknown. Additionally, few studies have focused on the natural biological variability in humans and how specific properties of humans may justify different effects for the same training intervention. Thus, more original research is needed to provide plausible biological mechanisms that may explain the physiological and physical effects of exercise and training in humans.

In this Special Issue, we welcome the contributions that describe and list the link between physical fitness, sports performance and human biology. Your contribution is welcome in the form of an original article, case report, commentary, and systematic review with meta-analysis. This Special Issue offers the opportunity to address the following types of topics:

(i) biological mechanisms related to acute and chronic responses to training stimulus and/or physical activity;

(ii) biological variability and associations to different training methods;

(iii) physiological and physical adaptations to specific training interventions;

(iv) biological mechanisms of recovery after exercise;

(v) clinical exercise.

Dr. Filipe Manuel Clemente
Dr. Badicu Georgian
Dr. Eugenia Murawska-Ciałowicz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • bioenergetics
  • biological mechanisms
  • physical fitness
  • athletic performance
  • sport performance psychophysiological
  • training load
  • sports and exercise physiology
  • physical health

Published Papers (29 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 218 KiB  
Editorial
Biological Mechanisms Underlying Physical Fitness and Sports Performance: An Editorial
Biology 2022, 11(10), 1425; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11101425 - 29 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1094
Abstract
In general, the concept of a mechanism in biology has three distinct meanings [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

15 pages, 2132 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of 10-Week Neuromuscular Training Program on Body Composition of Elite Female Soccer Players
Biology 2022, 11(7), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11071062 - 17 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2903
Abstract
(1) Background: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of a 10-week neuromuscular training program (NMT) on the sum of six skinfolds (Σ6S) and body composition variables in elite female soccer players. (2) Methods: Forty-four Spanish elite female soccer players (age: 24.0 [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of a 10-week neuromuscular training program (NMT) on the sum of six skinfolds (Σ6S) and body composition variables in elite female soccer players. (2) Methods: Forty-four Spanish elite female soccer players (age: 24.0 ± 4.2 years; height: 164.3 ± 5.5 cm; body mass: 60.4 ± 5.5 kg; body mass index (BMI): 22.4 ± 2.2 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to a control group (CG) or to an experimental group (EG). Participants in the EG completed a specific NMT program of 24 min, three times per week, which included exercises from six different categories (mobility, dynamic stability, anterior chain strength, lumbopelvic control, posterior chain strength, and change of direction). The CG followed their normal strength and conditioning program. Pre- and post-intervention assessments included anthropometric measurements (weight, height, limb circumferences, and bone breadths), and subsequently, body composition factors BMI, Σ6S, body mass, muscle mass, and lean body mass were calculated. Nutrition was standardized by a nutritionist and also load monitored. (3) Results: A two-way mixed analysis of variance (group × time) revealed that there was a significant (p ≤ 0.001) group × time interaction between body mass, fat mass, and Σ6S in favor of NMT. A significant interaction was also observed for body skeletal muscle mass and lean body mass favoring NMT. (4) Conclusions: The application of an NMT program seems to be a useful strategy to improve body composition in elite female soccer players. Full article
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12 pages, 1238 KiB  
Article
Effects of Dominance and Sprint Interval Exercise on Testosterone and Cortisol Levels in Strength-, Endurance-, and Non-Training Men
Biology 2022, 11(7), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11070961 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2217
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the response of testosterone and cortisol to sprint interval exercises (SIEs) and to determine the role of dominance. The experiment was conducted in a group of 96 men, divided into endurance-training, strength-training, and non-training groups. [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the response of testosterone and cortisol to sprint interval exercises (SIEs) and to determine the role of dominance. The experiment was conducted in a group of 96 men, divided into endurance-training, strength-training, and non-training groups. Participants performed SIEs consisting of 5 × 10-s all-out bouts with a 50-s active recovery. Using the passive drool method, testosterone and cortisol concentrations were measured in saliva samples at rest at 10 min pre and 12 min post exercise. Participants’ heart rate (HR) was measured during the whole exercise. Dominance was assessed by the participants before the study; the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was measured immediately after each bout. The study showed that those who trained in endurance and strength sports had significantly lower mean HRs after five acute 10-s interval bouts than those in the non-training group (p = 0.006 and p = 0.041, respectively). Dominance has an inverse relation to changes in HR; however, it has no relation to hormone response. No significant differences were observed in testosterone and cortisol changes in the endurance-training, strength-training, and non-training groups after SIE (p > 0.05), which may indicate that the exercise volume was too low. Full article
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12 pages, 717 KiB  
Article
Temporal Skin Temperature as an Indicator of Cardiorespiratory Fitness Assessed with Selected Methods
Biology 2022, 11(7), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11070948 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine whether there are associations between cardiovascular fitness (and aerobic capacity) and changes in temporal skin temperature during and after a single bout of high-intensity exercise. Twenty-three men with varying levels of physical activity (VO2 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine whether there are associations between cardiovascular fitness (and aerobic capacity) and changes in temporal skin temperature during and after a single bout of high-intensity exercise. Twenty-three men with varying levels of physical activity (VO2max: 59.03 ± 11.19 (mL/kg/min), body mass 71.5 ± 10.4 (kg), body height 179 ± 8 (cm)) participated in the study. Each subject performed an incremental test and, after a 48-h interval, a 110%Pmax power test combined with an analysis of the thermal parameters, heart rate recovery and heart rate variability. Thermal radiation density from the body surface (temple) was measured using a Sonel KT384 thermal imaging camera immediately after warm-up (Tb), immediately after exercise (Te) and 120 sec after the end of exercise (Tr). The differences between measurements were then calculated. The correlation analysis between the thermal and cardiovascular function parameters during the recovery period showed strong positive associations between the Tr-Te difference and measures of cardiovascular fitness (50 < r < 69, p < 0.05). For example, the correlation coefficient between Tr-Te and VO2max reached 0.55 and between Tr-Te and Pmax reached 0.68. The results obtained indicate that the measurement of temporal temperature during and after an intense 3-min bout of exercise can be used to assess aerobic physical capacity and cardiovascular fitness. Full article
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14 pages, 588 KiB  
Article
In-Season Quantification and Relationship of External and Internal Intensity, Sleep Quality, and Psychological or Physical Stressors of Semi-Professional Soccer Players
Biology 2022, 11(3), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11030467 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2122
Abstract
The purpose of this study was two-fold: (a) to describe and analyse the relationship of the in-season variations of external and internal intensity metrics as well as well-being measures across different periods of a semi-professional soccer season (early-, mid- and end-season); and (b) [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was two-fold: (a) to describe and analyse the relationship of the in-season variations of external and internal intensity metrics as well as well-being measures across different periods of a semi-professional soccer season (early-, mid- and end-season); and (b) to describe training monotony (TM) and training strain (TS) for 20 weeks in a semi-professional soccer season. Eighteen semi-professional players (age: 29 ± 4.1) from the Asian First League team participated in this study. The players were monitored for 20 consecutive weeks during in-season for external training intensity, internal training intensity and well-being parameters. The in-season was organized into three periods: early-season (weeks 1–7); mid-season (weeks 8–13); and end-season (weeks 14–20). Total distance (TD), high-speed running distance (HSRD), sprint distance, rate of perceived exertion (RPE), session-RPE (s-RPE), TM, TS, heart rate average and maximum, as well as sleep quality, stress and muscle soreness were collected. Results revealed that TD, HSRD and sprint distance (total values) were meaningfully greater during end-season than in the early-season. RPE showed a significantly highest value during the end-season (4.27 AU) than in early- (3.68 AU) and mid-season (3.65 AU), p < 0.01. TS showed significant differences between early-season with mid-season (p = 0.011) and end-season (p < 0.01), and the highest value occurred in week 17 during end-season (6656.51 AU), while the lowest value occurred in week 4 during early-season (797.17 AU). The average TD periods showed a moderate to large correlation with RPE, sleep and s-RPE at early-, mid- and end-season. Increasing the training intensity without considering the well-being of the players affects the performance of the team. Examining processes of the relationship between training intensity and other psychological indicators among players will probably be effective in training planning. Sports coaches and fitness professionals should be wary of changes in TM and TS that affect players performance. Therefore, to better control the training, more consideration should be given by the coaches. Full article
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15 pages, 1220 KiB  
Article
Prevalence of Positive Effects on Body Fat Percentage, Cardiovascular Parameters, and Cardiorespiratory Fitness after 10-Week High-Intensity Interval Training in Adolescents
Biology 2022, 11(3), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11030424 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2053
Abstract
Analysis of the interventions on cardiovascular disease risk factors focuses on quantitative changes, omitting assessment of positive effect frequency in individuals. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of positive effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on body composition, cardiovascular [...] Read more.
Analysis of the interventions on cardiovascular disease risk factors focuses on quantitative changes, omitting assessment of positive effect frequency in individuals. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of positive effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on body composition, cardiovascular parameters, and cardiorespiratory fitness among adolescents. A total of 52 boys and 89 girls from a secondary school were separated into an experimental group (EG) with HIIT and a control group (CG). Body fat % (BFP), resting systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and fitness index (FI) changes were calculated. We assessed the influence and interaction of three factors: intervention (INT), sex (SEX), and body mass index (BMIstatus) on the ratio of individuals with and without positive changes. We used log-linear models for interactions and multivariate correspondence analysis (MCA). The results indicate that HIIT affects the prevalence of positive changes in SBP, DBP, and FI. Interactions between factors suggest boys with low BMI get more benefit from the intervention than girls. The MCA indicates a relationship between FI and BFP and between BP parameters. The effectiveness of HIIT was confirmed concerning the prevalence of the positive changes in measured parameters. We suggest that HIIT should be implemented in PE lessons, although there is a need to look for a more efficient method for girls. Full article
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14 pages, 1571 KiB  
Article
The Acute Effects of Normobaric Hypoxia on Strength, Muscular Endurance and Cognitive Function: Influence of Dose and Sex
Biology 2022, 11(2), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020309 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3244
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the acute effects of different levels of hypoxia on maximal strength, muscular endurance, and cognitive function in males and females. In total, 13 males (mean ± SD: age, 23.6 ± 2.8 years; height, 176.6 ± [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the acute effects of different levels of hypoxia on maximal strength, muscular endurance, and cognitive function in males and females. In total, 13 males (mean ± SD: age, 23.6 ± 2.8 years; height, 176.6 ± 3.9 cm; body mass, 76.6 ± 2.1 kg) and 13 females (mean ± SD: age, 22.8 ± 1.4 years; height, 166.4 ± 1.9 cm; body mass, 61.6 ± 3.4 kg) volunteered for a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. Participants completed a one repetition strength and muscular endurance test (60% of one repetition maximum to failure) for squat and bench press following four conditions; (i) normoxia (900 m altitude; FiO2: 21%); (ii) low dose hypoxia (2000 m altitude; FiO2: 16%); (iii) moderate dose hypoxia (3000 m altitude; FiO2: 14%); and (iv) high dose hypoxia (4000 m altitude; FiO2: 12%). Heart rate, blood lactate, rating of perceived exertion, and cognitive function was also determined during each condition. The one repetition maximum squat (p = 0.33) and bench press (p = 0.68) did not differ between conditions or sexes. Furthermore, squat endurance did not differ between conditions (p = 0.34). There was a significant decrease in bench press endurance following moderate (p = 0.02; p = 0.04) and high (p = 0.01; p = 0.01) doses of hypoxia in both males and females compared to normoxia and low dose hypoxia, respectively. Cognitive function, ratings of perceived exertion, and lactate were also significantly different in high and moderate dose hypoxia conditions compared to normoxia (p < 0.05). Heart rate was not different between the conditions (p = 0.30). In conclusion, high and moderate doses of acute normobaric hypoxia decrease upper body muscular endurance and cognitive performance regardless of sex; however, lower body muscular endurance and maximal strength are not altered. Full article
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10 pages, 1626 KiB  
Article
Effect of Concurrent Resistance Training on Lower Body Strength, Leg Kick Swimming, and Sport-Specific Performance in Competitive Swimmers
Biology 2022, 11(2), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020299 - 12 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2724
Abstract
The present study investigated the effect of 9 weeks of combined resistance training (aquatic and dry land resistance) on maximum lower body strength, leg kick, and swimming performance in competitive swimmers. Twenty-two male national competitive swimmers were randomly assigned into two groups: experimental [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the effect of 9 weeks of combined resistance training (aquatic and dry land resistance) on maximum lower body strength, leg kick, and swimming performance in competitive swimmers. Twenty-two male national competitive swimmers were randomly assigned into two groups: experimental group (EG: age = 16.2 ± 0.3 years) or control group (CG: age = 16.3 ± 0.3 years). The EG performed a combined resistance training while the CG group completed their usual training. One repetition maximum (1RM) back squat, 30 m leg kick, and swimming performance (100 m front crawl, start and turn) were evaluated in pre and post test. The findings showed a significant increase in 1RM back squat (d = 1.90; 14.94 ± 1.32%) after 9 weeks of combined resistance training. In addition, ours results revealed a significant improvement in 30 m leg kick swimming (d = 2.11; 5.84 ± 0.16%) and in all swimming, start and turn performances (d = 1.83 to 2.77; 2.69 ± 0.18% to 15.14 ± 1.06%) in EG. All dependent variables remained unchanged in the CG. To sum up, 9 weeks of combined resistance training can improve the maximum lower body strength and leg kick swimming performance. These improvements can be the essential factors that subsequently positively affected swimming, start and turn performances. Combined resistance training is an effective training that can be incorporated by coaches and swimmers into their programs to improve strength, leg kick swimming, and, subsequently, swimming performance in competitive swimmers. Full article
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11 pages, 1635 KiB  
Article
Is the Secret in the Gut? SuperJump Activity Improves Bone Remodeling and Glucose Homeostasis by GLP-1 and GIP Peptides in Eumenorrheic Women
Biology 2022, 11(2), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020296 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
We showed that twenty weeks of SuperJump activity, an innovative workout training performed on an elastic minitrampoline, reduced bone resorption and increased bone formation in eumenorrheic women acting on the key points of the regulation of bone metabolism. The present study analyzed whether [...] Read more.
We showed that twenty weeks of SuperJump activity, an innovative workout training performed on an elastic minitrampoline, reduced bone resorption and increased bone formation in eumenorrheic women acting on the key points of the regulation of bone metabolism. The present study analyzed whether the gastrointestinal hormones are involved in the mechanism of action and if it has an impact on glucose homeostasis. The control group was composed of twelve women, similar to the exercise group that performed SuperJump activity for twenty weeks. The analysis was performed on blood samples and investigated GLP-1, GIP, GLP-2, PYY, ghrelin, glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, β-cell function, and insulin sensitivity. The results showed that the activity contributes to raising the GLP-1and GIP levels, and not on GLP-2, PYY, and ghrelin, which did not change. Moreover, SuperJump activity significantly reduced fasting insulin, glucose, insulin resistance, and increased insulin sensitivity but did not affect beta cell function. These data suggest that GLP-1, and GIP are involved in the mechanism of action that improves bone and glucose homeostasis following 20 weeks of SuperJump activity in eumenorrheic women. Full article
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17 pages, 709 KiB  
Article
Vibrating Exercise Equipment in Middle-Age and Older Women with Chronic Low Back Pain and Effects on Bioelectrical Activity, Range of Motion and Pain Intensity: A Randomized, Single-Blinded Sham Intervention Study
Biology 2022, 11(2), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020268 - 08 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2467
Abstract
Background: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders. Physical activity (PA) is often recommended as part of the management of CLBP, but to date, no one particular exercise has been shown to be superior. Vibrating exercise equipment [...] Read more.
Background: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders. Physical activity (PA) is often recommended as part of the management of CLBP, but to date, no one particular exercise has been shown to be superior. Vibrating exercise equipment (VEE) is widely available and used despite little scientific evidence to support its effectiveness in the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal problems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of using VEE compared with sham-VEE in women with CLBP. Methods: A randomized (1:1 randomization scheme) single-blinded sham-controlled intervention study was conducted. Through simple randomization, 92 women aged 49–80 years were assigned to one of two groups: VEE (the experimental group) and sham-VEE (the control group). The VEE and sham-VEE intervention consisted of aerobic exercises with specific handheld equipment. Both groups performed physical activity twice weekly for 10 weeks. The erector spinae muscles’ bioelectrical activity (using an eight-channel electromyograph MyoSystem 1400L), lumbar range of motion (Schober’s test) and pain intensity (visual analog scale) were measured in all participants at baseline and after 10 weeks. Results: There was a significant decrease in the bioelectrical activity of the erector spinae muscles during flexion movement (left: Me = 18.2 before; Me = 14.1 after; p = 0.045; right: Me = 15.4 before; Me = 12.6 after; p = 0.010), rest at maximum flexion (left: Me = 18.1 before; Me = 12.5 after; p = 0.038), extension movement (right: Me = 21.8 before; Me = 20.2 after; p = 0.031) and rest in a prone position (right: Me = 3.5 before; Me = 3.2 after; 0.049); an increase in lumbar range of motion (Me = 17.0 before; Me = 18.0 after; p = 0.0017) and a decrease in pain intensity (Me = 4.0 before; Me = 1.0 after; p = 0.001) following a program of PA in the VEE group. Conclusions: No significant changes were found in intergroup comparisons. The beneficial changes regarding decreased subjective pain sensation in the VEE and sham-VEE groups may be due to participation in systematic physical activity. However, PA with vibrating exercise equipment could be a prospective strategy for increasing lumbar range of motion and for decreasing pain and erector spinae muscle activity in people with CLBP. Full article
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12 pages, 524 KiB  
Article
Effects of 8 Weeks of High-Intensity Interval Training and Spirulina Supplementation on Immunoglobin Levels, Cardio-Respiratory Fitness, and Body Composition of Overweight and Obese Women
Biology 2022, 11(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020196 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3877
Abstract
Our study examined the effect of 8 weeks of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and spirulina supplementation on the humoral immunity, cardio-respiratory fitness, and body composition of overweight and obese women. Thirty sedentary women (height: 161.7 ± 2.8 cm, body mass: 75.8 ± 8.4 [...] Read more.
Our study examined the effect of 8 weeks of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and spirulina supplementation on the humoral immunity, cardio-respiratory fitness, and body composition of overweight and obese women. Thirty sedentary women (height: 161.7 ± 2.8 cm, body mass: 75.8 ± 8.4 kg, body mass index [BMI]: 28.8 ± 2.5 kg/m2, age: 25.1 ± 6.7 years) were divided into three groups: placebo with HIIT group, spirulina group (SG), or combined group (CG). Exercise groups performed HIIT for 8 weeks, with three sessions per week and four to seven repetitions in each session of 30 s running and 30 s walking; the intensity was established at 90% of the maximum heart rate. Supplementation groups received 6 g of spirulina powder per day. Fasting blood samples were collected before and after 8 weeks to determine the concentrations of immunoglobulins (IgA and IgG). There was a significant group-by-time interaction for fat free mass (FFM; p = 0.001, f = 8.52, ηp2 = 0.39) and IgA (p = 0.036, f = 3.86, ηp2 = 0.22). The post hoc analysis revealed that CG reduced FFM significantly (p = 0.012, g = −0.55) after training. CG and SG showed significantly greater IgA concentrations after 8 weeks (p = 0.02, g = 0.70 and p = 0.001, g = 0.34, respectively). We conclude that spirulina supplementation with HIIT affects the body composition (lower FFM) but also boosts IgA, which plays an important role in the immune system. Full article
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17 pages, 1113 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Combined Effects of Citrulline and Nitrate-Rich Beetroot Extract Supplementation on Recovery Status in Trained Male Triathletes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Biology 2022, 11(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010075 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 6576
Abstract
Citrulline (CIT) and nitrate-rich beetroot extract (BR) are widely studied ergogenic aids. Nevertheless, both supplements have been studied in short-term trials and separately. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the effects of combining CIT and BR supplementation on recovery status observed by [...] Read more.
Citrulline (CIT) and nitrate-rich beetroot extract (BR) are widely studied ergogenic aids. Nevertheless, both supplements have been studied in short-term trials and separately. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the effects of combining CIT and BR supplementation on recovery status observed by distance covered in the Cooper test, exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and anabolic/catabolic hormone status have not been investigated to date. Therefore, the main purpose of this research was to assess the effect of the long-term (9 weeks) mixture of 3 g/day of CIT plus 2.1 g/day of BR (300 mg/day of nitrates (NO3)) supplementation on recovery by distance covered in the Cooper test, EIMD markers (urea, creatinine, AST, ALT, GGT, LDH and CK) and anabolic/catabolic hormones (testosterone, cortisol and testosterone/cortisol ratio (T/C)) in male trained triathletes. Thirty-two triathletes were randomized into four different groups of eight triathletes in this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial: placebo group (PLG), CIT group (CITG; 3 g/day of CIT), BR group (BRG; 2.1 g/day of BR (300 mg/day of NO3)) and CIT-BR group (CIT-BRG; 3 g/day of CIT plus 2.1 g/day of BR (300 mg/day of NO3)). Distance covered in the Cooper test and blood samples were collected from all participants at baseline (T1) and after 9 weeks of supplementation (T2). There were no significant differences in the interaction between group and time in EIMD markers (urea, creatinine, AST, ALT, GGT, LDH and CK) (p > 0.05). However, significant differences were observed in the group-by-time interaction in distance covered in the Cooper test (p = 0.002; η2p = 0.418), cortisol (p = 0.044; η2p = 0.247) and T/C (p = 0.005; η2p = 0.359). Concretely, significant differences were observed in distance covered in the Cooper test percentage of change (p = 0.002; η2p = 0.418) between CIT-BRG and PLG and CITG, in cortisol percentage change (p = 0.049; η2p = 0.257) and in T/C percentage change (p = 0.018; η2p = 0.297) between CIT-BRG and PLG. In conclusion, the combination of 3 g/day of CIT plus 2.1 g/day of BR (300 mg/day of NO3) supplementation for 9 weeks did not present any benefit for EIMD. However, CIT + BR improved recovery status by preventing an increase in cortisol and showing an increase in distance covered in the Cooper test and T/C. Full article
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13 pages, 1071 KiB  
Article
High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Cardiac Autonomic Function in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Biology 2022, 11(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010066 - 02 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2524
Abstract
Different exercise models have been used in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), like moderate intensity continuous training (MICT) and high intensity interval training (HIIT); however, their effects on autonomic modulation are unknown. The present study aimed to compare the effects of [...] Read more.
Different exercise models have been used in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), like moderate intensity continuous training (MICT) and high intensity interval training (HIIT); however, their effects on autonomic modulation are unknown. The present study aimed to compare the effects of different exercise modes on autonomic modulation in patients with T2D. In total, 44 adults with >5 years of T2D diagnosis were recruited and stratified into three groups: HIIT-30:30 (n = 15, age 59.13 ± 5.57 years) that performed 20 repetitions of 30 s at 100% of VO2peak with passive recovery, HIIT-2:2 (n = 14, age 61.20 ± 2.88) that performed 5 repetitions of 2 min at 100% of VO2peak with passive recovery, and MICT (n = 15, age 58.50 ± 5.26) that performed 14 min of continuous exercise at 70% of VO2peak. All participants underwent anamnesis and evaluation of cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiac autonomic modulation. All protocols were equated by total distance and were performed two times per week for 8 weeks. Group × time interactions were observed for resting heart rate (HRrest) [F(2.82) = 3.641; p = 0.031] and SDNN [F(2.82) = 3.462; p = 0.036]. Only the HIIT-30:30 group significantly reduced SDNN (p = 0.002 and 0.025, respectively). HRrest reduced more in the HIIT-30:30 group compared with the MICT group (p = 0.038). Group × time interactions were also observed for offTAU [F(2.82) = 3.146; p = 0.048] and offTMR [F(2.82) = 4.424; p = 0.015]. The MICT group presented increased values of offTAU compared with the HIIT-30:30 and HIIT-2:2 groups (p = 0.001 and 0.013, respectively), representing a slower HR response after eight weeks of intervention. HIIT, specially HIIT-30:30, represents a promising measure for improving autonomic modulation in patients with T2D. Full article
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10 pages, 299 KiB  
Article
Acid–Base Balance, Blood Gases Saturation, and Technical Tactical Skills in Kickboxing Bouts According to K1 Rules
Biology 2022, 11(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010065 - 02 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2406
Abstract
Background: Acid–base balance (ABB) is a major component of homeostasis, which is determined by the efficient functioning of many organs, including the lungs, kidneys, and liver, and the proper water and electrolyte exchange between these components. The efforts made during competitions by combat [...] Read more.
Background: Acid–base balance (ABB) is a major component of homeostasis, which is determined by the efficient functioning of many organs, including the lungs, kidneys, and liver, and the proper water and electrolyte exchange between these components. The efforts made during competitions by combat sports athletes such as kickboxers require a very good anaerobic capacity, which, as research has shown, can be improved by administering sodium bicarbonate. Combat sports are also characterized by an open task structure, which means that cognitive and executive functions must be maintained at an appropriate level during a fight. The aim of our study was to analyze the changes in ABB in capillary blood, measuring levels of H+, pCO2, pO2, HCO3, BE and total molar CO2 concentration (TCO2), which were recorded 3 and 20 min after a three-round kickboxing bout, and the level of technical and tactical skills presented during the fight. Methods: The study involved 14 kickboxers with the highest skill level (champion level). Statistical comparison of mentioned variables recorded prior to and after a bout was done with the use of Friedman’s ANOVA. Results: 3 min after a bout, H+ and pO2 were higher by 41% and 11.9%, respectively, while pCO2, HCO3, BE and TO2 were lower by 14.5%, 39.4%, 45.4% and 34.4%, respectively. Furthermore, 20 min after the bout all variables tended to normalization and they did not differ significantly compared to the baseline values. Scores in activeness of the attack significantly correlated (r = 0.64) with pre–post changes in TCO2. Conclusions: The disturbances in ABB and changes in blood oxygen and carbon dioxide saturation observed immediately after a bout indicate that anaerobic metabolism plays a large part in kickboxing fights. Anaerobic training should be included in strength and conditioning programs for kickboxers to prepare the athletes for the physiological requirements of sports combat. Full article
13 pages, 1477 KiB  
Article
Effects of Resistance Training on Oxidative Stress Markers and Muscle Damage in Spinal Cord Injured Rats
Biology 2022, 11(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010032 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2848
Abstract
Background: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a condition that affects the central nervous system, is characterized by motor and sensory impairments, and impacts individuals’ lives. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of resistance training on oxidative stress and muscle [...] Read more.
Background: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a condition that affects the central nervous system, is characterized by motor and sensory impairments, and impacts individuals’ lives. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of resistance training on oxidative stress and muscle damage in spinal cord injured rats. Methodology: Forty Wistar rats were selected and divided equally into five groups: Healthy Control (CON), Sham (SHAM) SCI Untrained group (SCI-U), SCI Trained group (SCI- T), SCI Active Trained group (SCI- AT). Animals in the trained groups were submitted to an incomplete SCI at T9. Thereafter, they performed a protocol of resistance training for four weeks. Results: Significant differences in muscle damage markers and oxidative stress in the trained groups, mainly in SCI- AT, were found. On the other hand, SCI- U group presented higher levels of oxidative stress and biomarkers of LDH and AST. Conclusion: The results highlight that resistance training promoted a decrease in oxidative stress and a significative response in muscle damage markers. Full article
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9 pages, 994 KiB  
Article
Physical Training Increases Erythroferrone Levels in Men
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111215 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1754
Abstract
Intense physical activity contributes to an increased demand for red blood cells, which transport oxygen to working muscles. The purpose of this study was to assess the concentration of erythroferrone (ERFE), the novel marker of erythroid activity in athletes, during the beginning of [...] Read more.
Intense physical activity contributes to an increased demand for red blood cells, which transport oxygen to working muscles. The purpose of this study was to assess the concentration of erythroferrone (ERFE), the novel marker of erythroid activity in athletes, during the beginning of their training season. The study group consisted of 39 athletes aged 23.24 ± 3.77 years. The study was carried out during the athletes’ preparatory period of the training cycle. The control group consisted of 34 healthy men aged 22.33 ± 2.77 years. The erythropoietic activity was evaluated by determining athletes’ concentrations of erythropoietin (EPO) and erythroferrone (ERFE). The level of physical activity was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). In the athletes’ group, we observed higher concentrations of EPO (Me = 12.65 mIU/mL) and ERFE (40.00 pg/mL) compared to the control group (EPO: Me = 5.74 mIU/ml, p = 0.001; ERFE: Me = 25.50 pg/mL, p = 0.0034). The average intensity of physical exercise significantly differentiated the participants as far as EPO and ERFE concentrations. These results suggest that intense physical activity, at least at the beginning of the training season, may stimulate EPO production, which increases ERFE release. This seems to be an adaptative mechanism that provides adequate iron for enhanced erythropoiesis. Full article
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12 pages, 1278 KiB  
Article
Effect of 12 Weeks Core Training on Core Muscle Performance in Rhythmic Gymnastics
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111210 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3407
Abstract
Background: Rhythmic gymnastics performance is characterized by technical elements involving flexibility, aerobic capacity and strength. Increased core strength in rhythmic gymnastics could lead to improved sporting performance. Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of 12 weeks of core [...] Read more.
Background: Rhythmic gymnastics performance is characterized by technical elements involving flexibility, aerobic capacity and strength. Increased core strength in rhythmic gymnastics could lead to improved sporting performance. Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of 12 weeks of core muscle training on core muscle performance in rhythmic gymnasts. Methods: A randomized controlled study involving 24 rhythmic gymnastics was conducted. Participants were randomly assigned to a control group (CG; n = 12; age 13.50 ± 3.17 years) or a training group (TG; n = 12; age 14.41 ± 2.35 years). Body composition, isometric strength of trunk, core endurance and core muscle electromyographic activity were measured (EMG) after 12 weeks of core training. Independent sample t-tests were carried out to compare baseline values between groups. A two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) (time × group) was applied. Results: The TG improved body composition, trunk lean mass (mean differences MD = −0.31; p = 0.040), lean mass (MD = 0.43; p = 0.037) and bone mass (MD = −0.06; p < 0.001) after training. Core training increased isometric strength of trunk, flexion test (MD = −21.53; p = 0.019) and extension test (MD = 22.7; p = 0.049), as well as the prone bridge core endurance test (MD = −11.27; p = 0.040). The EMG values also increased in the TG in prone bridge for front trunk (MD = −58.58; p = 0.026). Conclusions: Core strength training leads to improvements in body composition, as well as improvements in trunk strength and increases in muscle electromyographic activity. These improvements could therefore improve performance during competitive rhythmic gymnastics exercises. Full article
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11 pages, 593 KiB  
Article
Performance Profile among Age Categories in Young Cyclists
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1196; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111196 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2446
Abstract
Endurance profile assessment is of major interest to evaluate the cyclist’s performance potential. In this regard, maximal oxygen uptake and functional threshold power are useful functional parameters to determine metabolic training zones (ventilatory threshold). The aim of this study was to evaluate and [...] Read more.
Endurance profile assessment is of major interest to evaluate the cyclist’s performance potential. In this regard, maximal oxygen uptake and functional threshold power are useful functional parameters to determine metabolic training zones (ventilatory threshold). The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the physiological profile of different road cyclist age categories (Youth, Junior, and Under-23) to obtain the performance requirements. Sixty-one competitive road cyclists (15–22 years) performed a maximal incremental test on a bike in order to determine functional parameters (maximal fat oxidation zone, ventilatory thresholds, maximal oxygen uptake, and functional threshold power) and metabolic training zones. The results suggest major differences, with the Youth group showing clear changes in all metabolic zones except in fat oxidation. The main differences between Under-23 vs. Junior groups were observed in maximal relative power output (Under-23: 6.70 W·Kg−1; Junior: 6.17 W·Kg−1) and relative functional threshold power (Under-23: 4.91 W·Kg−1; Junior: 4.48 W·Kg−1). The Youth group physiological profile is clearly different to the other age categories. Some parameters normalized to body weight (maximal oxygen consumption, load and functional threshold power) could be interesting to predict a sporting career during the Junior and Under-23 stages. Full article
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10 pages, 538 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Exercise Order on the Psychophysiological Responses, Physical and Technical Performances of Young Soccer Players: Combined Small-Sided Games and High-Intensity Interval Training
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111180 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2856
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the order effects of combined small-sided games (SSGs) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the psychophysiological responses and physical and technical performances of young soccer players. Twenty-four soccer players (aged 14.63 ± 0.71 years) were randomly divided into [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the order effects of combined small-sided games (SSGs) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the psychophysiological responses and physical and technical performances of young soccer players. Twenty-four soccer players (aged 14.63 ± 0.71 years) were randomly divided into SSGs + HIIT (n = 12) and HIIT + SSGs (n = 12) for 6 weeks. The SSGs consisted of two 4–16 min rounds of 2, 3, and four-a-side games with 2 min of passive resting, whereas the HIIT consisted of 6–10 min of high-intensity runs at varying intensities (from 90 to 100%). Pre-test and post-test elements included a 5–30 m sprint test, countermovement jump test, zigzag agility test with the ball and without the ball, repeated sprint ability test, speed dribbling ability test, three-corner run test, and Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1. Both combined training interventions produced similar improvements in physical performance and technical responses (p ≥ 0.05, d values ranging from 0.40 to 1.10). However, the combined HIIT + SSGs training produced meaningfully lower perceived exertion (p = 0.00, d = 2.98) and greater physical enjoyment (p = 0.00, d = 4.28) compared with the SSGs + HIIT intervention. Furthermore, the SSGs + HIIT group showed a higher training load than those from the HIIT + SSGs group for all weeks (p ≤ 0.05, d values ranging from 1.36 to 2.05). The present study’s results might be used by coaches and practitioners to design training programmes for youth soccer players. Full article
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10 pages, 1301 KiB  
Article
Effects of the COVID-19 Lockdown on Body Composition and Bioelectrical Phase Angle in Serie A Soccer Players: A Comparison of Two Consecutive Seasons
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111175 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1885
Abstract
The present study compared changes in body composition during the COVID-19-associated lockdown with the same period of the following season in elite soccer players. Fifteen elite male soccer players (30.5 ± 3.6 years.) underwent a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) before (end of February) [...] Read more.
The present study compared changes in body composition during the COVID-19-associated lockdown with the same period of the following season in elite soccer players. Fifteen elite male soccer players (30.5 ± 3.6 years.) underwent a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) before (end of February) and after (end of May) the lockdown, which occurred during the 2019/2020 season, and at the same period during the following competitive season in 2020/2021, when restrictions were lifted. Fat and muscle mass were estimated using predictive equations, while phase angle (PhA) and bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) patterns were directly measured. After lockdown, fat mass remained unchanged (p > 0.05), while muscle mass (95%CI = −1.12/−0.64; ES = −2.04) and PhA (95%CI = 0.51/−0.24, ES = −1.56) decreased. A rightward displacement of the BIVA vector was also found (p < 0.001, ES = 1.50). After the same period during the regular season, FM% and muscle mass did not change (p > 0.05), while the PhA increased (95%CI = 0.01/0.22; ES = 0.63). A leftward vector displacement (p < 0.001, ES = 1.05) was also observed. The changes in muscle mass correlated with changes in PhA (“lockdown” season 2019/2020: ß = −1.128, p = 0.011; “regular” season 2020/21: ß = 1.963, p = 0.011). In conclusion, coaches and strength conditioners should monitor muscle mass in soccer players during detraining periods as this parameter appears to be mainly affected by changes in training plans. Full article
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15 pages, 2671 KiB  
Article
Effect of Physical Exercise Program Based on Active Breaks on Physical Fitness and Vigilance Performance
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111151 - 08 Nov 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2726
Abstract
The scientific literature has shown the beneficial effects of chronic Physical Exercise (PE) on a wide range of tasks that involve high-order functioning. For this reason, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of active breaks on physical fitness and vigilance performance [...] Read more.
The scientific literature has shown the beneficial effects of chronic Physical Exercise (PE) on a wide range of tasks that involve high-order functioning. For this reason, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of active breaks on physical fitness and vigilance performance in high school students through eight weeks of physical training. A total of 42 healthy students (age = 16.50 ± 0.59 years; height = 171.08 ± 8.07 cm; weight = 67.10 ± 13.76 kg) from one Andalusian high school (Spain) were assigned for convenience and matched into two groups, a Control Group (CG) and an Active-Break Group (ABG). The ABG performed two active breaks (based on strength and self-loading exercises) during the school day, first at 10:00 a.m. and second at 12:30 p.m. The participants were assessed before and after the training program using the Alpha-Fitness test battery and the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT). Significant differences were observed in the post-training PVT results, compared with the pretraining PVT, showing ABG responding faster than CG. Thus, the presents study demonstrated that eight weeks of physical training affects vigilance performance (compared to CG) and improves the efficiency of vigilance in high school students, contributing to enhancement of quality of education. Full article
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10 pages, 1232 KiB  
Article
Performance Prediction Equation for 2000 m Youth Indoor Rowing Using a 100 m Maximal Test
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111082 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1987
Abstract
Background: The exhaustive series of tests undergone by young athletes of Olympic rowing prior to important competitions imply loads of physical stress that can ultimately impact on mood and motivation, with negative consequences for their training and performance. Thus, it is necessary to [...] Read more.
Background: The exhaustive series of tests undergone by young athletes of Olympic rowing prior to important competitions imply loads of physical stress that can ultimately impact on mood and motivation, with negative consequences for their training and performance. Thus, it is necessary to develop a tool that uses only the performance of short distances but is highly predictive, offering a time expectancy with high reliability. Such a test must use variables that are easy to collect with high practical applicability in the daily routine of coaches. Objective: The objective of the present study was to develop a mathematical model capable of predicting 2000 m rowing performance from a maximum effort 100 m indoor rowing ergometer (IRE) test in young rowers. Methods: The sample consisted of 12 male rowing athletes in the junior category (15.9 ± 1.0 years). A 100 m time trial was performed on the IRE, followed by a 2000 m time trial 24-h later. Results: The 2000 m mathematical model to predict performance in minutes based on the maximum 100 m test demonstrated a high correlation (r = 0.734; p = 0.006), strong reliability index (ICC: 0.978; IC95%: [0.960; 0.980]; p = 0.001) and was within usable agreement limits (Bland -Altman Agreement: −0.60 to 0.60; 95% CI [−0.65; 0.67]). Conclusion: The mathematical model developed to predict 2000 m performance is effective and has a statistically significant reliability index while being easy to implement with low cost. Full article
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15 pages, 915 KiB  
Article
Effects of Ibuprofen Use on Lymphocyte Count and Oxidative Stress in Elite Paralympic Powerlifting
Biology 2021, 10(10), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10100986 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2385
Abstract
Background: Paralympic Powerlifting (PP) training tends to promote fatigue and oxidative stress. Objective: To analyze the effects of ibuprofen use on performance and oxidative stress in post-training PP athletes. Methodology: Ten national level PP athletes (age: 27.13 ± 5.57) were analyzed for oxidative [...] Read more.
Background: Paralympic Powerlifting (PP) training tends to promote fatigue and oxidative stress. Objective: To analyze the effects of ibuprofen use on performance and oxidative stress in post-training PP athletes. Methodology: Ten national level PP athletes (age: 27.13 ± 5.57) were analyzed for oxidative stress in post-training. The study was carried out in three weeks, (1) familiarization and (2 and 3) evaluated the recovery with the use of a placebo (PLA) and ibuprofen (IBU), 800 mg. The Peak Torque (PT), Torque Development Rate (TDR), Fatigue Index (FI), reactive substances to thiobarbituric acid (TBARS) and sulfhydryl groups (SH) were evaluated. The training consisted of five sets of five repetitions (80–90%) 1-Repetition Maximum (1-RM) in the bench press. Results: The IBU showed a higher PT (24 and 48 h, p = 0.04, ɳ2 p = 0.39), a lower FI (24 h, p = 0.01, ɳ2p = 0.74) and an increased lymphocyte count (p < 0.001; ɳ2p = 4.36). There was no change in oxidative stress. Conclusions: The use of IBU provided improvements in strength and did not protect against oxidative stress. Full article
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14 pages, 811 KiB  
Article
Associations of Vitamin D Levels with Physical Fitness and Motor Performance; A Cross-Sectional Study in Youth Soccer Players from Southern Croatia
Biology 2021, 10(8), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10080751 - 05 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2908
Abstract
Vitamin D level is known to be a factor potentially influencing physical fitness, but few studies have examined this phenomenon among youth athletes. We aimed to evaluate the associations of vitamin D levels (as measured by 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations—25(OH)D) with various physical fitness [...] Read more.
Vitamin D level is known to be a factor potentially influencing physical fitness, but few studies have examined this phenomenon among youth athletes. We aimed to evaluate the associations of vitamin D levels (as measured by 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations—25(OH)D) with various physical fitness and motor performance tests in youth football (soccer) players. This cross-sectional study included a total of 52 youth soccer players (15.98 ± 2.26 years old) from Southern Croatia. The participants were evaluated at the end of the winter period and data were collected of anthropometric measures (body mass and body height), vitamin D status (25(OH)D levels), physical fitness tests (sprints of 10 and 20 m, 20 yards test, the countermovement jump, the reactive strength index (RSI)) and motor performance tests (the soccer-specific CODS, the soccer-specific agility, and static balance). Among the studied players, 54% had 25(OH)D insufficiency/deficiency, showing a lack of 25(OH)D is widespread even in youth athletes living at a southern latitude. The 25(OH)D level was correlated with sprint 20 m, 20 yards tests, and RSI, showing a greater role of 25(OH)D in physical fitness tests where energetic capacity is essential than in sport-related motor performance tests where skills are crucial. Our results support the idea that vitamin D can play a determinant role in physical fitness tests with a clear physiological component, but is not crucial in motor performance tests related to specific sports where skills are a key component. Future studies should investigate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the performance in physical fitness and motor performance tests among youth athletes. Full article
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10 pages, 307 KiB  
Article
Knowledge about Fibromyalgia in Fibromyalgia Patients and Its Relation to HRQoL and Physical Activity
Biology 2021, 10(7), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070673 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2077
Abstract
Introduction: Fibromyalgia (FM) affects 2.40% of the Spanish population. The most widespread treatment has been the combination of patient education, pain coping strategies and exercise. With regard to patient education, there are few previous studies on the efficacy of relating FM education [...] Read more.
Introduction: Fibromyalgia (FM) affects 2.40% of the Spanish population. The most widespread treatment has been the combination of patient education, pain coping strategies and exercise. With regard to patient education, there are few previous studies on the efficacy of relating FM education in isolation with an improvement in FM, although there are some studies that report that health education programs could modify the perception of quality of life and improve pain. Objectives: the aim was to find out the level of knowledge about FM among patients in Extremadura, to explore the relationship between knowledge of FM and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and to analyze the relationship between knowledge of physical activity in FM and the practice of physical activity. Methods: A single-measure cross-sectional study was carried out with 121 women with a mean age of 55.06 (±9.93) years. The following questionnaires were used: Fibromyalgia Knowledge Questionnaire (FKQ); SF12v2 (Short-Form Health Survey); and EURO-QOL-5D-5L (EQ-5D-5L). Results: regarding the level of knowledge of the participants about FM, it was found that 10% had a low knowledge, 49% medium and 41% high. In relation to the associations between the level of knowledge and HRQoL, a weak correlation between EQ-5D-5L and the FKQ in the domain of physical activity (r = 0.243) were found. Conclusions: it can be concluded that the level of knowledge about FM of the patients from Extremadura was medium-high and that there is a direct weak relationship between knowledge about physical activity in FM and HRQoL. However, no association was found between knowledge of physical activity in FM and the practice of physical activity. Full article
10 pages, 1574 KiB  
Article
Specific Bioelectrical Impedance Vector Analysis Identifies Body Fat Reduction after a Lifestyle Intervention in Former Elite Athletes
Biology 2021, 10(6), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10060524 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2641
Abstract
Background: specific bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) has been proposed as an alternative bioimpedance method for evaluating body composition. This investigation aimed to verify the ability of specific BIVA in identifying changes in fat mass after a 16-week lifestyle program in former athletes. [...] Read more.
Background: specific bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) has been proposed as an alternative bioimpedance method for evaluating body composition. This investigation aimed to verify the ability of specific BIVA in identifying changes in fat mass after a 16-week lifestyle program in former athletes. Methods: The 94 participants included in the Champ4life project (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03031951) were randomized into intervention (n = 49) and control (n = 45) groups, from which 82 athletes completed the intervention (age 43.9 ± 9.2 y; body mass index 31.1 ± 4.6 kg/m2). Fat mass was estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Bioelectric resistance, reactance, phase angle, and vector length were assessed by bioelectric impedance spectroscopy, and the BIVA procedure was applied. Results: A significant (p < 0.05) group x time interaction for fat mass, specific resistance, reactance, and vector length was found. Fat mass and vector length significantly (p < 0.05) decreased in the intervention group, while no change was measured in the control group. Considering the participants as a whole group, changes in vector length were associated with changes in fat mass percentage (r2 = 0.246; β = 0.33; p < 0.001) even after adjusting for age, sex, and group (R2 = 0.373; β = 0.23; p = 0.002). Conclusions: The specific BIVA approach is suitable to track fat mass changes during an intervention program aimed to reduce body fat in former athletes. Full article
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Review

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13 pages, 1154 KiB  
Review
Impact of Exercise Training on Depressive Symptoms in Cancer Patients: A Critical Analysis
Biology 2022, 11(4), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11040614 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2301
Abstract
Background: Cancer patients must deal with several health challenges, including emotional distress and depressive symptoms. This study aimed to evaluate evidence from published systematic reviews and meta-analyses about the efficacy of exercise on depressive symptoms in cancer patients. Methods: We searched for previous [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer patients must deal with several health challenges, including emotional distress and depressive symptoms. This study aimed to evaluate evidence from published systematic reviews and meta-analyses about the efficacy of exercise on depressive symptoms in cancer patients. Methods: We searched for previous meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials on PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus, with data inception to 30 December 2021. Two independent researchers assessed the methodological quality using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews 2 (AMSTAR2) instrument. Six meta-analyses were integrated. All included middle-aged and older adults. Five presented moderate quality, and one presented low quality. Results: Overall, a significant reduction in depressive symptoms was observed among the included studies. However, the heterogeneity between studies was high, and high-quality evidence for the efficacy of exercise on depressive symptoms was limited. Conclusions: Exercise could be a possibility in the treatment of depressive symptoms in cancer patients, especially when supervised and outside the home. The better dose of exercise needs to be clarified. More high-quality evidence is needed to better prescribe exercise to this vulnerable population. Full article
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18 pages, 2717 KiB  
Review
The Role of Satellite Cells in Skeletal Muscle Regeneration—The Effect of Exercise and Age
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101056 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 8365
Abstract
The population of satellite cells (mSCs) is highly diversified. The cells comprising it differ in their ability to regenerate their own population and differentiate, as well as in the properties they exhibit. The heterogeneity of this group of cells is evidenced by multiple [...] Read more.
The population of satellite cells (mSCs) is highly diversified. The cells comprising it differ in their ability to regenerate their own population and differentiate, as well as in the properties they exhibit. The heterogeneity of this group of cells is evidenced by multiple differentiating markers that enable their recognition, classification, labeling, and characterization. One of the main tasks of satellite cells is skeletal muscle regeneration. Myofibers are often damaged during vigorous exercise in people who participate in sports activities. The number of satellite cells and the speed of the regeneration processes that depend on them affect the time structure of an athlete’s training. This process depends on inflammatory cells. The multitude of reactions and pathways that occur during the regeneration process results in the participation and control of many factors that are activated and secreted during muscle fiber damage and at different stages of its regeneration. However, not all of them are well understood yet. This paper presents the current state of knowledge on satellite cell-dependent skeletal muscle regeneration. Studies describing the effects of various forms of exercise and age on this process were reviewed. Full article
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12 pages, 1287 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Exercise during Pregnancy on Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review of Meta-Analyses
Biology 2021, 10(12), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10121331 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 6268
Abstract
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a public health issue. Exercise is a nonpharmacologic alternative to deal with PPD. This study conducted a systematic review of previous meta-analyses and an exploratory pooled analysis regarding the effects of exercise on depressive symptoms among women during the [...] Read more.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a public health issue. Exercise is a nonpharmacologic alternative to deal with PPD. This study conducted a systematic review of previous meta-analyses and an exploratory pooled analysis regarding the effects of exercise on depressive symptoms among women during the postpartum period. We searched for previous meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials on PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus, date of inception to 31 May 2021. The methodological quality was assessed using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews 2 (AMSTAR2) instrument. We pooled the standardised mean differences from the selected studies. Of the 52 records screened, five were included. The results revealed a significant moderate effect of exercise on depressive symptoms among women during the postpartum period (SMD = −0.53; 95% CI: −0.80 to −0.27, p < 0.001). The pooled effect of the five meta-analyses established that exercise had a significant, small effect on depressive symptoms (SMD = −0.41; 95% CI: −0.50 to −0.32, p < 0.001). Our study indicates that exercise is effective in reducing PPD symptoms. Compared with traditional control approaches (psychosocial and psychological interventions), exercise seems have a superior effect on PPD symptoms. The implications of the present synthesis of past meta-analytical findings to guide health policies and research are discussed. Full article
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