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Special Issue "Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments"

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 (1 January 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of IJERPH, I am organizing a Special Issue about exercise and sport under stressful conditions. IJERPH is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes manuscripts in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health.

It is well established that exercise is an acute stressor to skeletal muscle, cardiopulmonary, and many other organ systems. Based on specific demands/stressors, organisms will adapt to better combat homeostatic disturbances during exercise challenge. Adaptations to exercise are largely influenced by stressful environments and conditions, that have the ability to improve or inhibit adaptations. In this Special Issue, we are looking for original investigations describing how stressful environments/conditions during sport and exercise influence adaptive responses. Below are some examples of topics fitting the scope of this Special Issue for IJERPH:

  • Exercise during hypoxia/altitude
  • Exercise and heat/cold stress
  • Exercise and oxidative stress
  • Supramaximal exercise
  • Exercise and nutrient deprivation
  • Exercise and psychological stress

Dr. Christopher Ballmann
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

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

  • Exercise
  • Altitude
  • Hypoxia
  • Oxidative stress
  • Nutrient deprivation
  • Environment
  • Psychological stress

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effects of Circuit Weight-Interval Training on Physical Fitness, Cardiac Autonomic Control, and Quality of Life in Sedentary Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4606; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094606 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 965
Abstract
Sedentary behaviors, those that involve sitting and low levels of energy expenditure, have been associated with several adverse cardiometabolic effects. This study evaluated the chronic effects of a combined circuit weight interval training (CWIT) on physical fitness, quality of life, and heart rate [...] Read more.
Sedentary behaviors, those that involve sitting and low levels of energy expenditure, have been associated with several adverse cardiometabolic effects. This study evaluated the chronic effects of a combined circuit weight interval training (CWIT) on physical fitness, quality of life, and heart rate variability (HRV), and compared the effects of CWIT-induced autonomic adaptations on different postures in adult sedentary workers. Twenty-seven sedentary workers (age 36.9 ± 9.2 years old, 13 men and 14 women) were divided into two groups: control, who continued their sedentary behavior, and experimental, who were submitted to a CWIT for 12 weeks, completing two ~40 min sessions per week. Monitoring of 8th, 16th, and 24th sessions revealed a moderate training load during sessions. Participants exhibited an improved aerobic capacity (VO2max, 34.03 ± 5.36 vs. 36.45 ± 6.05 mL/kg/min, p < 0.05) and flexibility (22.6 ± 11.4 vs. 25.3 ± 10.1 cm, p < 0.05) after the training period. In addition, they showed greater quality of life scores. However, the CWIT did not change body composition. Interestingly, more HRV parameters were improved in the seated position. The CWIT used in the current study was associated with improvements in several fitness and quality of life parameters, as well as in cardiac autonomic control of HR in adult sedentary workers. Examination of different body positions when evaluating changes in HRV appears to be a relevant aspect to be considered in further studies. Future randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with larger samples of both sexes should confirm these promising results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
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Article
Heat Acclimation Following Heat Acclimatization Elicits Additional Physiological Improvements in Male Endurance Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084366 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1041
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of heat acclimatization (HAz) followed by heat acclimation (HA) on physiological adaptations. 25 male endurance athletes (age 36 ± 12 y, height 178.8 ± 6.39 cm, body mass 73.03 ± 8.97 kg, and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of heat acclimatization (HAz) followed by heat acclimation (HA) on physiological adaptations. 25 male endurance athletes (age 36 ± 12 y, height 178.8 ± 6.39 cm, body mass 73.03 ± 8.97 kg, and VO2peak 57.5 ± 7.0 mL·kg−1·min−1) completed HAz and HA. HAz was 3 months of self-directed summer training. In the laboratory, a 5-day HA prescribed exercise to target a hyperthermic zone (HZHA) of Trec between 38.50 and 39.75 °C for 60 min. Exercise trials were 60 min of running (59% ± 2% VO2peak) in an environmental chamber (wet bulb globe temperature 29.53 ± 0.63 °C) and administered at: baseline, post-HAz, and post-HAz+HA. Measured variables included internal body temperature (Trec), heart rate (HR), and sweat rate (SR). Repeated measure ANOVAs and post hoc comparisons were used to assess statistically significant (p < 0.05) differences. Trec was lower post-HAz+HA (38.03 ± 0.39 °C) than post-HAz (38.25 ± 0.42 °C, p = 0.009) and baseline (38.29 ± 0.37 °C, p = 0.005). There were no differences between baseline and post-HAz (p = 0.479) in Trec. HR was lower post-HAz (143 ± 12 bpm, p = 0.002) and post-HAz+HA (134 ± 11 bpm, p < 0.001) than baseline (138 ± 14 bpm). HR was lower post-HAz+HA than post-HAz (p = 0.013). SR was higher post-HAz+HA (1.93 ± 0.47 L·h−1) than post-HAz (1.76 ± 0.43 L·h−1, p = 0.027). Combination HAz and HA increased physiological outcomes above HAz. This method can be used to improve performance and safety in addition to HAz alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
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Article
Effect of Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Solution Including Bicarbonate Ion Ad Libitum Ingestion on Urine Bicarbonate Retention during Mountain Trekking: A Randomized, Controlled Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041441 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 796
Abstract
We investigated whether bicarbonate ion (HCO3) in a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution (CE+HCO3) ingested during climbing to 3000 m on Mount Fuji could increase urine HCO3 retention. This study was a randomized, controlled pilot study. Sixteen healthy lowlander [...] Read more.
We investigated whether bicarbonate ion (HCO3) in a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution (CE+HCO3) ingested during climbing to 3000 m on Mount Fuji could increase urine HCO3 retention. This study was a randomized, controlled pilot study. Sixteen healthy lowlander adults were divided into two groups (six males and two females for each): a tap water (TW) group (0 kcal with no energy) and a CE+HCO3 group. The allocation to TW or CE+HCO3 was double blind. The CE solution contains 10 kcal energy, including Na+ (115 mg), K+ (78 mg), HCO3 (51 mg) per 100 mL. After collecting baseline urine and measuring body weight, participants started climbing while energy expenditure (EE) and heart rate (HR) were recorded every min with a portable calorimeter. After reaching a hut at approximately 3000 m, we collected urine and measured body weight again. The HCO3 balance during climbing, measured by subtracting the amount of urine excreted from the amount of fluid ingested, was −0.37 ± 0.77 mmol in the CE+HCO3, which was significantly higher than in the TW (−2.23 ± 0.96 mmol, p < 0.001). These results indicate that CE containing HCO3 supplementation may increase the bicarbonate buffering system during mountain trekking up to ~3000 m, suggesting a useful solution, at least, in the population of the present study on Mount Fuji. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
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Article
Acute Beetroot Juice Supplementation Attenuates Morning-Associated Decrements in Supramaximal Exercise Performance in Trained Sprinters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020412 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1225
Abstract
Diurnal fluctuations in power output have been well established with power loss typically occurring in morning (AM) times. Beetroot juice (BRJ) is a source of dietary nitrate that possess ergogenic properties, but it is unknown if ingestion can mitigate performance decrements in the [...] Read more.
Diurnal fluctuations in power output have been well established with power loss typically occurring in morning (AM) times. Beetroot juice (BRJ) is a source of dietary nitrate that possess ergogenic properties, but it is unknown if ingestion can mitigate performance decrements in the morning. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of acute BRJ supplementation on diurnal fluctuations in anaerobic performance in trained sprinters. Male Division 1 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sprinters (n = 10) participated. In a double-blinded crossover study design, participants completed three counterbalanced exercise trials under different conditions: Morning–placebo (8:00 HR, AM-PL), Morning–BRJ (8:00 HR, AM-BRJ), and Afternoon–no supplement (15:00 HR, PM). For each trial, participants completed 3 × 15 s Wingate anaerobic tests separated by 2 min of rest. Each trial was separated by a 72 h washout period. Mean power output (p = 0.043), anaerobic capacity (p = 0.023), and total work (p = 0.026) were significantly lower with the AM-PL condition compared to PM. However, BRJ supplementation prevented AM losses of mean power output (p = 0.994), anaerobic capacity (p = 0.941), and total work (p = 0.933) in the AM-BRJ compared to the PM condition. Rate of perceived exertion was not significantly different between any conditions (p = 0.516). Heart rate was significantly lower during the AM-BRJ condition compared to AM-PL (p = 0.030) and PM (p < 0.001). Findings suggest anaerobic capacity suffers during AM versus PM times in trained sprinters, but BRJ ingestion abolishes AM-associated decrements in performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
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Article
Inter- and Intra-Day Comparisons of Smartphone-Derived Heart Rate Variability across Resistance Training Overload and Taper Microcycles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010177 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 898
Abstract
The purposes of this study were: (1) to determine if smartphone-derived heart rate variability (HRV) could detect changes in training load during an overload microcycle and taper, and (2) to determine the reliability of HRV measured in the morning and measured immediately prior [...] Read more.
The purposes of this study were: (1) to determine if smartphone-derived heart rate variability (HRV) could detect changes in training load during an overload microcycle and taper, and (2) to determine the reliability of HRV measured in the morning and measured immediately prior to the testing session. Twelve powerlifters (male = 10, female = 2) completed a 3-week resistance training program consisting of an introduction microcycle, overload microcycle, and taper. Using a validated smartphone application, daily measures of resting, ultra-short natural logarithm of root mean square of successive differences were recorded in the morning (LnRMSSDM) and immediately before the test session (LnRMSSDT) following baseline, post-overload, and post-taper testing. LnRMSSDM decreased from baseline (82.9 ± 13.0) to post-overload (75.0 ± 9.9, p = 0.019), while post-taper LnRMSSDM (81.9 ± 7.1) was not different from post-overload (p = 0.056) or baseline (p = 0.998). No differences in LnRMSSDT (p < 0.05) were observed between baseline (78.3 ± 9.0), post-overload (74.4 ± 10.2), and post-taper (78.3 ± 8.0). LnRMSSDM and LnRMSSDT were strongly correlated at baseline (ICC = 0.71, p < 0.001) and post-overload (ICC = 0.65, p = 0.010), whereas there was no relationship at post-taper (ICC = 0.44, p = 0.054). Bland–Altman analyses suggest extremely wide limits of agreement (Bias ± 1.96 SD) between LnRMSSDM and LnRMSSDT at baseline (4.7 ± 15.2), post-overload (0.5 ± 16.9), and post-taper (3.7 ± 15.3). Smartphone-derived HRV, recorded upon waking, was sensitive to resistance training loads across an overload and taper microcycles in competitive strength athletes, whereas the HRV was taken immediately prior to the testing session was not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
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Article
Wearing of Cloth or Disposable Surgical Face Masks has no Effect on Vigorous Exercise Performance in Healthy Individuals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8110; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218110 - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 41970
Abstract
Wearing face masks is recommended for the prevention of contracting or exposing others to cardiorespiratory infections, such as COVID-19. Controversy exists on whether wearing face masks during vigorous exercise affects performance. We used a randomized, counterbalanced cross-over design to evaluate the effects of [...] Read more.
Wearing face masks is recommended for the prevention of contracting or exposing others to cardiorespiratory infections, such as COVID-19. Controversy exists on whether wearing face masks during vigorous exercise affects performance. We used a randomized, counterbalanced cross-over design to evaluate the effects of wearing a surgical mask, a cloth mask, or no mask in 14 participants (7 men and 7 women; 28.2 ± 8.7 y) during a cycle ergometry test to exhaustion. Arterial oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry) and tissue oxygenation index (indicator of hemoglobin saturation/desaturation) at vastus lateralis (near-infrared spectroscopy) were assessed throughout the exercise tests. Wearing face masks had no effect on performance (time to exhaustion (mean ± SD): no mask 622 ± 141 s, surgical mask 657 ± 158 s, cloth mask 637 ± 153 s (p = 0.20); peak power: no mask 234 ± 56 W, surgical mask 241 ± 57 W, cloth mask 241 ± 51 W (p = 0.49)). When expressed relative to peak exercise performance, no differences were evident between wearing or not wearing a mask for arterial oxygen saturation, tissue oxygenation index, rating of perceived exertion, or heart rate at any time during the exercise tests. Wearing a face mask during vigorous exercise had no discernable detrimental effect on blood or muscle oxygenation, and exercise performance in young, healthy participants (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04557605). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
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Article
Short-Term Resistance Training Supported by Whole-Body Cryostimulation Induced a Decrease in Myostatin Concentration and an Increase in Isokinetic Muscle Strength
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5496; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155496 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1332
Abstract
The study aimed to determine whether combining cryostimulation with resistance training would effectively increase muscle strength, and if so, whether this adaptation would be related to changes in circulating levels of exerkines (i.e., mediators of systemic adaptation to exercise). Twenty-five students completed 12 [...] Read more.
The study aimed to determine whether combining cryostimulation with resistance training would effectively increase muscle strength, and if so, whether this adaptation would be related to changes in circulating levels of exerkines (i.e., mediators of systemic adaptation to exercise). Twenty-five students completed 12 sessions of resistance training, each followed by either cryostimulation (n = 15, 3 min exposure at −110 °C) or passive recovery (n = 10). Prior to and post this intervention, participants performed two eccentric cycling bouts (before and after training). At these points, serum concentrations of muscle damage marker (myoglobin), exerkines (interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 15 (IL-15), irisin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor), hypertrophy-related factors (myostatin, insulin-like growth factor 1), and muscle strength were measured. The applied procedure reduced the physiological burden of the second eccentric cycling bout and myoglobin concentrations only in the group subject to cryostimulation. The same group also exhibited decreased levels of myostatin (from 4.7 ± 1.7 to 3.8 ± 1.8 ng·mL−1, p < 0.05). A significant and large interaction between the group × time was noted in IL-15 concentration (p = 0.01, ηp2=0.27). Training and cryostimulation induced a positive and likely significant improvement of isokinetic muscle strength. Altogether, obtained results support the claim that resistance training combined with cold exposure modified muscle strength through modulation of myostatin and IL-15 concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
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Review

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Review
Cold Water Swimming—Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8984; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238984 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4706
Abstract
Cold water swimming (winter or ice swimming) has a long tradition in northern countries. Until a few years ago, ice swimming was practiced by very few extreme athletes. For some years now, ice swimming has been held as competitions in ice-cold water (colder [...] Read more.
Cold water swimming (winter or ice swimming) has a long tradition in northern countries. Until a few years ago, ice swimming was practiced by very few extreme athletes. For some years now, ice swimming has been held as competitions in ice-cold water (colder than 5 °C). The aim of this overview is to present the current status of benefits and risks for swimming in cold water. When cold water swimming is practiced by experienced people with good health in a regular, graded and adjusted mode, it appears to bring health benefits. However, there is a risk of death in unfamiliar people, either due to the initial neurogenic cold shock response or due to a progressive decrease in swimming efficiency or hypothermia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
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Other

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Brief Report
A Comparison of the Acute Effects of Different Forms of Yoga on Physiological and Psychological Stress: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6090; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176090 - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2415
Abstract
Yoga is a frequently recommended stress management strategy; however, the acute stress response to varying types of yoga are not fully clear. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare the acute effects of meditative and power yoga on indices of physiological [...] Read more.
Yoga is a frequently recommended stress management strategy; however, the acute stress response to varying types of yoga are not fully clear. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare the acute effects of meditative and power yoga on indices of physiological and psychological stress. In a crossover counterbalanced design, physically active females (n = 13; age = 20.8 yrs ± 0.8, height = 164.5 cm ± 6.1, body mass = 65.0 kg ± 13.8) who did not regularly participate in yoga or mindful training enrolled in this study. Participants completed two visits each, with a standardized instructional-video 30-min yoga session with either A) meditative (Hatha style) yoga or B) power (Vinyasa style) yoga. Prior to and immediately after each yoga bout, psychological stress was assessed using the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) questionnaire, and salivary cortisol samples were obtained to measure indices of physiological stress. State anxiety scores were significantly lower following meditative yoga (p = 0.047) but were not different following power yoga (p = 0.625). Salivary cortisol levels were significantly lower following meditative yoga (p = 0.020) but not following power yoga (p = 0.242). Results indicate that acute engagement in meditative yoga decreases markers of psychological and physiological stress, while power yoga does not impart a significant stress-relieving benefit. Findings indicate that differing types of yoga may have various stress-relieving capabilities and should be considered by individuals seeking anxiolytic benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sport in Stressful Conditions and Environments)
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