Special Issue "New Training Strategies and Evaluation Methods for Improving Health and Physical Performance"

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: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Catarina Nunes Matias
Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Physiology and Biochemistry of Exercise, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: hydration; body composition; physiology and biochemistry of exercise
Dr. Stefania Toselli
Website
Guest Editor
Departments of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: anthropometry; youth sports; health status; body composition
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cristina Monteiro
Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Physiology and Biochemistry of Exercise, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: physiology and biochemistry of exercise; reactive oxygen species
Dr. Francesco Campa
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical activity is identified among the most effective methods of improving health and physical function, and its practice is suitable for every population. Its benefits are known for sedentary individuals who, by initiating sport, improve their physical condition by reducing risk factors. Active training is also encouraged for the general population who need to maintain an optimal level of fitness, as well as for athletes who want to achieve high performance during the competitive period. Even young people benefit from sports practice, growing into healthy young adults with important implications for their psychological and social development. In the last few years, the scope of research in sports has become very wide and detailed, laying the foundations for the development of innovative training methods and new evaluation approaches aimed at improving health, physical function, and performance. The aim of this Special Issue is to propose, on the basis of the evidence that the current literature provides, new training techniques and specific evaluation methods for the different populations practicing physical activity. The Guest Editors are interested in studies with longitudinal and transversal experimental designs, as well as systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses.

The purpose of this research collection is to add information on:

  • New training strategies adapted for young or elderly populations;
  • Nutritional strategies integrated with physical activity aimed at improving the state of health in pathological subjects;
  • Innovative and healthy methods to improve sports performances in athletes;
  • Evaluation techniques to measure health status, body composition, and physical performance.

Dr. Catarina Nunes Matias
Dr. Stefania Toselli
Dr. Cristina Monteiro
Dr. Francesco Campa
Guest Editors

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

  • body composition
  • adapted physical activity
  • active lifestyle
  • health promotion
  • sport practice
  • evaluation techniques
  • exercise testing
  • wellness and health

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Wrist Percooling on Physiological and Perceptual Responses during a Running Time Trial Performance in the Heat
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7559; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207559 - 17 Oct 2020
Abstract
Environmental heat stress poses significant physiological challenge and impairs exercise performance. We investigated the impact of wrist percooling on running performance and physiological and perceptual responses in the heat. In a counterbalanced design, 13 trained males (33 ± 9 years, 15 ± 7% [...] Read more.
Environmental heat stress poses significant physiological challenge and impairs exercise performance. We investigated the impact of wrist percooling on running performance and physiological and perceptual responses in the heat. In a counterbalanced design, 13 trained males (33 ± 9 years, 15 ± 7% body fat, and maximal oxygen consumption, VO2max 59 ± 5 mL/kg/min) completed three 10 km running time trials (27 °C, 60% relative humidity) while wearing two cooling bands: (1) both bands were off (off/off), (2) one band on (off/on), (3) both bands on (on/on). Heart rate (HR), HR variability (HRV), mean arterial pressure (MAP), core temperature (TCO), thermal sensation (TS), and fatigue (VAS) were recorded at baseline and recovery, while running speed (RS) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected during the 10 km. Wrist cooling had no effect (p > 0.05) at rest, except modestly increased HR (3–5 ∆beats/min, p < 0.05). Wrist percooling increased (p < 0.05) RS (0.25 ∆mi/h) and HR (5 ∆beats/min), but not TCO (∆ 0.3 °C), RPE, or TS. Given incomplete trials, the distance achieved at 16 min was not different between conditions (off/off 1.96 ± 0.16 vs. off/on 1.98 ± 0.19 vs. on/on 1.99 ± 0.24 miles, p = 0.490). During recovery HRV, MAP, or fatigue were unaffected (p > 0.05). We demonstrate that wrist percooling elicited a faster running speed, though this coincides with increased HR; although, interestingly, sensations of effort and thermal comfort were unaffected, despite the faster speed and higher HR. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sarcopenia as a Mediator of the Effect of a Gerontogymnastics Program on Cardiorespiratory Fitness of Overweight and Obese Older Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197064 - 27 Sep 2020
Abstract
The objectives were to analyze the effect of a gerontogymnastics program on functional ability and fitness on overweight and obese older woman and to understand if sarcopenia mediates its effect. This randomized controlled trial involved 216 overweight and obese women. The experimental group [...] Read more.
The objectives were to analyze the effect of a gerontogymnastics program on functional ability and fitness on overweight and obese older woman and to understand if sarcopenia mediates its effect. This randomized controlled trial involved 216 overweight and obese women. The experimental group (EG) carried out 12 weeks of a gerontogymnastics program. The assessment was of gait speed, cardiorespiratory fitness, functional capacity, and muscle strength. EG showed significant improvements in almost every test. When the effect of training was adjusted by gait speed, the improvement of the 6 min walk test (MWT) for the trained group was no longer significant (p = 0.127). The improvement of the 6 MWT was significantly and positively associated with the 10 m test (β = −10.087). After including the 10-m test in the equations, the association between the 6MWT and carrying out the training program decreased but remained significant (β = −19.904). The mediation analysis showed a significant, direct and indirect effect with a significant Sobel test value (z = 6.606 ± 7.733; p = 0.000). These results indicate that a gerontogymnastics program improves functional capacity and fitness; and the effect of a gerontogymnastics program on CRF is mediated by sarcopenia in older women who are overweight and obese. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relationships between Exercise Modality and Activity Restriction, Quality of Life, and Hematopoietic Profile in Korean Breast Cancer Survivors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6899; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186899 - 21 Sep 2020
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the relationships between activity restriction, quality of life (QoL), and hematopoietic profile in breast cancer survivors according to exercise modality. The subjects in this study were 187 female breast cancer survivors among a total of 32,631 participants in [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the relationships between activity restriction, quality of life (QoL), and hematopoietic profile in breast cancer survivors according to exercise modality. The subjects in this study were 187 female breast cancer survivors among a total of 32,631 participants in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which was conducted from 2016 to 2018. The selected subjects participated in a questionnaire survey and blood analysis. A cross-analysis was conducted to determine the relationship between participation in various modality of exercise (e.g., aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, walking exercise). The phi coefficients or Cramer’s V value for activity restriction and QoL were calculated; an independent t-test was conducted to evaluate the differences between hematopoietic profiles based on the modality of exercise. Statistically significant correlations were seen between obesity and aerobic exercise and walking frequency, as well as between diabetes and aerobic exercise and activity restriction. With respect to QoL, there was a statistically significant correlation between participation in aerobic exercise and exercise ability, participation in aerobic exercise and anxiety/depression, participation in resistance exercise and subjective health status, participation in resistance exercise and exercise ability, and participation in weekly walking exercise and self-care ability. Regarding hemodynamic changes, red blood cells increased significantly in breast cancer survivors who participated in weekly resistance exercise compared to in those who did not. In conclusion, exercise participation had a positive effect on activity restriction, QoL, and hematopoietic profile in breast cancer survivors; in particular, some modalities of aerobic exercise were more effective. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Body Water Content and Morphological Characteristics Modify Bioimpedance Vector Patterns in Volleyball, Soccer, and Rugby Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6604; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186604 - 10 Sep 2020
Abstract
Background: Bioimpedance vector analysis (BIVA) is a widely used method based on the interpretation of raw bioimpedance parameters to evaluate body composition and cellular health in athletes. However, several variables contribute to influencing BIVA patterns by militating against an optimal interpretation of the [...] Read more.
Background: Bioimpedance vector analysis (BIVA) is a widely used method based on the interpretation of raw bioimpedance parameters to evaluate body composition and cellular health in athletes. However, several variables contribute to influencing BIVA patterns by militating against an optimal interpretation of the data. This study aims to explore the association of morphological characteristics with bioelectrical properties in volleyball, soccer, and rugby players. Methods: 164 athletes belonging to professional teams (age 26.2 ± 4.4 yrs; body mass index (BMI) 25.4 ± 2.4 kg/m2) underwent bioimpedance and anthropometric measurements. Bioelectric resistance (R) and reactance (Xc) were standardized for the athlete’s height and used to plot the vector in the R-Xc graph according to the BIVA approach. Total body water (TBW), phase angle (PhA), and somatotype were determined from bioelectrical and anthropometric data. Results: No significant difference (p > 0.05) for age and for age at the start of competition among the athletes was found. Athletes divided into groups of TBW limited by quartiles showed significant differences in the mean vector position in the R-Xc graph (p < 0.001), where a higher content of body fluids resulted in a shorter vector and lower positioning in the graph. Furthermore, six categories of somatotypes were identified, and the results of bivariate and partial correlation analysis highlighted a direct association between PhA and mesomorphy (r = 0.401, p < 0.001) while showing an inverse correlation with ectomorphy (r = −0.416, p < 0.001), even adjusted for age. On the contrary, no association was observed between PhA and endomorphy (r = 0.100, p = 0.471). Conclusions: Body fluid content affects the vector length in the R-Xc graph. In addition, the lateral displacement of the vector, which determines the PhA, can be modified by the morphological characteristics of the athlete. In particular, higher PhA values are observed in subjects with a high mesomorphic component, whereas lower values are found when ectomorphy is dominant. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Aerobic and Anaerobic Fatigue Exercises on Postural Control and Recovery Time in Female Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176273 - 28 Aug 2020
Abstract
Sixteen female soccer players (age = 20.19 ± 1.52 years; body mass = 56.52 ± 4.95 kg; body height = 164.81 ± 4.21 cm) with no history of lower extremity injury participated in the study. The Biodex SD Balance system was used to [...] Read more.
Sixteen female soccer players (age = 20.19 ± 1.52 years; body mass = 56.52 ± 4.95 kg; body height = 164.81 ± 4.21 cm) with no history of lower extremity injury participated in the study. The Biodex SD Balance system was used to determine the non-dominant single-leg stability. In anaerobic exercise, each subject performed four maximal cycling efforts against a resistance equivalent to 0.075 kg/body mass for 30 s with three-minute rest intervals. In aerobic exercise, subjects performed the Bruce protocol on a motorized treadmill. After each exercise, subjects subsequently performed a single-leg stability test and then repeated the same test for four times with five-minute passive rest periods. In accordance with the results, it was found that the impairment observed right after the aerobic loading was higher (p < 0.001) compared to the anaerobic one. However, the time-related deterioration in both aerobic and anaerobic loadings was similar. The B-pre value was lower than Bpost and B5 (p < 0.01) and B10 (p < 0.05) in both conditions. Subjects could reach the initial balance level at B15 after aerobic and anaerobic loadings. The lactate level did not reach resting value even after 20 min of both fatigue protocols. Although the fatigue after aerobic and aerobic exercise negatively affects a single-leg dynamic balance level, single leg balance ability returns to the baseline status after 10 min of passive recovery duration. Full article
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