The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the physiological profile of a National Hockey League (NHL) team over a period of 26 years. All measurements were made at a similar time of year (pre-season) in 703 male (mean age +/- SD = 24 +/- 4 y) hockey players. The data were analyzed across years, between positions (defensemen, forwards, and goaltenders), and between what were deemed successful and non-successful years using a combination of points acquired during the season and play-off success. Most anthropometric (height, mass, and BMI) and physiological parameters (absolute and relative VO2 peak, relative peak 5 s power output, abdominal endurance, and combined grip strength) showed a gradual increase over the 26 year period. Defensemen were taller and heavier, had higher absolute VO2 peak, and had greater combined grip strength than forwards and goaltenders. Forwards were younger and had higher values for relative VO2 peak. Goaltenders were shorter, had less body mass, a higher sum of skinfolds, lower VO2 peak, and better flexibility. The overall pre-season fitness profile was not related to team success. In conclusion, this study revealed that the fitness profile for a professional NHL ice-hockey team exhibited increases in player size and anaerobic and aerobic fitness parameters over a 26 year period that differed by position. However, this evolution of physiological profile did not necessarily translate into team success in this particular NHL franchise.
To examine whether adolescent flexibility, endurance strength, and physical activity can predict the later occurrence of recurrent low back pain, tension neck, or knee injury.
In 1976, 520 men and 605 women participated in a sit and reach test (flexibility) and a 30 second sit up test (endurance strength). In 1976 and 2001 (aged 37 and 42 years) they completed a questionnaire. Lifetime occurrence and risk of self reported low back pain and self reported, physician diagnosed tension neck and knee injury were calculated for subjects divided into tertiles by baseline results of strength and flexibility tests.
Men from the highest baseline flexibility tertile were at lower risk of tension neck than those from the lowest tertile (odds ratio (OR) 0.51, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.28 to 0.93). Women from the highest baseline endurance strength tertile were at lower risk of tension neck than those from the lowest tertile (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.91). Men from the highest baseline endurance strength tertile were at higher risk of knee injury than those from the lowest tertile (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.64). Men who at school age participated in physical activity were at lower risk of recurrent low back pain (OR 0.61; 95% CI 0.42 to 0.88) than those who did not.
Overall good flexibility in boys and good endurance strength in girls may contribute to a decreased risk of tension neck. High endurance strength in boys may indicate an increased risk of knee injury.
Cites: Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1998 Jan 15;23(2):235-439474732
Cites: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997 Aug;29(8):1062-89268964
This paper sought to provide normative values for grip strength among older adults across different age groups in northwest Russia and to investigate their predictive value for adverse events.
A population-based prospective cohort study of 611 community-dwelling individuals 65+. Grip strength was measured using the standard protocol applied in the Groningen Elderly Tests. The cut-off thresholds for grip strength were defined separately for men and women of different ages using a weighted polynomial regression. A Cox regression analysis, the c-statistic, a risk reclassification analysis, and bootstrapping techniques were used to analyze the data. The outcomes were the 5-year mortality rate, the loss of autonomy and mental decline.
We determined the age-related reference intervals of grip strength for older adults. The 5(th) and 10(th) percentiles of grip strength were associated with a higher risk for malnutrition, low autonomy, physical and mental functioning and 5-year mortality. The 5(th) percentile of grip strength was associated with a decline in autonomy.
This study presents age- and sex-specific reference values for grip strength in the 65+ Russian population derived from a prospective cohort study. The norms can be used in clinical practice to identify patients at increased risk for adverse outcomes.
Cites: J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2009 Feb;34(1):76-8419129352
Illness and aging both cause many structural and functional alterations in the human body, rendering elderly people liable to overloading of the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. It should, however, be kept in mind that immobilisation and inactivity have even more deleterious effects on structures and functions in the elderly than in younger adults. Most physically active elderly people are selected individuals with respect to their superior health and physical capacity compared with inactive persons of the same age, thus making it possible to further improve their physical capacity. They will, however, be affected by some of the drawbacks of physical overloading, mostly due to the diminished ability of aging body systems to adapt to high levels of loading. The safety margin of an exercise dose tends to decline with aging. Exertional injuries are common among the elderly, and are connected mostly with degenerative aging processes. Acute injuries are common in those elderly people participating in sport activities which demand high coordination, reaction time, and balance capabilities, such as ball games, down-hill skiing, and gymnastics. Muscle has been reported to be the most commonly acutely injured tissue among active elderly athletes. The lower extremities are the most susceptible to injury. A large proportion of injuries (acute and exertional) are mild and can be treated by brief cessation of training and competition activities. Some of the injuries are, however, long term and cause disability not only during training and competition, but also in the normal activities of daily living. It is important that these injuries are treated as soon as possible and in the most effective way, similarly to injuries suffered by younger people. In treating elderly people, it is most important to avoid the detrimental effects of immobilisation; this requires active treatment and rehabilitation with compensatory exercise therapy. The best 'treatment' for sports-related injuries is prevention. Good agility, technical skills, and cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness are important in injury prevention among the elderly. Appropriate training programmes, the use of safe and familiar equipment, careful warming up and cooling down, multiphasic training [including the training of neurophysiological functions (balance, coordination and reaction time)] and muscle strength are essential aspects of injury prevention.
To evaluate the occurrence of arrhythmias and silent ischaemia during a prolonged exhaustive exercise in cold climate conditions, we monitored 37 healthy middle-aged men (age 40-56 years) who were randomly selected from participants of a ski marathon. Completing the 75-90 km race took 7-12 h. The highest and lowest mean hourly heart rates during skiing were 150 +/- 9 (mean +/- SD) and 138 +/- 11 beats.min-1. The maximum heart rate was 161 +/- 9 beats.min-1, and occurred in most skiers during the first hour. Ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) were present in 33 of 37 men (89%) with a median frequency of five beats during skiing (range 0-425). Complex forms occurred in eight men (22%), and atrial ectopics appeared in 33 of 35 participants (94%). The frequency of the arrhythmias did not increase over the skiing period. At control monitoring during a representative period the highest mean hourly heart rate was 74 +/- 12 beats.min-1 and VPCs were seen in 21 men (57%) at a median frequency of one beat during the control period (range 0-338) and complex forms occurred in three men (8%). Three men had asymptomatic ST segment depression of 0.2-0.3 mV lasting 2-10 min during the first hour of skiing. One of them had marginal ST segment depression (0.1 mV) at exercise electrocardiography, but all had normal results at exercise thallium scintigraphy and echocardiography. Thus, arrhythmias were significantly (P
A variety of methods are used to assess parasympathetic activity in athletes targeting different organs; however, the reliability of or interchangeability between measurement procedures is not clear.
The purpose of this study is to identify the repeatability of two parasympathetic activity measurement procedures, the HR variability during a 4-s exercise test (4sET), and the contractile properties of the pupil (pupillometry), and to assess their agreement. The secondary objective of this study is to assess their relationship with the bronchodilating effect of inhaled ipratropium bromide (iIB), blocking parasympathetic signals to the lungs.
Forty athletic subjects were enrolled in a cross-sectional study. After 15-min resting in semidarkness, subjects underwent pupillometry (PLR-200™, NeurOptics Inc., CA), followed by 4sET on a cycle ergometer. HR variability was assessed by Polar Electro® HR monitor (RS-800CX/G3; Oy, Kempele, Finland). Both protocols were repeated after 5 min. Statistical analysis was performed according to Bland and Altman and by using Pearson's correlation coefficient and intraclass correlation. Lung function measurements by flow volume curves were performed before and 45 min after iIB.
The means of differences were 1.21% (limits of agreement, -3.59 to 6.02) for pupil constriction and 0.05 mm (-0.28 to 0.39) for pupil amplitude. The mean of differences for 4sET was 0.005 (-0.31 to 0.32). A very weak intraclass correlation (r = -0.01, P = 0.58) showed no agreement between the methods. No correlation was observed between pupillometry variables or 4sET with the change in lung function after iIB.
Pupillometry showed better repeatability compared with the 4sET. There is poor agreement between parasympathetic activity levels measured in three different target organs of athletic subjects; the heart, the pupil, and the lung. Thus, methods assessing parasympathetic activity in different target organs cannot be used interchangeably.
Decline in both telomere length and physical fitness over the life course may contribute to increased risk of several chronic diseases. The relationship between telomere length and aerobic and muscular fitness is not well characterized. We examined whether there are cross-sectional associations of mean relative leukocyte telomere length (LTL) with objective measures of aerobic fitness, muscle strength, and muscle endurance, using data on 31-year-old participants of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (n = 4,952-5,205, varying by exposure-outcome analysis). Aerobic fitness was assessed by means of heart rate measurement following a standardized submaximal step test; muscular fitness was assessed by means of a maximal isometric handgrip strength test and a test of lower-back trunk muscle endurance. Longer LTL was associated with higher aerobic fitness and better trunk muscle endurance in models including adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, socioeconomic position, diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity level, and C-reactive protein. In a sex-stratified analysis, LTL was not associated with handgrip strength in either men or women. LTL may relate to aspects of physical fitness in young adulthood, but replication of these findings is required, along with further studies to help assess directions and causality in these associations.
PURPOSE: To investigate the effects of training intensity and duration, through a range representative of training in endurance athletes, on acute recovery of autonomic nervous system (ANS) balance after exercise. METHODS: Nine highly trained (HT) male runners (VO2max 72 +/- 5 mL.kg.min(-1), 14 +/- 3 training hours per week) and eight trained (T) male subjects (VO2max 60 +/- 5 mL.kg.min(-1), 7 +/- 1 training hours per week) completed preliminary testing to determine ventilatory thresholds (VT1, VT2) and VO2max. HT performed four intensity-controlled training sessions: 60 min and 120 min below VT1; 60 min with 30 min between VT1 and VT2 (threshold); and 60 min above VT2 (6 x 3 min at 96% VO2max, 2 min of recovery). T also completed the interval session to compare ANS recovery between HT and T. Supine heart rate variability (HRV) was quantified at regular intervals through 4 h of recovery. RESULTS: When HT ran 60 or 120 min below VT1, HRV returned to pretraining values within 5-10 min. However, training at threshold (2.7 +/- 0.4 mM) or above VT2 (7.1 +/- 0.7 mM) induced a significant, but essentially identical, delay of HRV recovery (return to baseline by approximately 30 min). In T, HRV recovery was significantly slower, with HRV returning to baseline by >or=90 min after the same interval session. CONCLUSIONS: In the highly trained endurance athlete, exercise for
While overall physical activity is clearly associated with a better short-term and long-term health, prolonged strenuous physical activity may result in a rise in acute levels of blood-biomarkers used in clinical practice for diagnosis of various conditions or diseases. In this study, we explored the acute effects of a full Ironman-distance triathlon on biomarkers related to heart-, liver-, kidney- and skeletal muscle damage immediately post-race and after one week's rest. We also examined if sex, age, finishing time and body composition influenced the post-race values of the biomarkers.
A sample of 30 subjects was recruited (50% women) to the study. The subjects were evaluated for body composition and blood samples were taken at three occasions, before the race (T1), immediately after (T2) and one week after the race (T3). Linear regression models were fitted to analyse the independent contribution of sex and finishing time controlled for weight, body fat percentage and age, on the biomarkers at the termination of the race (T2). Linear mixed models were fitted to examine if the biomarkers differed between the sexes over time (T1-T3).
Being male was a significant predictor of higher post-race (T2) levels of myoglobin, CK, and creatinine levels and body weight was negatively associated with myoglobin. In general, the models were unable to explain the variation of the dependent variables. In the linear mixed models, an interaction between time (T1-T3) and sex was seen for myoglobin and creatinine, in which women had a less pronounced response to the race.
Overall women appear to tolerate the effects of prolonged strenuous physical activity better than men as illustrated by their lower values of the biomarkers both post-race as well as during recovery.
The purpose of this report is to provide representative norms for measurements of musculoskeletal fitness (partial curl-ups, vertical jump, and leg power) for which Canadian norms are not currently available. Partial curl-ups, vertical jump, trunk flexion (sit and reach), grip strength, muscular endurance (push-ups), body mass index, and subcutaneous adiposity (sum of five skinfolds) were assessed, and leg power was calculated in 571 self-reportedly healthy participants (312 females and 259 males) aged 15-69 yr. The representativeness of the sample was confirmed by statistically comparing the fitness characteristics of the participants in the present study to those in the Canada Fitness Survey of 1981 and the Campbell's Survey of 1988. Normative data for partial curl-ups, vertical jump, and leg power were generated for males and females in six age groups (15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69) for use in fitness appraisal protocols for the Canadian population.