The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between deep squatting or ROM of lower limbs, and physical function in typically developing children. 337 elementary school students were recruited for this study. The subjects were performed to squat with their heels down and then were divided into 2 groups: possible squatting and impossible squatting. ROM of lower limbs (hip flexion, knee flexion, and ankle dorsiflexion), circumference of leg, standing long jump, the five-repetition sit-to stand test (FTSST) and a standing test were analyzed. Unpaired t-test or Mann-Whitney U test was used for the two-group comparison. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine variables associated with squatting, and multiple regression analysis was used to determine variables associated with physical function. The rate of impossible squatting was 11.9%. The ROM of the lower limbs was significantly decreased in the impossible group. Multiple regression analysis showed that the ankle dorsiflexion ROM and BMI were correlated with squatting. In physical function, the FTSST and standing test were correlated with squatting. However, in the multiple regression analysis squatting did not significantly affect physical function. In this study, ROM of the ankle dorsiflexion and BMI affected the squatting. It was suggested that the squatting might be useful as a screening for ankle dorsiflexion ROM.
Mitochondria activation factor (MAF) which is high-molecular weight polyphenol contained in black tea and oolong tea can increase the mitochondrial membrane potential. MAF supplementation to mice facilitates endurance running performance after 9-week endurance training and muscle hypertrophy induced by synergist ablation. In this study, we examined the effect of oral MAF supplementation on overall physical fitness (expressed as physical fitness age) in physically active middle-aged and older women. This study is a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial implemented between January and May 2019 at three fitness facilities in Ibaraki, Japan. Seventy middle-aged women aged 55 to 69 years were randomly assigned into placebo (n = 35) and MAF groups (n = 35). The placebo participants took cornstarch-containing capsules, and the MAF participants took MAF-containing capsules twice a day for 80 days consecutively. During the intake period, all participants were instructed to follow 30-min circuit training program at least twice a week. Physical fitness age was computed with eight physical fitness items assessing upper-extremity muscle strength, locomotion, and postural change. The physical fitness age decreased by 1.48 years (95% confidence interval [CI]: -2.66, -0.30) in the placebo group and 3.01 years (95% CI: -4.16, -1.86) in the MAF group. The reduction was greater in the MAF group, but did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.06). The combination of 80-day of MAF intake and circuit exercise showed beneficial results. However, our results did not indicate clear effects on physical fitness age because of low statistical power. Further studies are necessary to reveal the effects of MAF supplementation.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a 24-week nutritional supplementation program involving whey protein intake after resistance exercise in treatment of sarcopenia and quality of life (QOL) among older women with sarcopenia, we carried out a pilot study, randomized controlled trial among elderly individuals with sarcopenia, aged 65-years or older, who were allocated to three groups: exercise and whey protein supplementation (Ex+Whey) group, exercise (Ex) group, and whey protein supplementation (Whey) group. Sarcopenia was defined using the Asian Working Group for sarcopenia 2014 criteria, as follows: low hand-grip strength (<18.0 kg) or slow gait speed (<0.8m/sec), and low skeletal muscle mass index (SMI, <5.7kg/m2). A 24-week program of resistance exercise, carried out twice per week, was combined with whey protein supplementation, involving 11.0 g of protein and 2,300 mg of leucine. After the 24-week intervention period, the Ex+Whey group (n=20) showed a decrease in sarcopenia, lower SMI, lower grip strength, and increase in physical QOL score (sarcopenia; p=0.004, SMI and grip strength; p=0.008, QOL; p=0.027). After the 24-week intervention period, the Whey group (n=20) showed a decrease in sarcopenia and lower SMI (all p=0.017). The Ex-group (n=19) did not show a decrease in sarcopenia, lower SMI, and lower grip strength. These results suggest that resistance exercise and whey protein intake in older women with sarcopenia, on the multiple outcome measures such as improves lower SMI, lower grip strength, and physical QOL. However, there were no between-group differences in the change from the pre- to the post-intervention period at 24 weeks in the lower SMI and lower grip strength. In this study, the intervention effect of Ex+Whey could not be clearly shown in the outcome measures.
A few studies have reported that nighttime sleep and daytime napping are significantly associated with sleep disorders, memory, concentration, cognitive ability, and academic performance in children. Moreover, sleep is identified as an important factor that has a profound effect on children’s athletic performance. If a short daytime nap is shown to benefit children involved in sports activities, this evidence could be used to improve children’s athletic performance in the afternoon. In this study, we investigated whether a short daytime nap could reduce the decline in athletic performance observed in the afternoon in children involved in basketball games. We investigated 10 elementary school-age male basketball players. The study was performed under two conditions, with and without a 20-min nap during the lunch break, and evaluation was performed under both conditions for 3 days each. The reaction and 20-m sprint times were measured after morning practice, before afternoon practice, and at the end of practice on all days. At the beginning of afternoon practice, the 20-m sprint time was significantly shorter (p<0.05) in the no-nap group (4.18±0.27 s) than in the nap group (4.24±0.24 s). In conclusion, our results suggest that a short daytime nap in children may reduce the decline in exercise performance observed in the afternoon.
Boccia is a targeted sport that has been devised in Europe for people with severe cerebral palsy (CP) or similar severe limbs dysfunction. In the target sport, it is important that the parasympathetic nerve becomes dominant during the competition, and it is said that the parasympathetic nerve activity tends to become dominant by training to raise the heart rate. The training protocol incorporates a rolling movement, which is an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) that can be performed even with severe CP. The purpose of this study is to verify whether interval rolling movement (IR), which repeats rolling movement at the maximum speed, is effective as training for increasing heart rate associated with effort exercise for people with severe CP. One workout consisted of 1minute rolling movement and 30seconds of rest, and three times of this workout were as 1set of IR. Subjects performed 3sets of IR with a 5minutes rest and performed this training for 6months. Six severe CP boccia players were divided into two groups, 1/week group and 1/month group, depending on the frequency of intervention. As a result, the post-exercise heart rate and the number of turns per minute increased significantly in the weekly group, and no significant change was observed in the monthly group. For severe CP boccia players, it was suggested that conducting IR at least once a week is an effective method of training aimed at increasing heart rate associated with effort exercise.
Sleep disorders are risk factors for hypertension. This adverse effect is especially affected in women. Nevertheless, the impact of sleep habits on the cardiovascular response remains unclear in young women. This study aimed to determine whether sleep habits could affect blood pressure regulation at rest and during exercise in young women. Twenty-two young women participated in this study. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), resting blood pressure (BP), and BP response to the 2-minute isometric handgrip exercise, which consists of 25% maximum force production using left hand, were measured. Beat-by-beat arterial BP changes during exercise was measured using the Finapres™ device, and it was averaged every 30 sec before and during exercise; BP reactivity was evaluated by the delta change from rest to exercise. The PSQI score was 5.2 ± 2.2. The resting systolic and diastolic BPs were 105 ± 7 mmHg and 62 ± 7 mmHg, respectively. BP reactivity to the exercise were Δ 4 ± 7 mmHg, Δ 4 ± 7 mmHg, Δ 6 ± 7 mmHg, and Δ 7 ± 9 mmHg, for each 30-sec interval. Poorer sleepers (PSQI > 4.5) showed a tendency toward lower resting systolic BP compared with better sleepers (PSQI < 4.5) (p = 0.069). Systolic BP reactivity to the last 30 sec of exercise was correlated with the PSQI score (r = 0.484, p = 0.022). In conclusion, sleep quality may affect the cardiovascular regulation at rest and during exercise in young women.