Previous studies from our group have shown that "pure" eccentric exercise performed on an isokinetic dynamometer can induce health-promoting effects that may improve quality of life. In order to investigate whether the benefits of "pure" eccentric exercise can be transferred to daily activities, a new and friendlier way to perform eccentric exercise had to be invented. To this end, we have proceeded to the design and construction of an automatic escalator, offering both stair descending (eccentric-biased) and stair ascending (concentric-biased) exercise.
A novel automatic escalator was designed, constructed and used in the present investigation. The aim of the present investigation was to compare the effect of two repeated sessions of stair descending versus stair ascending exercise on muscle performance and health-related parameters in young healthy men. Twenty males participated and were randomly divided into two equal-sized groups: a stair descending group (muscle-damaging group) and a stair ascending group (non-muscle-damaging group). Each group performed two sessions of stair descending or stair ascending exercise on the automatic escalator while a three week period was elapsed between the two exercise sessions. Indices of muscle function, insulin sensitivity, blood lipid profile and redox status were assessed before and immediately after, as well as at day 2 and day 4 after both exercise sessions. It was found that the first bout of stair descending exercise caused muscle damage, induced insulin resistance and oxidative stress as well as affected positively blood lipid profile. However, after the second bout of stair descending exercise the alterations in all parameters were diminished or abolished. On the other hand, the stair ascending exercise induced only minor effects on muscle function and health-related parameters after both exercise bouts. The results of the present investigation indicate that stair descending exercise seems to be a promising way of exercise that can provoke positive effects on blood lipid profile and antioxidant status.
Despite the progress of analytic techniques and the refinement of study designs, striking disagreement exists among studies regarding the influence of exercise on muscle function and redox homeostasis in the elderly. The repeated eccentric exercise model was applied to produce long-lasting and extensive changes in redox biomarkers and to reveal more effectively the potential effects of aging on redox homeostasis. Ten young (20.6±0.5 years) and ten elderly men (64.6±1.1 years) underwent an isokinetic eccentric exercise session, which was repeated after three weeks. Muscle function/damage indices (torque, range of movement, muscle soreness and creatine kinase) and redox biomarkers (F2-isoprostanes, protein carbonyls, glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, uric acid, bilirubin and albumin) were assessed in plasma, erythrocytes or urine pre-exercise, immediately post-exercise and at 2 and 4 days post-exercise. As expected, the elderly group exhibited oxidative stress in baseline compared to the young group. Extensive muscle damage and extensive alterations in redox homeostasis appeared after the first bout of eccentric exercise. Noteworthy, the redox responses were similar between the age groups despite their differences in baseline values. Likewise, both age groups demonstrated blunted alterations in muscle damage and redox homeostasis after the second bout of eccentric exercise indicating adaptations from the first bout of exercise. Elderly individuals seem to be well fitted to participate in demanding physical activities without suffering detrimental effects on skeletal muscle and/or disturbances on redox homeostasis. The repeated eccentric exercise model may be a useful and practical physiological tool to study redox biology in humans.
It was recently reported that antioxidant supplementation decreases training efficiency and prevents cellular adaptations to chronic exercise.
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