Griffith scientists have found exercise-response monitoring is crucialfor maximising the safety and effectiveness of undertaking exercise.

Published in SpringerPlus in time for Exercise Right Week (22-28 May), the Gold Coast study examined if so called ‘mood-state’ assessment could be used to non-invasively indicate the stress-recovery balance in the body at a molecular level, following resistance-exercise.

Male participants aged 18-40 were recruited and performed either a highly-controlled thumb resistance-exercise bout or a placebo intervention. Participants were then assessed for mood-state changes using a validated questionnaire and levels of two biomarkers believed to influence fatigue (IL-6) and recovery (DHEA-S) from exercise.

Following exercise, DHEA-S decreased significantly in the untrained exercising group and this change was also reflected in the mood-state of the participants as borne out by their completed questionnaires, study leader Dr Adam Szlezak from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, found.

“DHEA-S appears to be important in recovery from various forms of stress. Understanding its link with mood-state following exercise means we can consider using mood-state assessment to study the stress-recovery balance on a more sophisticated level, with the aim of improving exercise outcomes,” he said.

“The results from this study are interesting for the likes of athletic coaches and exercise trainers to show the safety of non-invasive assessments and how they can be easily undertaken at a training facility to assist with training monitoring on a holistic level.

“Many valid psychological questionnaires are available for use in exercise monitoring, and these should be considered by all exercise professionals.

“However the study results are also important in showing how we can receive maximum benefits from exercise as a medicine,” Dr Szlezak said.

“For example, cancer patients undergoing specialised treatments can often benefit from tailored exercise prescriptions, with mood-parameters such as fatigue to be assessed to determine the success of the prescription.”

Gold Coast athletics coach Anthony Drinkwater-Newman provided support for the study.

“This is a great monitoring system for coaches, a simple and practical assessment to be conducted on the spot at any training session.

The benefit could see significant training variables avoided due to mood. For the sub-elite coaches with minimal resources, access to practical monitoring and the use of mood state to affect training and performance outcomes is outstanding.”