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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Children's Exercise Physiology by Thomas W. Rowland (Human Kinetics Publishers) The reorganized and newly revised Children’s Exercise Physiology, Second Edition, presents the most up-to-date research, methodology, and approaches related to children’s physiologic responses to exercise.

The book examines not only the current major issues that separate children from adults, but also the underlying mechanisms of these differences. Readers will learn what makes children different from adults physiologically—such as size, biochemical differences, neuromuscular differences, and lack of sexual and hormonal maturation—and the reasons for these differences. Those involved with young athletes, disease management, and health promotion will gain valuable insight into the physiologic determinants of exercise performance.

Children’s exercise physiology is a fast-moving field. In the eight years since the first edition of this book was published, much new information has surfaced. This streamlined new edition contains 13 instead of 15 chapters, an introduction, and updated features:

Chapter objectives, discussion questions and research directions, and a glossary of terms promote learning.
A reorganized table of contents improves the flow from chapter to chapter.
A new final chapter covers the role of the central nervous system.

Also included is in-depth discussion of the determinants of aerobic fitness and VO2 kinetics and the significance of maximal aerobic power in children.

With improved chapters on thermoregulation and metabolic and endocrinologic responses to exercise, you can be confident you are getting the latest information with Children’s Exercise Physiology, Second Edition.

Excerpt: The past several decades have witnessed increasing interest in how children exercise. Health professionals want to know how to make children more active. Coaches seek means of training young athletes that are both safe and effective. Physicians and rehabilitation specialists wish for information on how exercise can be used to treat children with cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal disorders.

This interest in exercise in youth has generated a growing volume of research data that indicate unique aspects of exercise physiology in the growing human. This book provides an overview of this state-of-the-art information. It endeavors, however, not simply to describe where we have been in pediatric exercise physiology but also where we might go. These new directions are presented in the context of issues that have arisen from research both in adults and animals but that have often not been addressed in the pediatric literature. These perspectives represent new opportunities for gaining insight into what makes children different from adults.

As might be expected from any fresh approach, it should be anticipated that this book will create more questions than answers. The limited amount of established dogma in these pages, in fact, may be disconcerting to the reader seeking definitive, evidence-based information. The author makes no apology for this scientific ambiguity (as it is, after all, not his fault). Our current understanding of many issues in pediatric exercise physiology is incomplete—which makes this field frustrating and an exciting challenge at the same time.

A great number of influences account for the physiologic responses to exercise as children grow. It is appropriate that this book begins in the first three chapters with a foundation of the most obvious: increases in body size and the hormonal effects of puberty. With a solid understanding of these determinants, the developmental aspects and training adaptations of aerobic fitness, anaerobic fitness, and strength can be more completely understood.

Some traditional caveats for reviews of pediat­ric exercise physiology need to be restated. A basic understanding of exercise physiology—indeed, of pediatric exercise physiology—by the reader is assumed. Details of testing methodology in children, for example, are largely ignored. Similarly, given the breadth of the content, no effort has been made to provide an inclusive overview of all subjects. In each chapter, the reader is directed to review articles that offer more in-depth discussions.

This book restricts itself almost exclusively to the physiology of the healthy child. How responses to exercise differ in youths with chronic disease or in child athletes are critical issues but are addressed in other publications. Here we focus on a base of scientific information from which these applied areas of clinical medicine and sport training can be derived. It should be recognized that this database is limited to children who are old enough to be tested effectively (i.e., usually over 9 or 10 years old) and who, in most cases, are willing to be recruited for exercise studies. While an increasing number of studies have involved girls, most of our information base describes the exercise responses of boys. Unfortunately, very little research in this field can comfortably be assumed to represent the total pediatric population. Instead, many "norma­tive" data reflect a subset of motivated, older, usually male subjects.

The reader is cautioned, too, that drawing conclu­sions regarding cause-and-effect relationships in pedi­atric exercise physiology is particularly treacherous. In the course of normal maturation, a great number of variables change in concert. The extent to which one is caused by another, or to which they are both mutually related to a third factor, is often unclear. Indeed, devising means of defining the directions of causal "arrows" remains one of the major challenges of the field.

The author has attempted to maintain some consistency of definitions throughout but, admittedly, has not always compulsively done so. Child generally refers to a prepubertal subject, as opposed to adolescent, a teenager who has at least begun the pubertal process. The terms pediatric exercise physiology and developmental exercise physiology are considered to be synonymous. The different interpretations of the terms peak VO2 and VO2max to describe aerobic fitness are explained in chapter 5. In describing indi­vidual studies, the term used by the respective authors has been honored. In other discussions, VO2max is used, with apologies to those semantic purists who might find this term subversive.

This book is intended for a wide audience that includes students, health care providers, physical educators, public health professionals, exercise scientists, and sport administrators. It is designed to serve both as a useful reference source and as a textbook for courses involving pediatric exercise science. To this end, each chapter includes objectives and discussion questions, and a glossary has been added at the back of the book.

Introduction to Exercise Science (2nd Edition) edited by Terry J. Housh (Benjamin Cummings) Introduction to Exercise Science is designed to introduce undergraduate students to such aspects of the discipline as the areas of study, technology, certifications, professional associations, and career opportunities. It also helps students develop an appreciation for the history of, as well as current and future trends in, exercise science. This textbook does not provide in-depth exposure to the individual areas of study (anatomy, biomechanics, and so on) within exercise science; rather, each chapter identifies prominent and timely lines of inquiry without exhaustive reviews of the primary literature.

This textbook is divided into two parts: Introduction and Areas of Study in Exer­cise Science. Part I includes two chapters, "An Introduction to Exercise Science" and "History of Exercise Science." Part II includes chapters covering anatomy, athletic training as a profession, biomechanics, exercise physiology, exercise and sport nutrition, exercise and sport psychology, measurement in exercise science, and motor control and motor learning. Each chapter in Part II provides informa­tion on the specific area of study, including a brief history, health and sports per­formance-related issues, technology, professional associations, employment opportunities, glossary of terms, study questions, an abstract of research, and suggested readings.

Chapter 1: An Introduction to Exercise Science

Chapter 1 provides basic information about exercise science. It defines exercise and science and provides a working definition of exercise science as "how and why the human body responds to physical activity." It also describes the coursework typi­cally included in an undergraduate major in exercise science. Furthermore, this chapter synopsizes the "Basic Standards for the Professional Preparation in Exer­cise Science 1995" prepared by the Applied Exercise Science Council of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).

Chapter 2: History of Exercise Science

In Chapter 2, Herbert deVries provides a historical foundation for the under­standing of exercise science. To appreciate fully the current and future trends in the field, it is important to know how exercise science has developed as a disci­pline. Chapter 2 discusses the influence of medical doctors as pioneers in exer­cise science as well as factors that contributed to the emergence of exercise science as a unique field of study. This chapter also identifies important scientists from the United States and Europe who influenced the development of exercise science, and it describes selected classic research studies that have added to our understanding of the effects of exercise training. Finally, Dr. deVries provides a perspective on the divergence between exercise science and the applied, profes­sional area of physical education pedagogy (teacher training).

Chapter 3: Anatomy

An understanding of human anatomy is essential to the development of knowl­edge in exercise science. In Chapter 3, Glen Johnson provides a brief history of anatomy and defines the subspecialties of gross anatomy, cytology, histology, comparative anatomy, developmental anatomy, and pathological anatomy. Fur­thermore, Dr. Johnson ties the study of anatomy to exercise science by relating it to research in growth and development, body composition, and the cellular adaptations to training.

Chapter 4: Athletic Training: The Profession

In this chapter, Ronald Pfeiffer includes a description of the profession of athletic training, the National Athletic Trainer's Association (NATA) Board of Certifica­tion examination, and employment opportunities. Athletic training provides a unique opportunity for exercise science professionals to combine work in the area of sports performance with health-related, clinical careers. The national cer­tification process is highly structured, and Dr. Pfeiffer outlines the expectations for professionals in athletic training.

Chapter 5: Biomechanics

Chapter 5 on biomechanics is co-authored by Daniel Blanke and Nick Stergiou from the University of Nebraska-Omaha . Biomechanics has many applications in exercise science and this chapter outlines various sports performance and health­related aspects. In addition, Chapter 5 discusses a number of new technologies that are used for in-depth analyses of human movement. The chapter also describes the many interesting employment opportunities for students with knowledge and skills in biomechanics.

Chapter 6: Exercise Physiology

Exercise physiology is central to an understanding of exercise science. In Chapter 6, Joseph Weir describes many areas of basic and applied research. Exercise phys­iologists have a number of employment opportunities in academia as well as the private sector. Furthermore, professional organizations such as the American Col­lege of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Strength and Conditioning Associ­ation (NSCA), and the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) provide certifications that require mastery of topics in exercise physiology, which supple­ment the formal college and university training for exercise science students.

Chapter 7: Exercise and Sport Nutrition

Proper nutrition is important for optimal health as well as successful sports per­formance. In Chapter 7, Joan Eckerson provides information about nutrition as it relates to chronic disease and athletic performance and also discusses nutri­tional supplements as ergogenic aids. In terms of employment opportunities, Dr. Eckerson outlines the growing trend toward combining formal training in nutri­tion with exercise science to meet the needs of health clubs and wellness centers.

Chapter 8: Exercise and Sport Psychology

In Chapter 8, Richard Schmidt provides information regarding various aspects of exercise and sport psychology. Exercise psychology deals with factors related to motivation, exercise initiation, adherence, and compliance as well as the psy­chological changes associated with exercise training. Sport psychology includes factors which limit as well as enhance the ability to perform athletic events. Dr. Schmidt also discusses ways in which sports participation can enhance psycho­logical growth and development.

Chapter 9: Measurement in Exercise Science

Measurement theory and procedures have many applications in exercise science. In Chapter 9, Dale Mood explores the roles of measurement in exercise science. In addition to the assessment of cognitive, physical, and psychological aspects of human performance, measurement also includes issues related to statistical pro­cedures and computer applications.

Chapter 10: Motor Control and Motor Learning

In Chapter 10, David Sherwood provides basic information concerning the psy­chological and neurological theories underlying motor control and motor learn­ing. The applications of these theories have implications for health-related fields such as physical therapy and rehabilitation as well as sports performance. Basic knowledge of motor learning and control is valuable for allied health profession­als as well as athletes.

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