Nordic walking and water aerobics are very popular forms of physical activity in the elderly population. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of regular health training on the venous blood flow in lower extremities and body composition in women over 50 years old. Twenty-four women of mean age 57.9 (± 3.43) years, randomly divided into three groups (Nordic walking, water aerobics, and non-training), participated in the study. The training lasted 8 weeks, with one-hour sessions twice a week. Dietary habits were not changed. Before and after training vein refilling time and the function of the venous pump of the lower extremities were measured by photoplethysmography. Body composition was determined by bioelectrical impedance. Eight weeks of Nordic walking training improved the venous blood flow in lower extremities and normalized body composition in the direction of reducing chronic venous disorder risk factors. The average values of the refilling time variable (p = 0.04, p = 0.02, respectively) decreased in both the right and the left leg. After training a statistically significant increase in the venous pump function index was found only in the right leg (p = 0.04). A significant increase in fat-free mass, body cell mass and total body water was observed (p = 0.01), whereas body mass, the body mass index, and body fat decreased (p < 0.03). With regard to water aerobic training, no similar changes in the functions of the venous system or body composition were observed.
Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) has been used extensively as a dietary supplement for athletes and physically active people. HMB is a leucine metabolite, which is one of three branched chain amino acids. HMB plays multiple roles in the human body of which most important ones include protein metabolism, insulin activity and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The ergogenic effects of HMB supplementation are related to the enhancement of sarcolemma integrity, inhibition of protein degradation (ubiquitin pathway), decreased cell apoptosis, increased protein synthesis (mTOR pathway), stimulation of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 (GH/IGF-1) axis and enhancement of muscle stem cells proliferation and differentiation. HMB supplementation has been carried out with various groups of athletes. In endurance and martial arts athletes, HMB supplementation revealed positive effects on specific aerobic capacity variables. Positive results were also disclosed in resistance trained athletes, where changes in strength, body fat and muscle mass as well as anaerobic performance and power output were observed. The purpose of this review was to present the main mechanisms of HMB action, especially related to muscle protein synthesis and degradation, and ergogenic effects on different types of sports and physical activities.