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Effects of a four-week touch rugby and self-paced interval running intervention on health markers in active young men.

Dobbin, Nicholas and Bloyce, Daniel and Hughes, Stephen Fon and Twist, Craig (2020) Effects of a four-week touch rugby and self-paced interval running intervention on health markers in active young men. Sport Sciences for Health. ISSN 1824-7490

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Abstract

Background Modified team sport activity has been proposed as effective exercise modality for promoting markers of health that are comparable or greater than continuous forms of activity. However, research using modified team sports is currently limited to sedentary populations using 2–3 sessions across a minimum of 8 weeks. Aim To investigate the effects of a 4-week touch rugby and self-paced interval running intervention on a range of health markers in active men. Methods Sixteen participants (age 26.4 ± 6.4 years) were matched for age, demographic and physical activity before completing a single touch rugby (n = 8) or running (n = 8) session per week for 4 weeks. Measures of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate (RHR), body composition and biochemical status were recorded pre- and post-intervention. Results ANCOVA analysis revealed between-group differences for impedance (P = 0.027), fat mass (P = 0.008), percentage body fat (P = 0.008) and fat-free mass (P = 0.002), with greater changes after touch rugby. Systolic blood pressure decreased for both groups with greater reductions observed after touch rugby (P = 0.002). No between-group difference was observed for RHR, interleukin-6 or C-reactive protein (P > 0.05). Contrasting internal, external and perceptual loads were observed. Conclusion The results of this study suggest that a single session of touch rugby over a 4-week period elicited greater improvements in body composition and SBP than self-paced running, with both being equally beneficial for improving RHR, diastolic blood pressure and inflammatory status in active young men.

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