News & Views from the Editor-in-Chief - L. Bruce Gladden
There are numerous high-quality papers in the July 2019 issue of the journal and I am directing your attention to three of them here. The first addresses the sub–2-hour marathon. This question has intrigued everyone from exercise scientists to the general public for years, with interest peaking of late as Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge prepares for a special tilt at the mark in October of this year in London. Using a robust, nonlinear statistical treatment of the marathon world-record progression since 1950, Angus computes a timetable of likelihoods for the "sub-2" breakthrough, finding that an attempt in May 2032 has a 10% chance of succeeding. Angus reminds us that the question of "how likely?" and "when?" are scientifically coupled considerations. Angus also uses his framework to identify the limits of marathon performance for males and females, finding a remarkable similarity between his estimate for the male limit (1 h 58 min 5 s) and that of Michael Joyner predicted on purely physiological grounds in 1991.
Second, Morville et al. investigated the use of cholesterol-lowering medication (statins) and their adverse effect on muscle pain in relation to physical activity and muscle function. They performed a population-based survey (6000 people) showing a 19% prevalence of muscle pain in statin users and then compared statin users with or without muscle pain to a healthy control group in terms of aerobic power and muscle strength. They found that muscle pain was not associated with decreased aerobic power, maximal fat oxidation, leg extension power or rate of force development. These findings suggest that the complex phenomenon of muscle symptoms with statin use is not related to impaired muscle function, potentially a clinically relevant result.
Finally, exercise truly is preventive medicine as demonstrated by Thom et al. They evaluated the effects of acute aerobic exercise on mood and emotion among men with high levels of trait anger. Before and after moderate-intensity cycling, these easily angered men were shown pictures that evoked a variety of emotions, including happiness, fear, and anger, all while brain activity was recorded via high-density EEG. Serendipitously, this session of picture-viewing not only evoked the relevant emotions, but it also evoked an angry mood prior to exercise or quiet rest. Yet when the pictures were shown again after exercise, the men did not develop an angry mood, and in fact their angry mood was reduced below population norms, demonstrating that exercise can be used as a prophylactic against the development of an angry mood.
L. Bruce Gladden
School of Kinesiology