Research Topic

Exercise and Sport: Their Influences on Women's Health Across the Lifespan, Volume II

About this Research Topic

This Research Topic is part of the Exercise and Sport: Their Influences on Women's Health Across the Lifespan series:
Exercise and Sport: Their Influences on Women's Health Across the Lifespan

This Research Topic of Frontiers in Physiology is dedicated to the memory of Professor Nigel Stepto, the Lead Guest Editor of this collection, who sadly passed away during its formation.

Prof Stepto was a passionate and recognised world leader in the field of Exercise Physiology with outstanding contributions, particularly in the area of women’s reproductive health. Nigel’s research passion was in understanding the mechanistic effects of exercise for health and therapy with a special interest in insulin resistance and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, the leading cause of anovulatory infertility in young women of reproductive age. He was the co-Deputy Director - Research Training at the Institute of Health and Sport (IHeS) at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia and held adjunct associate professorial roles at Monash University and the University of Melbourne. He was Chair of the Exercise and Sports Science Association (ESSA) Research Committee, Project Director of the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS) and an active member of the Australian Physiological Society (AuPS). Alongside his influential research career and leadership roles, Nigel was a strong advocate for postgraduate and early career researchers. His collaborative nature and approach to research ensured those mentored by him were considered, included and valued members across his many research projects and initiatives. Nigel’s impact and influence on the careers of early researchers will continue at Victoria University with both a Nigel Stepto Travel Award and Nigel Stepto PhD Scholarship established in his honour.

Nigel was great friend and colleague to many who is very much missed. Nigel is survived by his wife, Fiona and two children Matilda (14 years) and Harriet (11 years). Vale, Professor Nigel Stepto (12 September 1971 – 4 February 2020).


In this era of gender equity in an obesogenic environment, girls and women of all ages are now engaging in exercise activities for improved health and elite sports performance. There is a plethora of literature documenting the body's physiological responses to exercise, promotion of exercise for medical therapy and disease prevention, as well as studies aimed towards enhancing sports performance. Despite all of this research, there is still a significant gender bias focused on males and their physiological reactions to exercise. This approach ignores the fundamental reproductive physiological differences between men and women across the spectrum of the clinical exercise, exercise and sports sciences and different life events that likely influence response to exercise interventions.

In this Research Topic, we wish to explore the unique acute and chronic physiological responses to exercise and training in women and the role of exercise interventions across the spectrum of health promotion to sports performance in women across the lifespan. We welcome researchers to submit manuscripts of original research or systematic reviews with meta-analysis on the following women’s health topics:

1) Gender differences and/or changes across the lifespan (adolescence, reproductive years, and menopause) in physiological (cardiovascular, endocrine, metabolic, reproductive, etc.) responses to exercise and training
2) Interactions between exercise and the menstrual cycle, implications for the athlete performance, injury prevalence and overall health in women
3) Exercise and pregnancy, with focus on both pre-conception and post-partum periods
4) Exercise and chronic diseases in women (cardiovascular disease, gestational diabetes, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, type 2 diabetes)
5) Impact of contraception or hormone replacement therapy on physiological responses of the body systems to exercise and training in women


Keywords: Exercise Interventions, Chronic disease and cancer, Injury prevalence and prevention, Pregnancy, Reproductive hormones


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

This Research Topic is part of the Exercise and Sport: Their Influences on Women's Health Across the Lifespan series:
Exercise and Sport: Their Influences on Women's Health Across the Lifespan

This Research Topic of Frontiers in Physiology is dedicated to the memory of Professor Nigel Stepto, the Lead Guest Editor of this collection, who sadly passed away during its formation.

Prof Stepto was a passionate and recognised world leader in the field of Exercise Physiology with outstanding contributions, particularly in the area of women’s reproductive health. Nigel’s research passion was in understanding the mechanistic effects of exercise for health and therapy with a special interest in insulin resistance and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, the leading cause of anovulatory infertility in young women of reproductive age. He was the co-Deputy Director - Research Training at the Institute of Health and Sport (IHeS) at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia and held adjunct associate professorial roles at Monash University and the University of Melbourne. He was Chair of the Exercise and Sports Science Association (ESSA) Research Committee, Project Director of the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS) and an active member of the Australian Physiological Society (AuPS). Alongside his influential research career and leadership roles, Nigel was a strong advocate for postgraduate and early career researchers. His collaborative nature and approach to research ensured those mentored by him were considered, included and valued members across his many research projects and initiatives. Nigel’s impact and influence on the careers of early researchers will continue at Victoria University with both a Nigel Stepto Travel Award and Nigel Stepto PhD Scholarship established in his honour.

Nigel was great friend and colleague to many who is very much missed. Nigel is survived by his wife, Fiona and two children Matilda (14 years) and Harriet (11 years). Vale, Professor Nigel Stepto (12 September 1971 – 4 February 2020).


In this era of gender equity in an obesogenic environment, girls and women of all ages are now engaging in exercise activities for improved health and elite sports performance. There is a plethora of literature documenting the body's physiological responses to exercise, promotion of exercise for medical therapy and disease prevention, as well as studies aimed towards enhancing sports performance. Despite all of this research, there is still a significant gender bias focused on males and their physiological reactions to exercise. This approach ignores the fundamental reproductive physiological differences between men and women across the spectrum of the clinical exercise, exercise and sports sciences and different life events that likely influence response to exercise interventions.

In this Research Topic, we wish to explore the unique acute and chronic physiological responses to exercise and training in women and the role of exercise interventions across the spectrum of health promotion to sports performance in women across the lifespan. We welcome researchers to submit manuscripts of original research or systematic reviews with meta-analysis on the following women’s health topics:

1) Gender differences and/or changes across the lifespan (adolescence, reproductive years, and menopause) in physiological (cardiovascular, endocrine, metabolic, reproductive, etc.) responses to exercise and training
2) Interactions between exercise and the menstrual cycle, implications for the athlete performance, injury prevalence and overall health in women
3) Exercise and pregnancy, with focus on both pre-conception and post-partum periods
4) Exercise and chronic diseases in women (cardiovascular disease, gestational diabetes, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, type 2 diabetes)
5) Impact of contraception or hormone replacement therapy on physiological responses of the body systems to exercise and training in women


Keywords: Exercise Interventions, Chronic disease and cancer, Injury prevalence and prevention, Pregnancy, Reproductive hormones


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

08 January 2021 Abstract
30 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

08 January 2021 Abstract
30 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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