Intermittent exercise-heat exposures and intense physical activity sustain heat acclimation adaptations.J Sci Med Sport 2019; 22(1):117-122JS
To determine if intermittent exercise-heat exposures (IHE) every fifth day sustain heat acclimation (HA) adaptations 25 days after initial HA.
Randomized control trial.
Sixteen non-heat acclimatized men heat acclimated during 10-11 days of exercise in the heat (40°C, 40% RH). A heat stress test (120min, 45% V˙O2peak) before (Pre HA) and after HA (Post HA) in similar hot conditions assessed HA status. Pair-matched participants were randomized into a control group (CON; n=7) that exercised in a temperate environment (24°C, 21%RH) or IHE group (n=9) that exercised in a hot environment (40°C, 40%RH) every fifth day for 25 days following HA (+25d) with out-of-laboratory exercise intensity and duration recorded. Both groups completed +25d in the hot condition.
Both groups heat acclimated similarly (p>0.05) evidenced by lower heart rate (HR), thermoregulatory, physiological, and perceptual responses (perceived exertion, fatigue, thermal sensation) Pre HA vs. Post HA (p≤0.05). At +25d, post-exercise HR (p=0.01) and physiological strain index (p<0.05) but neither Tre (p=0.18) nor sweat rate (p=0.44) were lower in IHE vs. CON. In IHE only, post-exercise Tre and perceptual responses at Post HA and +25d were lower than Pre HA (p≤0.01). +25d post-exercise epinephrine was higher in CON vs. IHE (p=0.04). Exercise intensity during out-of-lab exercise and +25d post-exercise HR were correlated (r=-0.89, p=0.02) in IHE.
Exercise-heat exposures every fifth day for 25 days and regular intense physical activity after HA sustained HR and Tre adaptations and reduced perceptual and physiological strain during exercise-heat stress ∼1 month later.