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n International SportMed Journal - Age-related responses among adult males to a 14 day high intensity exercise-heat acclimation protocol : original research article
Background : The influence of age on heat acclimation responses among aerobically fit males across a 14 day high intensity running protocol was assessed.
Research question : Will young and middle-aged males with similar VO2max, weekly running distance and body composition respond similarly to continuous, high intensity exercise-heat acclimation?
Hypothesis : Young and middle-aged males would respond similarly and fully acclimate within 14 days.
Study type : Non-randomised comparative.
Methods : 9 young (20.4 ± 2.4 years; 57.1 ± 3.8 ml·kg-1·min-1), 7 middle-aged (44.6 ± 4.5 years; 55.2 ± 6.3 ml·kg-1·min-1 pre-acclimation) male runners participated.
Protocol : 30 minute runs daily at 75% VO2max in a hot, moderately humid (35°C, 35% RH) environment.
Outcome measures : resting plasma volume % change (PV), rectal temperature (Tre), heart rate (HR), sweat loss (SL), perceived exertion (RPE).
Results : Tre, HR and RPE decreased, while PV (3.3 ± 5.6% young, 2.8 ± 3.3% middle-aged) increased within both groups (p < 0.050). SL did not change within either group. Groups differed in HR, but demonstrated similar Tre, PV, RPE and SL. Pre- and post-acclimation VO2max did not differ within or between groups.
Conclusions : Young and middle-aged, aerobically fit males responded similarly to high intensity exercise-heat acclimation. Both groups appeared to fully acclimate, although they may have experienced a latent HR response. The similar responses suggest that aging-related biological changes do not impair aerobically fit males' thermoregulation through their mid-40s during high intensity, hot weather exercise.
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