Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2005) 04, 239 - 247

Research article
Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue Following Moderate-Intensity Exercise in the Heat
James S. Williams1,2, , Kendra A. O’Keefe1, Lee T. Ferris2
Author Information
1 Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences,
2 Department of Physiology, Texas Tech University/TTU Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA

James S. Williams
✉ Associate Professor, Department of Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences, Box 43011 Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409-3011, USA
Email: jim.williams@ttu.edu
Publish Date
Received: 05-04-2005
Accepted: 10-05-2005
Published (online): 01-09-2005
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ABSTRACT

Heavy exercise has been shown to elicit reductions in inspiratory muscle strength in healthy subjects. Our purpose was to determine the combined effects of moderate-intensity endurance exercise and a thermal load on inspiratory muscle strength in active subjects. Eight active, non heat-acclimatized female subjects (23.5 ± 1.4 yr; VO2max = 39.8 ± 2.4 ml.kg-1.min-1) randomly performed two 40 min endurance exercise bouts (60% VO2max) in either a thermo-neutral (22°C/21% RH) or hot (37°C/33% RH) environment on separate days. Maximal sustained inspiratory mouth pressure (PImax) was obtained pre and post exercise as an index of inspiratory muscle strength. Additional variables obtained every 10 min during the endurance exercise bouts included: rectal temperature (TRE), heart rate (HR), minute ventilation (VE), oxygen uptake (VO2), tidal volume (VT), breathing frequency (Fb), and ratings of perceived exertion and dyspnea (RPE/RPD). Data were analyzed with repeated measures ANOVA. PImax was significantly reduced (p < 0.05) after exercise in the hot environment when compared to baseline and when compared to post exercise values in the thermo-neutral environment. PImax was unchanged from baseline following exercise in the thermo-neutral environment. HR and TRE were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the hot compared to the thermo-neutral environment. VE and VO2 were not significantly different between conditions. VT was unchanged between conditions whereas Fb was higher (p < 0.05) in the hot condition compared to thermo-neutral. RPE was not significantly different between conditions. RPD was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the hot compared to the thermo-neutral environment. We conclude that moderate-intensity endurance exercise (60% VO2max) in a hot environment elicits significant reductions in inspiratory muscle strength in unfit females. This finding is novel in that previous studies conducted in a thermo-neutral environment have shown that an exercise intensity of >80% VO2max is required to elicit reductions in inspiratory muscle strength. In addition, dyspnea perception during exercise is greater in a hot environment, compared to thermo-neutral, at a similar level of VE and VO2.

Key words: Control of breathing, endurance, respiratory function, thermal load


           Key Points
  • The combined effects of a heat load and exercise on inspiratory muscle strength were investigated in untrained female subjects.
  • Previous studies have shown that a very high exercise intensity (> 80% VOmax) is required to elicit reductions in inspiratory muscle strength.
  • Prolonged submaximal exercise (40-min/60% VOmax) in a hot environment significantly reduced inspiratory muscle strength in untrained females whereas the same intensity in a thermo-neutral environment had no effect on inspiratory muscle function.
  • These reductions in inspiratory muscle strength may be related to competition for blood flow among the locomotor, inspiratory, and cutaneous circulations.
 
 
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