VERY COLD TEMPERATURES REDUCE PERFORMANCE AND INCREASE ASTHMA SYMPTOMS

Stensrud, T., Berntsen, S., & Carlsen, K-H. (2006). Cold environment influences exercise capacity and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2165.

This study examined the influence of changing environmental temperature on exercise capacity measured by peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), peak ventilation (VEpeak) and peak running speed (Vpeak) and secondarily to assess the influence of changing environmental temperature upon exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in adolescents suffering from exercise induced bronchoconstriction. Ss (N = 20) of both genders with exercise induced bronchoconstriction underwent exercise testing by running on a treadmill in a climate chamber under standardized, regular, indoor conditions (20C and 40% relative humidity) and in a standardized cold environment (-18C and 40% relative humidity). Lung function was measured before and 1, 3, 6, 10, and 15 minutes after exercise and 15 minutes after inhalation of salbutamol.

Oxygen uptake (VO2), minute ventilation (VE), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), heart rate (HR) and running speed (V) were measured during exercise.

VO2peak decreased 5.9%, from 47.6 mm/kg in the cold environment. Running speed also decreased significantly from 10.2 km/hr at room temperature to 9.7 km/hr in the cold. No differences were found for VEpeak, respiratory exchange ratio peak, or heart rate peak.

Implication. Exercise in a cold environment markedly decreases exercise capacity measured by VO2peak and Vpeak. Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction is increased in the cold.

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