NECK COOLING IMPROVES THERMAL SENSATIONS AND PERFORMANCE IN EXTENDED ACTIVITY

Tyler, C. J, & Sunderland, C. (2008). Neck cooling during exercise in the heat improves subsequent treadmill time-trial performance. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis, Presentation Number 2060.

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This study investigated the effect of cooling the neck during exercise on subsequent time-trial performance in high ambient temperatures. Trained males (N = 9) completed three 90-minute preloaded time-trials on a treadmill in the heat (~30.5C). The preloaded time-trial consisted of 75 minutes at ~60%VO2max followed by a 15-minute time-trial during which Ss ran as far as possible. During the trials, Ss wore a cold collar, an uncooled collar, or no collar. Heart rate, rectal temperature, neck temperature, rating of perceived exertion, thermal sensation, and water consumption were recorded throughout. Nude body mass was recorded pre- and post-exercise. Distance was recorded at 75 minutes and 90 minutes, to calculate time-trial distance.

During the 15-minute time-trial, Ss ran further in the cold-collar condition compared to the uncooled and no-collar conditions. There was no difference in the distance run during the uncooled and no-collar conditions. Neck temperature was colder in cold-collar condition than in the uncooled and no-collar conditions. There were no differences at the beginning or end of the time-trial phase between cold-collar and no-collar conditions. There were no differences in heart rate, rectal temperature, water consumption, or sweat loss between trials. Thermal sensation was lower in the cold-collar condition compared to the uncooled and no-collar conditions. Ratings of perceived exertion were lower in cold-collar condition than in the uncooled-collar condition.

Implication. Time-trial performance in the heat was improved by 5% with the application of neck cooling. Subjective measures of thermal sensation and perceived exertion were altered throughout the 90-minute exercise period.

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