LIMB ELEVATION IN RECOVERY HAS BENEFICIAL PROPERTIES

Pinthong, M., & Tikamram, J. (2011). Influence of recovery postures on thermoregulatory responses following high-intensity intermittent exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 761.

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This study investigated the effects of recovery postures; upright-seated and 45 degrees leg-raising, on thermoregulatory responses during recovery from high-intensity, intermittent exercise. College male athletes (N = 8; ~20.4 years) performed 45 minutes of intermittent running (treadmill) followed by 15 minutes of recovery seated upright or with a 45 leg-elevation. Each S performed two experimental trials in a random manner. All trials were conducted at ~25C and relative humidity of ~50% (SD 5.0). Rectal temperature and heart rate were measured at baseline, every one minute throughout exercise, and the recovery period. Forearm sweat rates were collected during exercise, and at 2, 5, 12 and 15 minutes into recovery.

Rectal temperatures at baseline and immediately following exercise (seated) were not significantly different between the recovery trials. Exercise increased forearm sweat rate before recovery in the seated and 45-leg elevation conditions, those values not being different between bouts. Rectal temperature decreased significantly faster during the leg-elevated recovery. Although heart rate (lower) and sweat rate (greater) were changed during the leg-elevated recovery, they were not statistically significant.

Implication. Seated recovery promotes venous pooling in the limbs which reduces the return of cooled blood to the core. Leg-elevation supports blood pressure regulation and promotes cutaneous vasodilatation, thereby enhancing heat dissipation.

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