COOLING THE HEAD MAKES THE HEAD COOLER (BUT NOT THE BODY)
Ferguson, R. H., & Brown, B. S. (2000). The effectiveness of a personal cooling device during endurance exercise in high ambient temperatures. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 898.
"High ambient temperatures adversely affect endurance performance by increasing submaximal oxygen consumption, heart rate, and heat storage and subsequently hastening fatigue during prolonged exercise" (p. s194). This study determined the effectiveness of a personal cooling device in reducing body temperature, oxygen consumption, and heart rate during endurance exercise. Trained male distance runners (N = 10) completed two 35-min treadmill runs at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. The run consisted of 5 minutes warm up, 25 minutes of running at 10.5 mph, and 5 minutes of cool down. In one trial, each Ss wore a cold cap cooled in an ice-water bath.
The cold cap trial produced lower tympanic and forehead temperatures. There were no differences in temperatures in other parts of the body and no differences in heart rate, oxygen consumption, or ratings of perceived exertion.
Implication. Cooling the head before exercise makes the head cooler. Possibly, a larger cooling device is needed to affect the overall body.
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