Heart rate variability responses to acute and repeated postexercise sauna in trained cyclists

Leicht, Anthony S., Halliday, Aaron, Sinclair, Wade H., D'Auria, Shaun, Buchheit, Martin, Kenny, Glen P., and Stanley, Jamie (2018) Heart rate variability responses to acute and repeated postexercise sauna in trained cyclists. Applied Physiology Nutrition And Metabolism, 43 (7). pp. 704-710.

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Short- to medium-term (i.e., 4-14 days) heating protocols induce physiological adaptations including improved cardiac autonomic modulations, as assessed using heart rate variability, which may contribute to greater exercise performance. Whether similar cardiac autonomic changes occur during an intense heating protocol (sauna) reported to increase plasma volume in athletes remains to be confirmed. This study examined changes in heart rate and its variability during a single extreme heat (sauna) exposure and repeated exposures in athletes. Six well-trained male cyclists undertook sauna bathing (30 min, 87 degrees C, 11% relative humidity) immediately after normal training over 10 consecutive days. Heart rate recordings were obtained during each sauna bout. Heart rate and its variability (natural logarithm of root mean square of successive differences, InRMSSD) were analysed during 10-min periods within the first bout, and changes in heart rate and InRMSSD were analysed during each bout via magnitude-based inferences. During the first sauna bout, heart rate was almost certainly increased (similar to 32%, effect size 1.68) and InRMSSD was almost certainly reduced (similar to 62%, effect size -5.21) from the first to the last 10-min period, indicating reduced parasympathetic and (or) enhanced sympathetic modulations. Acute exposure to extreme heat stress via sauna produced alterations in heart rate and cardiac autonomic modulations with successive postexercise heat exposures producing unclear changes over a 10-day period. The physiological benefits of intense heating via sauna on cardiac control in athletes remain to be elucidated.

Item ID: 54571
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1715-5312
Keywords: athletes, autonomic nervous system, passive heat, cardiac parasympathetic activity
Funders: Queensland Academy of Sport, Centre of Excellence for Applied Sport, University of Ottawa (UO)
Projects and Grants: UO Research Chair Award
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2018 07:33
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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