Advertisement

Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 243–250 | Cite as

Stress Reactivity to Repeated Low-Level Challenges: A Pilot Study

  • Heather E. WebbEmail author
  • Emily C. Fabianke-Kadue
  • Robert R. Kraemer
  • Gary H. Kamimori
  • V. Daniel Castracane
  • Edmund O. Acevedo
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a mental challenge on cardiovascular and endocrine [epinephrine (EPI), norepinephrine (NE), and cortisol (CORT)] responses to subsequent low-intensity physical exertion. Twelve males (23.25 ± 0.45 years) completed three sessions, including a graded exercise test on a cycle ergometer and two counter-balanced mental stress trials. In the mental challenge-control condition (MC), participants sat quietly for 20 min following a 20 min mental challenge whereas in the mental challenge-exercise condition (MEC) subjects cycled at 35% of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) following the mental challenge. Repeated-measures ANOVAs were used to assess state anxiety (SAI), cardiovascular variables, EPI, NE, and CORT levels across time between conditions. Participants reported significantly greater increases in SAI scores immediately after the mental challenge, which then decreased post-challenge in both conditions. Neither EPI or NE demonstrated an alteration in levels in either condition, but CORT significantly increased after the mental challenge in both conditions and then maintained a significantly greater level during the MEC compared to the MC condition from midexercise through 15 min of recovery. Area-under-the-curve calculations for CORT was significantly greater in the MEC compared to the MC. Results suggest that the initial mental challenge may have acted to enhance the overall adrenal response to the subsequent anticipation of and actual participation in the low-level physical challenge.

Keywords

HPA axis SA axis Cortisol Repeated stress Repeated bouts 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This project was supported by a University of Mississippi Graduate Student Council Research Grant. The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the opinions of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

References

  1. Acevedo, E. O., Webb, H. E., Weldy, M. L., Fabianke, E. C., Orndorff, G. R., & Starks, M. A. (2006). Cardiorespiratory responses of hi fit and low fit subjects to mental challenge during exercise. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 27(12), 1013–1022.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. ACSM. (1998). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(6), 975–991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen, M. T., Stoney, C. M., Owens, J. F., & Matthews, K. A. (1993). Hemodynamic adjustments to laboratory stress: The influence of gender and personality. Psychosomatic Medicine, 55(6), 505–517.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Balady, G., Berra, K., Golding, L., Gordon, N., Mahler, D., Myers, J., et al. (2000). Clinical exercise testing. In B. Franklin (Ed.), ACSM’s resource manual for guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (6th ed., p. 368). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & WIlkins.Google Scholar
  5. Boone, J. L. (1991). Stress and hypertension. Primary Care, 18(3), 623–649.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Borer, K. T., Wuorinen, E. C., Lukos, J. R., Denver, J. W., Porges, S. W., & Burant, C. F. (2009). Two bouts of exercise before meals, but not after meals, lower fasting blood glucose. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(8), 1606–1614.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boutcher, S. H., & Nugent, F. W. (1993). Cardiac response of trained and untrained males to a repeated psychological stressor. Behavioral Medicine, 19(1), 21–27.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boutcher, S. H., Nugent, F. W., & Weltman, A. L. (1995). Heart rate response to psychological stressors of individuals possessing resting bradycardia. Behavioral Medicine, 21(1), 40–46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chrousos, G. P. (1998). Ultradian, circadian, and stress-related hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis activity—A dynamic digital-to-analog modulation. Endocrinology, 139(2), 437–440.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Conrad, A., Wilhelm, F. H., Roth, W. T., Spiegel, D., & Taylor, C. B. (2008). Circadian affective, cardiopulmonary, and cortisol variability in depressed and nondepressed individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42(9), 769–777.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Davies, C. T., & Few, J. D. (1973). Effects of exercise on adrenocortical function. Journal of Applied Physiology, 35(6), 887–891.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Devito, A. J., & Kubis, J. F. (1983). Alternate forms of the state-trait anxiety inventory. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 43(3), 729–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Frankenhaeuser, M. (1991). The psychophysiology of workload, stress, and health: Comparison between the sexes. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 13(4), 197–204.Google Scholar
  14. Gerra, G., Zaimovic, A., Mascetti, G. G., Gardini, S., Zambelli, U., Timpano, M., et al. (2001). Neuroendocrine responses to experimentally-induced psychological stress in healthy humans. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 26(1), 91–107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goto, K., Ishii, N., Mizuno, A., & Takamatsu, K. (2007). Enhancement of fat metabolism by repeated bouts of moderate endurance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 102(6), 2158–2164.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Henry, J. P. (1992). Biological basis of the stress response. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, 27(1), 66–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hill, E. E., Zack, E., Battaglini, C., Viru, M., Viru, A., & Hackney, A. C. (2008). Exercise and circulating cortisol levels: The intensity threshold effect. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 31(7), 587–591.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Inder, W. J., Hellemans, J., Swanney, M. P., Prickett, T. C., & Donald, R. A. (1998). Prolonged exercise increases peripheral plasma ACTH, CRH, and AVP in male athletes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 85(3), 835–841.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson, E. O., Kamilaris, T. C., Chrousos, G. P., & Gold, P. W. (1992). Mechanisms of stress: A dynamic overview of hormonal and behavioral homeostasis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 16(2), 115–130.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kaiser, H., & Michael, W. (1975). Domain validity and generalizability. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 35, 31–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kraemer, R. R., Blair, S., Kraemer, G. R., & Castracane, V. D. (1989). Effects of treadmill running on plasma beta-endorphin, corticotropin, and cortisol levels in male and female 10K runners. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 58(8), 845–851.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li, T. L., & Gleeson, M. (2004). The effect of single and repeated bouts of prolonged cycling on leukocyte redistribution, neutrophil degranulation, IL-6, and plasma stress hormone responses. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 14(5), 501–516.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Maresh, C. M., Sokmen, B., Kraemer, W. J., Hoffman, J. R., Watson, G., Judelson, D. A., et al. (2006). Pituitary–adrenal responses to arm versus leg exercise in untrained man. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 97(4), 471–477.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McAdoo, W. G., Weinberger, M. H., Miller, J. Z., Fineberg, N. S., & Grim, C. E. (1990). Race and gender influence hemodynamic responses to psychological and physical stimuli. Journal of Hypertension, 8(10), 961–967.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mutti, A., Ferroni, C., Vescovi, P. P., Bottazzi, R., Selis, L., Gerra, G., et al. (1989). Endocrine effects of psychological stress associated with neurobehavioral performance testing. Life Science, 44(24), 1831–1836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ronsen, O., Haug, E., Pedersen, B. K., & Bahr, R. (2001). Increased neuroendocrine response to a repeated bout of endurance exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(4), 568–575.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ronsen, O., Kjeldsen-Kragh, J., Haug, E., Bahr, R., & Pedersen, B. K. (2002). Recovery time affects immunoendocrine responses to a second bout of endurance exercise. American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology, 283(6), C1612–C1620.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Sari-Sarraf, V., Reilly, T., Doran, D. A., & Atkinson, G. (2007). The effects of single and repeated bouts of soccer-specific exercise on salivary IgA. Archives of Oral Biology, 52(6), 526–532.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sari-Sarraf, V., Reilly, T., Doran, D., & Atkinson, G. (2008). Effects of repeated bouts of soccer-specific intermittent exercise on salivary IgA. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 29(5), 366–371.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Speilberger, C. D., Gorsuch, R. L., & Lushene, R. E. (1970). Manual for the state-trait anxiety inventory. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  31. Webb, H., Weldy, M., Fabianke-Kadue, E., Orndorff, G., Kamimori, G., & Acevedo, E. (2008). Psychological stress during exercise: cardiorespiratory and hormonal responses. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 104(6), 973–981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wilmore, J. H., & Costill, D. L. (2001). Physical energy: Fuel metabolism. Nutrition Reviews, 59(1 Pt 2), S13–S16.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Wittert, G. A., Stewart, D. E., Graves, M. P., Ellis, M. J., Evans, M. J., Wells, J. E., et al. (1991). Plasma corticotrophin releasing factor and vasopressin responses to exercise in normal man. Clinical Endocrinology, 35(4), 311–317.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather E. Webb
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emily C. Fabianke-Kadue
    • 2
  • Robert R. Kraemer
    • 3
  • Gary H. Kamimori
    • 4
  • V. Daniel Castracane
    • 5
  • Edmund O. Acevedo
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyMississippi State University, Mississippi State, MississippiStarkvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation ManagementThe University of Mississippi, University, MississippiOxfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Kinesiology and Health StudiesSoutheastern Louisiana UniversityHammondUSA
  4. 4.Walter Reed Army Institute of ResearchSilver SpringUSA
  5. 5.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine at the Permian BasinTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterOdessaUSA
  6. 6.Department of Health and Human PerformanceVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

Personalised recommendations