Effect of submaximal exercise at low temperatures on pulmonary function in healthy young men

  • H. Pekkarinen
  • H. Tukiainen
  • H. Litmanen
  • J. Huttunen
  • T. Karstu
  • E. Länsimies
Article

Summary

In order to understand more fully the effect on pulmonary function of whole body exposure to cold during submaximal exercise, we measured pulmonary function indices in ten healthy male students and ten healthy male forestry workers of similar age following submaximal treadmill walking at different temperatures in a climatic chamber. After measuring the maximal aerobic capacity with a cycle ergometer test, the subjects had to walk on four separate occasions in the climatic chamber at an intensity of 70%–75% of their individual maximal heart rate; the first at normal room temperature and then randomly, either at 0°C or at −20°C, and vice versa. The duration of each walk was 8 min. Finally, each subject had to walk in the chamber at −20° C for 17 min. Flow volume spirometry was performed at room temperature 1, 5, 10, and 20 min after exercise and the values were compared to baseline values taken prior to the last walking test. There were only minor changes in pulmonary function indices following exercise at different temperatures. Only one student showed a reduction of over 15% in peak expiratory flow rate after an 8-min walk at −20° C. It seems that submaximal exercise of short duration, even at a temperature as low as −20° C, does not impair pulmonary function in healthy young men.

Key words

Submaximal exercise Cold exposure Pulmonary function Normal subjects 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Pekkarinen
    • 1
  • H. Tukiainen
    • 2
  • H. Litmanen
    • 1
  • J. Huttunen
    • 1
  • T. Karstu
    • 1
  • E. Länsimies
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department of Pulmonary DiseasesUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland
  3. 3.Department of Clinical PhysiologyUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland

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