My training for over a decade consisted of weight training. I don’t hate many things. Hate is a powerful word, but I hated (note the past tense) cardio. To be the best person I could be, I decided to face things that I hate. It was not until last year that I saw the benefit of cardio. I was able to perform my weight training at an easier tempo and gain strength regeneration faster. Endurance is an aspect of exercise that most people overlook. However, with endurance, the human body overheats the longer you train. Physiologically, the body is able to stabilise the internal body temperature developed by the muscular contractions via sweating. Over time the performance drops. I came across this interesting study that provides evidence of external measures to aid in the core body temperature.
Core body temperature
Our bodies must be able to regulate core temperature in its narrow range (37-40⁰C).
An increase of just 2⁰C can reduce performance.
Knowing this is especially important for athletes and other active people alike. During high-intensity exercise, core temperature rises too. Outdoor sports, such as soccer has the additional element of the sun’s heat that influences their core temperature.
Regulate body temperature
The preoptic area is a region in the brain and is the master temperature controller. Neurons in this region regulate the equilibrium between heat generation and heat loss from the body. When the body generates heat, the body perspires to actively cool the body down. Any organism that can control its internal body temperature is known as homeothermic. In order to regulate body temperature more effectively in physical activity, thus maintain performance.
Peiffer et al. (2010) investigated the effects of cold-water immersion (14⁰C) as a recovery intervention.
The endurance performance was tested using cycling: 25 min constant-paced session, followed by a 4 km time trial cycling session. These two sessions had a rest period of either 15 min seated recovery (control) or 5 min cold-water immersion.
The findings were that cold-water immersion showed significantly lower rectal temperature, significantly greater power output, and resultant faster completion time compared to the traditional 15 min seated recovery. The VO2 was not influenced by the cold-water immersion recovery intervention.
The 5-minute cold-water immersion recovery maintains endurance performance.
1.Peiffer, JJ., Abbiss, C.R., Watson, G., Nosaka, K., and Laursen. P.B. (2010). Effect of a 5-min cold-water immersion recovery on exercise performance in the heat. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(6),461-465.