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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS

A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology


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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 Feb 08

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.06831-1

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Cardiovascular adjustments to heat stress during prolonged exercise

Luna RIZZO 1, Martin W. THOMPSON 2

1 Medical Sciences, Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; 2 Exercise, Health & Performance, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia


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Prolonged effort in hot environments is increasing popular in extreme sports. The number of long distance athletes taking part in races in extremely warm condition, as in deserts, is larger than in the past and also the race distances are increased thus. The demanding for the heart function are higher than those challenged in the past only by few athletes and in easier conditions. This puts news challenges on the professional involved in these activities and there is a need to better understand how the cardiocirculatory system responses in these extreme environmental conditions. This review paper is focused on the mechanism of cardiovascular drift function during prolonged exercise in heat conditions. Many aspects are treated in the literature. The emerging topics treated in this paper are the sympathetic and vagal nervous activity, heart rate functioning during exercise, dehydration and hyperthermia, the relationships between heart rate and stroke volume, the effect of nutritional compounds on the performance (including fluid and carbohydrates replacement), influences of body posture during the performance on land and in water, oxygen uptake and blood flow dynamic, circulatory responses, left ventricular functions in athletes after strenuous prolonged exercise, and heart rate variability. The literature on the topic appear to be vast and address many important factors of interest for the performance development occurred in hot condition and necessary to be known for the preservation of the health of the athletes.


KEY WORDS: Prolonged exercise - Cardiovascular functions - Thermoregulation - Hot environments - Adaptation - Hyperthermia - Dissipation - Dehydration

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Cite this article as

Rizzo L, Thompson MW. Cardiovascular adjustments to heat stress during prolonged exercise. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2017 Feb 08. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.06831-1 

Corresponding author e-mail

luna.rizzo2@unibo.it