When prolonged intense exercise is performed at high ambient temperatures, cardiac output must meet dual demands for increased blood flow to contracting muscle and to the skin. The literature has commonly painted this scenario as a fierce competition, wherein one circulation preserves perfusion at the expense of the other, with the regulated maintenance of blood pressure as the ultimate goal. This review redefines this scenario as commensalism, an integrated balance of regulatory control where one circulation benefits with little functional effect on the other. In young, healthy subjects, arterial pressure rarely falls to any great extent during either extreme passive heating or prolonged dynamic exercise in the heat, nor does body temperature rise disproportionately due to a compromised skin blood flow. Rather, it often takes the superimposition of additional stressors - e.g., dehydration or simulated hemorrhage - upon heat stress to substantially impact blood pressure regulation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)