The purpose of this study was to evaluate how interval (INT) and continuous (CONT) exercise alter body temperatures and manual dexterity in the cold (5°C). Fourteen young men underwent two trials consisting of a 90-min period of acute cold exposure (ACE), 30 min of exercise (INT or CONT), and a 60-min recovery period (REC). Participants donned approximately 1 clo but the hands remained bare for the entire protocol so that a steep decline in dexterity performance occurred prior to the initiation of exercise. INT and CONT were isoenergetic, reflecting 50 ± 1% of each individual's VO2 peak. Rectal (Tre) and skin temperatures were monitored continuously and dexterity testing was conducted at ten time points throughout each 3-h trial. In addition, oxygen consumption (VO2) and torso hemodynamics were assessed via indirect calorimetry and impedance cardiography (ICG), respectively. As expected, finger temperature and dexterity declined during ACE, relative to baseline. Both modes of exercise increased finger temperature and dexterity, relative to ACE. However, CONT was more effective than INT at increasing finger temperature on the dominant hand, which was associated with better dexterity scores during REC. Tre was not different between trials but a significant increase in stroke volume was found following CONT. Perhaps elevated stroke volume during post-exercise REC plays a role in finger rewarming and dexterity performance. Further mechanistic studies are needed to confirm the role of cardiovascular function in the enhancement of manual performance in the cold.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)