The importance of aerobic fitness in determining tolerance to uncompensable heat stress


  1. McLellan, T.M.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
When protective clothing is worn that restricts evaporate heat loss, it is not valid to assume that the higher sweat rates associated with improvements in aerobic fitness will increase heat tolerance. An initial study compared thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses to both compensable and uncompensable heat stress before and after 8-weeks of endurance training in previously sedentary males. Despite a 15% improvement in VO2peak, and lower heart rates and rectal temperature (Tre) responses while wearing combat clothing, no changes were noted when subjects wore a protective clothing ensemble. Tolerance times were unchanged at approximately 50 minutes. A subsequent short-term training model that used daily 1 hour exercise sessions for 2 weeks also failed to show any benefit when the protective clothing was worn in the heat. Cross-sectional comparisons between groups of high and low aerobic fitness, however, have revealed that a high aerobic fitness is associated with extended tolerance time when the protective clothing is worn. The longer tolerance time is a function of both a lower starting Tre and a higher Tre tolerated at exhaustion. Improvements in cardiovascular function with long-term training may allow higher core temperatures to be reached prior to exhaustion. TRUNCATED
Aerobic fitness;Endurance (physiology);Endurance training;Body composition;Body fatness;Core temperature
Report Number
DCIEM-SL-2001-023 — Scientific Literature; Reprint
Date of publication
01 Sep 2001
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A, Vol 128, 2001, p 691-700)
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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