Partial heat acclimation of athletes with spinal cord lesion
Differences between acclimation to heat at the end of winter (W) and at the end of summer (S) were studied on the same eight male volunteers. Subjects were exposed to 40 degrees C, 30% rh for 10 consecutive days on two separate occasions approximately 5 mo apart (S and W). Daily exposures lasted 120 min: 10 min rest, 50 min walking 1.34 m . s-1 on the level, 10 min rest, 50 min walking. During W acclimation, rectal temperature (Tre) and heart rate (HR) decreased, sweat rate (msw) remained unchanged, and plasma and red cell volume of the blood expanded. During S acclimation, HR decreased while Tre and msw remained unchanged, and plasma volume increased. The Tre of the acclimated subjects remained higher in W, and the msw lower, than in S. It was concluded that acclimation does not totally eliminate the seasonal differences in thermoregulatory set point and sweating sensitivity. Further, acclimation to a more severe heat did not lower the thermoregulatory set point that was achieved by natural acclimatization to a milder heat but affected the cardiovascular adjustment and caused greater plasma volume expansion. W acclimation caused both plasma and blood cell volume expansion, whereas S acclimation affected only plasma volume.