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Int J Sports Med. 2001 Nov;22(8):553-7.

Nycthemeral variations in core temperature and heart rate: continuous cycling exercise versus continuous rest.

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Groupe Analyse du Mouvement, U.F.R. STAPS, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.


Circadian rhythms have formed the subject of many researches in man during bed rest or usual routine, but have been little studied during continuous and sustained physical exercise. This study deals with the influence of time of day on biological markers in competitive cyclists during continuous physical exercise versus continuous rest. Ultra-distance cyclists were studied over a 24 h period (13:00 to 13:00 h the next day) in the laboratory. The subjects were requested to maintain a constant speed (set at 65% - 70% of their maximal aerobic speed obtained during a preliminary test) on their own bicycles which were equipped with home trainers. Workload, core temperature and heart rate were monitored continuously. The same measures were also recorded while the athletes were resting awake until 13:00 h the next day. Results show that in both situations, core temperature and heart rate exhibited significant circadian variations (p < 0.001). Furthermore, during exercise, an accentuation of amplitude and mean of every rhythm (p < 0.05) with a phase lag (p < 0.05) were observed. Despite a strenuous and continuous physical exercise requiring special physiological adaptations, the rhythmic variations observed at rest persisted, which highlighted the influence of biological clocks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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