Research volunteers needed to improve performance in the heat

Volunteers are need to assist with research aimed at improving cyclists' performances in hot...

Volunteers are need to assist with research aimed at improving cyclists' performances in hot conditions. Researchers Stuart Best and Liv Holvik from the University of Sydney will undertake the tests during May - September.

Subjects are sought who train 5-6 times a week and are in the age brackets 18-30 and 50-65. Volunteers will receive feedback on performance including VO2max, power to weight ratios, cycling efficiency and economy, core temperature responses, sweat rate responses and tips on acclimatisation techniques. Each participant will receive a copy of the final study results.

The study will examine the effect of age on thermoregulation and to examine whether decreases in age-related aerobic fitness is accompanied by a decrease in thermoregulatory capacity. The research is targeted at investigating older and younger cyclists. The researchers hope to show that there is no decrease in the body's ability to regulate core temperature provided that physical activity levels are maintained as age increases.

The body's ability to maintain a safe core temperature is known as thermoregulation and can determine how a person will perform in certain climactic conditions. Physiological responses to higher temperatures or humidity can place a large strain on the cardiovascular and energy systems, sometimes at the cost of oxygen and fuels needed by the working muscles. However, like muscles, the cardiovascular and thermoregulatory systems can be better trained to respond better to cycling to decrease the physiological strain on the body in times of severe heat or humidity.

All testing will be conducted in the climate chamber at the University of Sydney Cumberland Campus. Volunteers do not need to have participated in research before and will find out about their body and performance and how to improve as a cyclist.

For information on how to participate in the study, or on any other performance testing contact:

Stuart Best
stuartbest@hotmail.com

Liv Holvik
lhol7171@usyd.edu.au

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