Original Research

Influence of intense training program on cardio stress index

Peet J. du Toit, Alan St. Clair Gibson, Paola Wood, Catherina C. Grant, Kristopher R. Grimes, Avinash M. Tope, Christa Janse van Rensburg, Johannes M. van Rooyen, Andrew Mckune, Evangeline Nortjé, Lizelle Fletcher, Ronel Ferreira, Annie Joubert, Andre Stander
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 33, No 1 | a1180 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v33i1.1180 | © 2014 Peet J. du Toit, Alan St. Clair Gibson, Paola Wood, Catherina C. Grant, Kristopher R. Grimes, Avinash M. Tope, Christa Janse van Rensburg, Johannes M. van Rooyen, Andrew Mckune, Evangeline Nortjé, Lizelle Fletcher, Ronel Ferreira, Annie Joubert, Andre Stander | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 June 2014 | Published: 13 November 2014

About the author(s)

Peet J. du Toit, Department of Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Associate of the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Associate of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Associate of Exercise Smart, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Alan St. Clair Gibson, School of Medicine, University of Free State, South Africa
Paola Wood, Associate of the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Associate of Exercise Smart, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Biokinetics, Sport and Leisure Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Catherina C. Grant, Associate of Exercise Smart, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Section Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Kristopher R. Grimes, Department of Food and Animal Science, Agricultural College, Food Science and Sustainable Systems, Kentucky State University, United States
Avinash M. Tope, Department of Food and Animal Science, Agricultural College, Food Science and Sustainable Systems, Kentucky State University, United States
Christa Janse van Rensburg, Associate of Exercise Smart, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Section Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Johannes M. van Rooyen, Department Physiology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Andrew Mckune, Department Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Evangeline Nortjé, Department of Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Associate of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Lizelle Fletcher, Department of Statistics, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Ronel Ferreira, Associate of the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Annie Joubert, Department of Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Andre Stander, Department of Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Armed service recruits are faced with many stressors, including a strenuous training regimen that may have an impact on their physiological functioning. The Cardio Stress Index (CSI) is a noninvasive marker of the stress that the heart is experiencing. The aim of the study was to test the physiological impact of 20 weeks of intense training of armed service recruits, using CSI as a noninvasive biomarker of cardiac stress. Armed service recruits are faced with many stressors, including a strenuous training regimen that may have an impact on their physiological functioning. The CSI is a noninvasive marker of the stress that the heart is experiencing. The calculation of the CSI is based on the duration of vascular excitation (QRS duration), heart rate, heart rhythm and standard deviation of the duration of time between each successive cardiac cycle (RR-interval). The aim of the present study was to test the physiological impact of 20 weeks of strenuous training of armed service recruits, using CSI as a noninvasive biomarker of cardiac stress. Experiments were conducted at three points in time (weeks 1, 12, 20) during the basic military training of armed service recruits (n = 202, males = 115, females = 87), aged between 18 and 24 years. Variables measured include: Resting CSI, heart rate and blood pressure. Data analysis was performed, using paired t-tests for pairwise comparisons of week 1 (baseline) with week 12; week 12 with week 20; and week 1 with week 20. The average CSI and heart rate remained within normal values for male participants on all three testing occasions. However, baseline readings for females were significantly higher during week 1. There was an overall decrease in the CSI in the 20 week time frame. From this study it seems as if the CSI measurement is a noninvasive method to establish the effects of training on the health of the heart.

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