Physiological stress during five-days of vacation skiing
Portmann, Jennifer Ann
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Little research has been conducted on repeated days of recreational skiing. Repeated days of recreational skiing were thought to increase stress markers, induce fatigue, and hinder ski performance and enjoyment. PURPOSE: To examine the physiological changes that occur in recreational skiers from elevations below 460 meters over five days of vacation skiing. METHODS: Fourteen skiers, four females (Mean ± SD; Age (yrs): 41.3 ± 6.2), ten males (47.9 ± 11.2) participated in the study. Nine skiers were considered advanced skiers (7 males, 2 females) and five intermediate skiers (3 males, 2 females). Subjects arrived at Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Bozeman MT to ski for five days. Each subject filled out subjective scales, had their resting heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure measured as well as blood drawn for creatine kinase analysis. Samples were taken on days 1, 3, and 5. Subjects skied for three hours in the morning at a self selected pace and on self selected runs. They came in for lunch and recorded their rating of perceived exertion (RPE). The researcher downloaded the data from the heart rate monitor. The subjects skied in the afternoon until a self determined end time and again recorded their RPE and gave the researcher their heart rate monitors; the researcher then gave directions for the following day. RESULTS: The variables of ski time, number of runs, heart rate, blood pressure, and subjective scales did not change significantly. However, RPE was significantly increased suggesting an increase amount of perceptual fatigue. Creatine kinase was did not increase until one outlier was removed. Significant creatine kinase (p=0.001) and RPE results strongly suggests that subjects were stressed even without a decrease in runs, or ski time. CONCLUSION: The current study supports previous research; repeated days of skiing was not a fatiguing enough event to hinder ski performance or enjoyment. Future studies should examine whether repeated days of skiing results in a positive contribution to physical fitness.