Variations in running activity and enzymatic adaptations in voluntary running rats

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1989 Mar;66(3):1250-7. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1989.66.3.1250.


The running behavior and biochemical markers of oxidative and glycolytic activities associated with voluntary running activity were studied in male Sprague-Dawley rats after 6 wk of training in exercise wheel cages. Twenty-four-hour recordings of running activity were used to quantify the number of individual running bouts, their duration and running speed, and the distance run per day. We then established three categories of voluntary running activity based on the mean distance run per day during the last 3 wk of training: low-activity runners averaged 2-5 km/day, medium runners 6-9 km/day, and high runners greater than 11 km/day. Each group demonstrated an intermittent, nocturnal running pattern, at relatively high intensities, with a similar mean running speed for all groups (avg approximately 45 m/min). Differences in total distance run per day were the result of variations in both the number and duration of individual running bouts. Specifically, high runners (n = 7) had 206 +/- 30 individual running bouts per 24 h, each lasting 87 +/- 7 s; medium runners (n = 7) 221 +/- 22 running bouts, lasting 47 +/- 5 s; and low runners (n = 7) 113 +/- 7 bouts, each lasting 40 +/- 7 s. Voluntary running depressed the rate of body weight gain compared with sedentary control rats, despite an increased food and water intake for all runners. Furthermore, drinking activity was temporally associated with running periods.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Cytochrome c Group / metabolism
  • Drinking
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Heart / anatomy & histology
  • Heart / physiology
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Organ Size
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reference Values


  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Electron Transport Complex IV