Effect of 10 km run on lower limb skin temperature and thermal response after a cold-stress test over the following 24 h

J Therm Biol. 2022 Apr;105:103225. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2022.103225. Epub 2022 Mar 10.


Skin temperature assessment has received much attention as a possible measurement of physiological response against stress produced by exercise and research studies usually measure skin temperature 24 or 48 h after exercise. Scientific evidence about skin temperature evolution during the 24-h period immediately after exercising is, however, scarce. The aim was to assess the effect of a 10 km run at moderate intensity on baseline skin temperature and thermal response after a cold stress test during that 24 h period. Fourteen participants were measured before, immediately after, and at 2, 5, 9 and 24 h after a 10 km run at a perceived exertion rate of 11 points (max 20 points). Fourteen control participants who undertook no exercise were also measured during that day. The measurements included muscle pain and fatigue perception, reactive oxygen species, heart rate variability, skin temperature of the lower limbs, and skin temperature after cold stress test. Exercise resulted in a skin temperature increase (e.g., 0.5-1.3 °C of posterior leg 9 h after exercise) and this effect continued in some regions (0.4-0.9 °C of posterior leg) over that 24 h period. However, the thermal response to the cold stress test remained the same (p > 0.05). In conclusion, 10 km aerobic running exercise results in a skin temperature increase, peaking at between 5 and 9 h after exercise, but does not alter the thermal response to a cold stress test. This study provides a sound basis for post-exercise skin temperature response that can be used as a setting-off point for comparisons with future studies that analyze greater muscle damage.

Keywords: Dynamic thermography; Exercise; Infrared thermography; Recovery; Running.

MeSH terms

  • Cold Temperature
  • Cold-Shock Response
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity
  • Running* / physiology
  • Skin Temperature*