Heart rate variability in women exposed to very cold air (−110 °C) during whole-body cryotherapy

Heart rate monitoring was used to measure heart rate variability (HRV) at thermoneutral conditions (Ta 24 ˚C) in healthy women resting in supine position before and after acute and after repeated (3 times a week during a 3-month period) whole-body cryotherapies (WBC), at -110 °C.

The observed acute cooling-related increase in high frequency power (HFP) of RR-intervals indicates an increase in cardiac parasympathetic modulation. After 3 months of repeated WBC the increase in parasympathetic tone was attenuated, which may be interpreted as an adaptation of autonomic function.

The repeated WBC exposures-related increase in resting low frequency power (LFP) of RR-intervals during the 3 months resembles the response observed related to exercise training.

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