(HealthDay News) – For obese women, the use of a rapid thermal exchange device (RTX) during exercise improves exercise tolerance and cardiovascular parameters.

Stacy T. Sims, PhD, and colleagues from Stanford University in California, investigated the impact of palmar cooling on exercise tolerance in 24 healthy, obese women aged 30–45 years. Participants attended three exercise sessions a week for 12 weeks, which comprised body weight exercise, treadmill walking with the RTX device (cooling group) or not (control group) by random assignment, and core strengthening exercises. A 1.5 mile walk was conducted on the first and last days of the intervention, as a marker of performance.

The researchers found that the cooling group completed the 1.5 mile walk test significantly faster after the intervention compared with baseline. They had a significantly greater average exercising heart rate and a significant decrease in waist circumference and resting blood pressure after the intervention. In the control group, no significant differences were seen.

“Exercise tolerance in obese women improved with cooling during exercise, more so than those women who did not have cooling,” the authors write. “These findings suggest that by reducing thermal discomfort during exercise, tolerance increases, thus improving cardiovascular parameters of obese women.”

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