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Effect of intense military exercise on physical proficiency and hormonal responses of soldiers: A pilot study

1 Department of Ergonomics, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Nutrition and Biochemistry, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhusudan Pal,
Department of Ergonomics, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Lucknow Road, Timarpur, New Delhi - 110 054
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_14_21

BACKGROUND: Military training activities are typically challenging and push the soldiers toward their maximum limits of capabilities to improve proficiency in real time situations. In terms of injury prevention, unit performance, and overall morale, the individual's physical capabilities must be in concert to the job demands. Hormones play an important role in regulating various physiological processes including fuel utilization by exercising muscles. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This study was undertaken to quantify the hormonal demand of an intense military training event. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted at a military training center on 25 male healthy soldiers who had completed 11 week training. Venous blood samples were drawn before and immediately after the event. RESULTS: In hormonal responses, the levels of epinephrine (P < 0.001), norepinephrine (P < 0.01), cortisol (P < 0.001), serotonin (P < 0.01), and aldosterone (P < 0.001) were significantly increased while testosterone (P < 0.001) was found significantly decreased after event. The present study demonstrated that the physical proficiency training activity was highly energy demanding due to significantly increased sympathoadrenergic responses and induced a high level of acute stress due to significant reduction of testosterone. In addition to this, the significantly increased serotonergic responses indicated that the level of fatigue was high during activity. CONCLUSION: The findings of the present study may be helpful in screening of individuals before inducting into such intense military training activity to minimize the risk of injuries.

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