Freshmen officer cadets in a military university participating in 6 weeks of induction undergo strenuous physical training. Vigorous physical training has been shown to affect red and white blood cell and platelet parameters. Effects have been related to the mode of exercise involved. Since the induction training encompassed various modes of exercise, we studied the effect of physical training on basic anthropometric and hematologic parameters. Twenty-seven healthy freshmen officer cadets (13 male and 14 female) joined the study. A blood sample and basic anthropometric measures were collected before and 6 weeks into the induction program. An automated complete blood count was done. Both male and female subjects experienced significant reduction in weight, while only female candidates had lower waist circumference and body mass index (BMI). Red cell count and hemoglobin reduced and mean cell volume (MCV) and mean cell hemoglobin (MCH) increased in the males subjects. Females had lower red cell counts and hemoglobin which was not significantly different, however, their MCV and red cell distribution width (RDW) increased. We conclude that the subjects showed evidence of sports anemia, runners macrocytosis and platelet activation. Raised RDW seen among female participants might indicate poor tolerance in that group.
Physical activity, exercise, sports physiology, hematological parameters, platelet activation