Cardiac parasympathetic reactivation following exercise: implications for training prescription

Stanley, Jamie, Peake, Jonathan M. and Buchheit, Martin (2013) Cardiac parasympathetic reactivation following exercise: implications for training prescription. Sports Medicine, 43 12: 1259-1277. doi:10.1007/s40279-013-0083-4

Author Stanley, Jamie
Peake, Jonathan M.
Buchheit, Martin
Title Cardiac parasympathetic reactivation following exercise: implications for training prescription
Journal name Sports Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0112-1642
Publication date 2013-12-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1007/s40279-013-0083-4
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 43
Issue 12
Start page 1259
End page 1277
Total pages 19
Place of publication Auckland, New Zealand
Publisher Adis International
Language eng
Abstract The objective of exercise training is to initiate desirable physiological adaptations that ultimately enhance physical work capacity. Optimal training prescription requires an individualized approach, with an appropriate balance of training stimulus and recovery and optimal periodization. Recovery from exercise involves integrated physiological responses. The cardiovascular system plays a fundamental role in facilitating many of these responses, including thermoregulation and delivery/removal of nutrients and waste products. As a marker of cardiovascular recovery, cardiac parasympathetic reactivation following a training session is highly individualized. It appears to parallel the acute/intermediate recovery of the thermoregulatory and vascular systems, as described by the supercompensation theory. The physiological mechanisms underlying cardiac parasympathetic reactivation are not completely understood. However, changes in cardiac autonomic activity may provide a proxy measure of the changes in autonomic input into organs and (by default) the blood flow requirements to restore homeostasis. Metaboreflex stimulation (e.g. muscle and blood acidosis) is likely a key determinant of parasympathetic reactivation in the short term (0–90 min post-exercise), whereas baroreflex stimulation (e.g. exercise-induced changes in plasma volume) probably mediates parasympathetic reactivation in the intermediate term (1–48 h post-exercise). Cardiac parasympathetic reactivation does not appear to coincide with the recovery of all physiological systems (e.g. energy stores or the neuromuscular system). However, this may reflect the limited data currently available on parasympathetic reactivation following strength/resistance-based exercise of variable intensity. In this review, we quantitatively analyse post-exercise cardiac parasympathetic reactivation in athletes and healthy individuals following aerobic exercise, with respect to exercise intensity and duration, and fitness/training status. Our results demonstrate that the time required for complete cardiac autonomic recovery after a single aerobic-based training session is up to 24 h following low-intensity exercise, 24–48 h following threshold-intensity exercise and at least 48 h following high-intensity exercise. Based on limited data, exercise duration is unlikely to be the greatest determinant of cardiac parasympathetic reactivation. Cardiac autonomic recovery occurs more rapidly in individuals with greater aerobic fitness. Our data lend support to the concept that in conjunction with daily training logs, data on cardiac parasympathetic activity are useful for individualizing training programmes. In the final sections of this review, we provide recommendations for structuring training microcycles with reference to cardiac parasympathetic recovery kinetics. Ultimately, coaches should structure training programmes tailored to the unique recovery kinetics of each individual.
Keyword Sport Sciences
Sport Sciences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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