Recovery Cycle

This article is focused on the five components we consider to the most influential on the recovery process during an active lifestyle in training and sport.


In any training routine, an individual accumulates fatigue that induces physiological and psychological demands that can reduce performance capacities (Skorski et al., 2019). The training fatigue isn’t just the fatigue experienced during weightlifting, practice, or other strength and conditioning strategies but the additional things we do in life.


Recovery is a powerful tool when it is used correctly! - Dane Bartz


Let’s take an accountant who lives a stressful life at work. They love what they do but each day adds up and provides a sense of weight on their shoulders and it continues to build! Now let’s move towards the professional athlete who may travel on a regular basis and doesn’t have the complete opportunity to spend time with their family as they wish. Two different types of individuals that experience life from two different lenses!



Recovery Clock


At Linked Fit, we strive on building strong relationships with the recovery cycle. Each individual may need different focuses to optimize their return of investment towards their mind, body, and spirit! These focuses will help bring attention to a specific component of one’s life, whether if its considerations of health, stress, nutrition, sleep, and training.


What does your Recovery Clock tell you?


The Recovery Cycle values the movements of the time and how it greatly impacts the adaptation we desire. The movement of time needs to be structured and organized in a manner that becomes complete with the removal of incomplete patterns. In simple terms, what time does your Recovery Clock say? In relation to a standard clock, there is an hour hand, minute hand, and second hand. The Recovery Clock utilizes the same structures! The hour hand is the primary line of defense. This needs to be the primary focus for a return of homeostasis via recovery cycle standards. The minute hand is the secondary line of defense and should be the second in line for optimizing recovery. The second hand is unique since it’s a continuous revolution and changes “every second”. Our lives continuously change and each component of the recovery cycle needs adjustments to keep moving forward. Each component should always be retained and never forgotten to restore our bodies from the precisions of life.


It’s important to consider the advantages of each component within the recovery cycle, as they all add significant value towards the greater good of regeneration of physiological and psychological parameters. Next, this article will deliver a general overview of each component and how one can relate it to the benefits of an active lifestyle.


Health


Health should be the number one priority when developing any type of program for a client or yourself! Health comes in all different areas… cardiovascular health, immunity, orthopedics, reproductive system, neurology, and many more! As many would state in the medical field, it’s important to get an annual physical with your primary care physician. These physicals are a great way to stay on track for any medical concerns or issues that might spike an interest.


It’s widely known that high blood pressure is a killer among many individuals annually. In 2014, the annual cost for treatment of high blood pressure was $53.2 billion (Loucks et al., 2019) and it affects up to 40% of adults worldwide with the prevalence continuously increasing (Kim, Choi, Bae, Kim, & Ma, 2019). Hypertension has become one of the world's non-communicable diseases to prevent and treat (Loucks et al., 2019). Although it might not be the generally increased blood pressure via one incident, however, over time it can become an issue and the prognosis can be worrisome. Therefore, attention is needed in the cardiovascular system if issues are notified.



Our bodies need a strong immune system to fight off viruses, infections, and bacteria. Unfortunately, we live in lives that include foreign invaders that try to enter our body and do harm. The white blood cells protect the body from these invaders and provide a defense mechanism when they are called to the job. The immune system is comprised of both a fast (innate) and slow (adaptive) response team (Calder, Carr, Gombart, & Eggersdorfer, 2020). The innate immune system is the physical barrier that prevents pathogen entry such as the skin which recognizes the presence of pathogens (Calder et al., 2020). The innate system is known to move quickly to recognize and destroy threats, typically through an inflammatory process (Calder et al., 2020). The adaptive immune system is responsible for generating immunological memory that will produce a vigorous, fast response for a repeated pathogen threat (Calder et al., 2020). Therefore, health needs to prioritize immunity upon fast and slow-acting responses for optimal health and recovery.


Currently, our world deals with significant pain and functional limitations in the general population due to common orthopedic issues (Cleveland, Nelson, & Callahan, 2019). These common orthopedic issues are associated with disability, pain, and commodities (Cleveland et al., 2019). In the US, about 13% of men and 19% of women will be diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis and over half will receive a total knee replacement (Beswick, Dennis, Gooberman-Hill, Blom, & Wylde, 2019). As individuals focus on the components of the recovery cycle, health may direct us towards our potential orthopedics dysfunctions that need attention.

“What’s the difference between recovery & healing?”



It’s important to understand that recovery shouldn’t get confused with healing. In many cases, recovery gets used in replacement for healing from an injury. At Linked Fit, our system defines these two words differently in sense of recovering from an active lifestyle or athletic event. Healing is defined by the process of becoming healthy again through therapeutic treatments, while recovery is defined as the process of returning to a normal state of health, mind, and strength. Therefore, let’s not get these two words confused with each other and stay focused on the recovery for optimal health concerns.


Stress

How do you manage stress?


Powerful research has shown that stress has a significant influence on health extensions (Zaman et al., 2019). The body is known to significantly reduce physiological reserves due to internal and external stressors (Pansarasa et al., 2019). When physiological operations decline, the body losses the ability to return to homeostasis in multiple systems with increased fatigue, poor muscular strength, and regenerate cells from accumulated damage (Pansarasa et al., 2019). The psychological influence of stress highly impacts the reorientation of an individual’s cognitive and physiological capacities thus leading to an imbalanced return of homeostasis (Anderson, Di Nota, Metz, & Andersen, 2019).



In unfamiliar, unexpected, or unpredictable situations, these are generally considered to be more stressful and likely associated with stronger physiological destruction (Anderson et al., 2019). Most individuals are not prepared for these stressful situations and may experience spikes in autonomic activation via sympathetic dominance. The recovery cycle values the importance of returning the body to homeostasis after experiencing a stressful situation. Therefore, finding personable techniques that will help improve the outcome is important.


Stress comes from a variety of environments such as occupational, relationships, family, training, environmental, academics, and more! These all will add to the body’s workload, produce unwanted fatigue, and negatively destruct the body as mentioned above. It’s important to find personable techniques that are useful in unpredictable and predictable stressful situations. There are a variety of useful stress management techniques that support positive changes such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and self-talk (Rentala, Thimmajja, Tilekar, Nayak, & Aladakatti, 2019).


The recovery cycle encourages everyone to utilize a technique that works for you and only you. You do you! These techniques all work differently due to personalities and experiences, so select one that fits your needs.


Nutrition

Simply put, quality nutritional strategies are needed to optimize performance and enhance recovery!



Living an active lifestyle either through sport or goal-oriented training utilizes a high energy demand that needs enough calories to offset the energy expenditure (Kerksick et al., 2018). Individuals that are involved in moderate levels of training such as 2 to 3 hours per day for 5 to 6 days per week may expend up to 600 calories or more per hour of training (Kerksick et al., 2018). In high volume training such as 3 to 6 hours per day for 5 to 6 days per week may expend up to 1,200 calories or more in that hour (Kerksick et al., 2018). When athletes participate in competitions or practices, these numbers may exceed the calorie expenditures (Kerksick et al., 2018).


It’s important to value quality nutritional strategies to ensure individuals are well fed according to their goals, sport, and health (Kerksick et al., 2018). Through the recovery cycle, nutrition goes beyond just consuming enough calories to sustain the daily active movement but understanding the value of each nutrient that gets used for regenerative purposes. Fueling the body with quality foods that are filled with macronutrients and micronutrients is key!


At Linked Fit, we focus on making our nourishment simple, easy, delicious, and nutritious! However, the importance of a personalized to the individual due to the specificity and uniqueness of responses from dietary patterns, macronutrient ratios, micronutrient requirements, nutrient timing, and potential supplemental needs (Guest, Horne, Vanderhout, & El-Sohemy, 2019). When an individual is involved in an active lifestyle through serious goal-orientated training or athletic competitions, their environment becomes dynamic, progressive, and innovative (Guest et al., 2019) thus making the need for personal nutritional needs essential.

Genetically, we are all different! Through a genotype concept, individuals respond to the consumed nutrients differently. Here is one simple example that is very common among society, lactose intolerance individuals (Guest et al., 2019). Individuals that are lactose intolerant will likely experience impairment of their health and performance by consuming lactose. Therefore, is it reasonable to have individuals keep consuming lactose products when it impairs their health and performance? Not likely!

Sleep


Everyone knows what it's like to get a night of HORRIBLE sleep! Getting a bad night of sleep has been associated with a variety of issues (Althakafi et al., 2019). Issues such as cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, cancers, and depression just to name a few (Althakafi et al., 2019). These issues negatively impact the physiological and psychological functions of the body and remarkably dwindle our health.

It’s amazing how the body operates while sleeping! Sleep is crucial to human health and essential for life (Althakafi et al., 2019). During sleep, the body involves multiple systemic physiological functions, such as metabolism function, appetite regulations, immune and hormone operations, and cardiovascular activities (Althakafi et al., 2019). All of these functions help run a functional human daily response, therefore optimal sleep is needed to keep these operations active.



Unfortunately, a variety of factors can destroy sleep quality and quantity throughout the night. It’s important to enter sleep in a friendly mental state and reduce stress, as previous research has shown relations with nightmares and disturbing dreams with highly stressful individuals (Scarpelli, Bartolacci, D'Atri, Gorgoni, & De Gennaro, 2019). Other factors such as mattress surfaces hold a large contribution to an individual’s performance (Maruyama et al., 2020). As individuals live an active lifestyle through training or athletic environments, athletic carryover is crucial for the return of performance.


The state of recovery is highly influenced by sleep!


As one prepares to process their daily agenda, getting high-quality sleep should be on their list. Each phase of sleep is important to improve the physiological and psychological functions. Just remember, all components of the Recovery Cycle work together to enhance regenerative properties and restore the body from unwanted harm.


Training


A variety of factors play an important role in healthy living (Zaman et al., 2019). As mentioned in this article, healthy eating, enhanced physical activity, positive environmental exposures, optimal sleep, and de-stressing all play critical roles in the recovery cycle and shouldn’t be neglected (Zaman et al., 2019). All of these components need to be valued in the cycle of life to improve the recoverability from an active lifestyle or athletic endeavors.


When it comes to training, it shouldn’t be expressed as a simple means of exercise! Huh? At Linked Fit, we absolutely love the process of goal-orientated training! Training needs to include variations in programming to elicit a positive adaptation from the session responses. To dig a bit deeper, it’s important to quantify the training load to provide a better understanding of an individual’s tolerance to training and athletic competition stress (Sinnott-O'Connor, Comyns, & Warrington, 2019). Everyone is unique and that transitions into an individualized training intensity that is determined to be correct based on previous tracking and monitoring of training sessions (Sinnott-O'Connor et al., 2019).


Any type of training should benefit from the principle of progressive overload combined with optimal recovery protocols (Sinnott-O'Connor et al., 2019), otherwise, reversibility is possible thus leading towards limited adaptation and desired outcomes. Let it be known that training is stress that moves along a continuum that includes the states of fatigue and we aim to find a sufficient balance thus returning to homeostasis. While experiencing the means of a training program, the states of fatigue will include the operations of progressing through stages of functional overreaching and nonfunctional overreaching, at the same time concentrating on removing any chance of overtraining, injuries, or illnesses.

Recovery protocols should supplement the imbalances of life. Dane Bartz


Each component of the Recovery Cycle should be focused on making an individual elite! Fine-tuning each component so they all correspond with each other. Once a specific recovery cycle link is broken or weakened, our recovery becomes vacant. The vacancy leads to overloaded physiology and psychology thus potentially leading to the risk of overtraining, injuries, illnesses, or some severe cases, death.

The components of the Recovery Cycle shadow the larger operation of the human body. Our goal at Linked Fit is to provide superior training and educational material to optimize one’s life. An ineffective recovery plan while living an active lifestyle can produce undesirable results and the goal should be to minimize any risk. These suggestions and information stated above will help provide better opportunities for future growth. The growth was possible due to efficient and effective recovery protocols!


References:

  1. Althakafi, K. A., Alrashed, A. A., Aljammaz, K. I., Abdulwahab, I. J., Hamza, R., Hamad, A. F., & Alhejaili, K. S. (2019). Prevalence of short sleep duration and effect of co-morbid medical conditions - A cross-sectional study in Saudi Arabia. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 8(10), 3334-3339. doi:10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_660_19

  2. Anderson, G. S., Di Nota, P. M., Metz, G. A. S., & Andersen, J. P. (2019). The Impact of Acute Stress Physiology on Skilled Motor Performance: Implications for Policing. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 2501-2501. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02501

  3. Beswick, A. D., Dennis, J., Gooberman-Hill, R., Blom, A. W., & Wylde, V. (2019). Are perioperative interventions effective in preventing chronic pain after primary total knee replacement? A systematic review. BMJ open, 9(9), e028093-e028093. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028093

  4. Calder, P. C., Carr, A. C., Gombart, A. F., & Eggersdorfer, M. (2020). Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections. Nutrients, 12(4), 1181. doi:10.3390/nu12041181

  5. Cleveland, R. J., Nelson, A. E., & Callahan, L. F. (2019). Knee and hip osteoarthritis as predictors of premature death: a review of the evidence. Clinical and experimental rheumatology, 37 Suppl 120(5), 24-30. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31621563

  6. Guest, N. S., Horne, J., Vanderhout, S. M., & El-Sohemy, A. (2019). Sport Nutrigenomics: Personalized Nutrition for Athletic Performance. Frontiers in nutrition, 6, 8-8. doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00008

  7. Kerksick, C. M., Wilborn, C. D., Roberts, M. D., Smith-Ryan, A., Kleiner, S. M., Jäger, R., . . . Kreider, R. B. (2018). ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: research & recommendations. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15(1), 38-38. doi:10.1186/s12970-018-0242-y

  8. Kim, C. S., Choi, H. S., Bae, E. H., Kim, S. W., & Ma, S. K. (2019). Optimal blood pressure target and measurement in patients with chronic kidney disease. The Korean journal of internal medicine, 34(6), 1181-1187. doi:10.3904/kjim.2019.164

  9. Loucks, E. B., Nardi, W. R., Gutman, R., Kronish, I. M., Saadeh, F. B., Li, Y., . . . Britton, W. B. (2019). Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP): Stage 1 single-arm clinical trial. PloS one, 14(11), e0223095-e0223095. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0223095

  10. Maruyama, T., Sato, S., Matsumura, M., Ono, T., Nishida, M., & Nishino, S. (2020). Evaluations of effects of sleep surfaces on athletic performance in youth. Scientific reports, 10(1), 11805-11805. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-68795-5

  11. Pansarasa, O., Pistono, C., Davin, A., Bordoni, M., Mimmi, M. C., Guaita, A., & Cereda, C. (2019). Altered immune system in frailty: Genetics and diet may influence inflammation. Ageing Research Reviews, 54, 100935. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2019.100935

  12. Rentala, S., Thimmajja, S. G., Tilekar, S. D., Nayak, R. B., & Aladakatti, R. (2019). Impact of holistic stress management program on academic stress and well-being of Indian adolescent girls: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of education and health promotion, 8, 253-253. doi:10.4103/jehp.jehp_233_19

  13. Scarpelli, S., Bartolacci, C., D'Atri, A., Gorgoni, M., & De Gennaro, L. (2019). Mental Sleep Activity and Disturbing Dreams in the Lifespan. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(19), 3658. doi:10.3390/ijerph16193658

  14. Sinnott-O'Connor, C., Comyns, T. M., & Warrington, G. D. (2019). Validity of Session-Rate of Perceived Exertion to Quantify Training Loads in Paralympic Swimmers. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, Publish Ahead of Print. doi:10.1519/jsc.0000000000003181

  15. Skorski, S., Mujika, I., Bosquet, L., Meeusen, R., Coutts, A. J., & Meyer, T. (2019). The Temporal Relationship Between Exercise, Recovery Processes and Changes in Performance. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1-23. doi:10.1123/ijspp.2018-0668

  16. Zaman, R., Hankir, A., & Jemni, M. (2019). Lifestyle Factors and Mental Health. Psychiatr Danub, 31(Suppl 3), 217-220.

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