Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just wash your face in cold water......

An interesting study! Speed recovery by dunking your face in cold water

Influence of cold water face immersion on post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of cold water face immersion on post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation, inferred from heart rate (HR) recovery (HRR) and HR variability (HRV) indices. Thirteen men performed, on two different occasions, an intermittent exercise (i.e., an all-out 30-s Wingate test followed by a 5-min run at 45% of the speed reached at the end of the 30–15 Intermittent Fitness test, interspersed with 5 min of seated recovery), randomly followed by 5 min of passive (seated) recovery with either cold water face immersion (CWFI) or control (CON). HR was recorded beat-to-beat and vagal-related HRV indices (i.e., natural logarithm of the high-frequency band, LnHF, and natural logarithm of the square root of the mean sum of squared differences between adjacent normal R–R intervals, Ln rMSSD) and HRR (e.g., heart beats recovered in the first minute after exercise cessation) were calculated for both recovery conditions. Parasympathetic reactivation was faster for the CWFI condition, as indicated by higher LnHF (P = 0.004), Ln rMSSD (P = 0.026) and HRR (P = 0.002) values for the CWFI compared with the CON condition. Cold water face immersion appears to be a simple and efficient means of immediately accelerating post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation.


Bryce said...

What are the advantages of reactivating the parasympathetic nervous system after exercise, vice letting it reactivate later?

Just curious. Sounds interesting.

Chris said...

Bryce - it protects your heart apparently....

(I'm no physiologist, it just caught my eye)

This is from the introduction.

Physical exercise causes an increase in sympathetic activity, concomitant with parasympathetic withdrawal, resulting in higher heart rates (HR). Conversely, post-exercise cardiodeceleration is mediated by a progressive increase in parasympathetic activity (Imai et al. 1994), as well as a continued sympathetic withdrawal (Savin et al. 1982).

Postponement of parasympathetic reactivation after exercise has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death (Billman 2002). Indeed, parasympathetic activity is thought to afford a cardioprotective background. Thus, sympathetic hyperactivity (Billman 2006) or reduced vagal tone (Smith et al. 2005) following exercise may confer a poor cardioprotective background
inducing ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac death.
For example, a lowered heart rate recovery (HRR), indicative of a reduced parasympathetic activity, is frequently reported in chronic heart failure cases (Cole et al. 1999; Imai et al. 1994). Similarly, a decrease in post-exercise vagal-related HR variability (HRV) indices, which provide insight into the level of ‘parasympathetic reactivation’ (Buchheit et al. 2007a; Goldberger et al. 2006), has been observed in patients with coronary artery disease
(Goldberger et al. 2001).

Anonymous said...

Google "Mammalian Diving Reflex" or just "Diving Reflex."

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