Whilst travel is largely unavoidable for a competitive athlete, there are measures you can take in order to minimise the impact of prolonged sitting in cars, trains and planes. The purpose of this article is to outline evidence-based strategies for reducing the impacts of travel on athletic performance.

We’ll also outline exactly how using KYMIRA infrared technology will help to negate the impacts of travel-associated performance issues.

Time to read: 5 minutes

Level: Intermediate

Key Points:

  • Travel and The Impact on Physiology
  • Sitting- What's The Problem?
  • Warming Up and Priming Ahead of Time
  • Differences in Priming Technique
  • KYMIRA Technology Enhances Warming up and Priming
  • Post Activity Recovery Also Stimulated
  • Infrared Clothing Over Other Alternative Recovering Methods

Travel is a largely unavoidable element of high level competition, but it comes with its own issues. Sitting for prolonged periods has a marked impact on physical capabilities, which will harm performance. Here’s how to help reverse these issues and perform at your best, even after long distance travel.

Travel and The Impact on Physiology

The life of a competitor can involve a lot of travel to and from events, with extended periods of time spent sat in uncomfortable positions. We know from research that the issues arising from prolonged sitting are far more significant than first thought, with impacts on injury sites, muscle fatigue and cognitive disfunction featuring prominently [1].

We also know that infrared clothing technology helps to alleviate some of these issues by stimulating blood flow, but the impacts of sitting for prolonged periods (over 1 hour) are such that we need to consider further strategies to help overcome the performance issues caused by being static for so long.

Sitting - What's The Problem?

When we spend prolonged periods in seated positions we impact a number of physiological processes, which in turn affects our physical performance.

In a 2018 study conducted by researchers from the College of Applied Medical Sciences in King Saud University, it became clear that sitting in a less-than-optimum position impacted breathing effectiveness, it also compromised the function of the heart and phrenic nerves [2], all three of which are key players in the cardiovascular system.

When you compound these effects with those found in other studies showing increases in muscle and cognitive fatigue during prolonged sitting, a picture begins to emerge that shows we need to address how an athlete ‘primes’ for competition having put themselves in a potentially fatigued state prior to their event.

Warming up and Priming Ahead of Time

Although they’re ultimately part of the same ‘family’ of training and competition principles, warming up and priming are slightly different things. They’re equally important and have different roles in the pre-event preparation.

When we warm up, we do just that – we warm the body up. We stimulate blood flow to the extremities, we prime the cardiovascular system and we help to move and elasticate our tissues. We stimulate neural pathways and improve movement. Fundamentally, a warm-up is the bedrock of performance when it comes to sport and injury prevention [3].

When we prime the muscles, we do something different – instead of simply moving for the sake of improving flexibility and elasticity of tissues, we practice specific movements. We enhance the neural aspects of motion and prime the body to improve movement by firing our muscles in sequence. There are performance, physical and injury-prevention benefits to muscle priming before sport.

Differences in Priming Technique

When it comes to priming, we have to get more granular. We have to focus on the excellent execution of the movements we’re about to undertake, so performing movements in slow motion, with perfect control and ‘feel’ for what is happening and when. Essentially, Priming is preparation for muscles ahead of activity.

Take a weightlifter for example. Priming exercises in their case will include slow, controlled deep squats that force the muscles to fire in sequence, priming them before they go heavier. They may also perform hinge movements to engage the back and core, light weight cleans and snatches – all movements they’re about to undertake, but with control, focus and perfect technique.

A sprinter might practice starting block work. A jumper might practice take off fluency. A thrower or golfer may work on priming rotation to be smooth, yet fast and powerful.

Evidence in support of priming shows that the speed of blood oxygen uptake is increased [4], which we know is important for performance and injury prevention. Evidence also suggests that priming exercise may slow down the rate of muscle deoxygenation [5], enhancing sporting performance.

It stands to reason therefore that warm-ups and priming will go some way to offsetting the negative impacts of spending a long time in a seated position whilst travelling to a competition.

KYMIRA Technology Enhances Warm Up and Priming

Wearing KYMIRA for warm up and priming will enhance the effects of both. This is because infrared technology is proven to stimulate production of nitric oxide [6], which dilates the blood vessels, increasing blood flow and improving tissue flexibility and elasticity. This in turn reduces the injury risk of the athlete.

The dilation of blood vessels also enhances oxygen delivery, which has a subsequent positive impact on performance.

Post-Activity Recovery Also Stimulated

The mechanisms by which KYMIRA infrared technology enhances performance also boost the post-performance recovery.

By dilating blood vessels blood flow to the tissues is enhanced. This means that recovery agents are delivered to the muscles and connective tissues more quickly, which starts the repair and regeneration of tissues instantly.

There’s also the added benefit of waste product removal. Exercise generates waste products and toxins such as lactic acid, so improved blood flow helps to remove these products after.

Infrared Clothing Over Alternative Recovery Methods

Beyond their effectiveness, the simple reason to opt for infrared clothing over alternative methods is pure practicality – you can wear them! They’re the essence of portability.

You don’t have to plug anything in, you don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to take anyone with you (such as a masseuse) you don’t have to take equipment or materials, you don’t need to keep anything frozen (like you would with an ice bath). You can have benefits that outstrip all of these methods for a fraction of the price.

It’s also a lot more convenient! You can travel to and from your competition in KYMIRA clothing, arriving fresher and leaving with your recovery starting instantly.

To see our KYMIRA products, visit our shop.

March 08, 2021 — Stephen Hoyles

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