Effects of face masks on performance and cardiorespiratory response in well-trained athletes.
Clinical research in cardiology : official journal of the German Cardiac Society. 2022;(3):264-271
BACKGROUND During the COVID-19 pandemic, compulsory masks became an integral part of outdoor sports such as jogging in crowded areas (e.g. city parks) as well as indoor sports in gyms and sports centers. This study, therefore, aimed to investigate the effects of medical face masks on performance and cardiorespiratory parameters in athletes. METHODS In a randomized, cross-over design, 16 well-trained athletes (age 27 ± 7 years, peak oxygen consumption 56.2 ± 5.6 ml kg-1 min-1, maximum performance 5.1 ± 0.5 Watt kg-1) underwent three stepwise incremental exercise tests to exhaustion without mask (NM), with surgical mask (SM) and FFP2 mask (FFP2). Cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses were monitored by spiroergometry and blood lactate (BLa) testing throughout the tests. RESULTS There was a large effect of masks on performance with a significant reduction of maximum performance with SM (355 ± 41 Watt) and FFP2 (364 ± 43 Watt) compared to NM (377 ± 40 Watt), respectively (p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.50). A large interaction effect with a reduction of both oxygen consumption (p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.34) and minute ventilation (p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.39) was observed. At the termination of the test with SM 11 of 16 subjects reported acute dyspnea from the suction of the wet and deformed mask. No difference in performance was observed at the individual anaerobic threshold (p = 0.90). CONCLUSION Both SM and to a lesser extent FFP2 were associated with reduced maximum performance, minute ventilation, and oxygen consumption. For strenuous anaerobic exercise, an FFP2 mask may be preferred over an SM.
Benefits of 1-Yr Home Training With Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycling in Paraplegia During COVID-19 Crisis.
American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation. 2021;(12):1148-1151
ABSTRACT The purpose of this observational study was to report the experience of a 1-yr home training with functional electrical stimulation cycling of a person with T4 American Impairment Scale A paraplegia for 9 yrs, homebound due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The 40-yr-old participant had a three-phase training: V1, isometric stimulation; V2, functional electrical stimulation cycling for 3 sessions/wk; and V3, functional electrical stimulation cycling for 2-4 sessions/wk. Data on general and physical tolerance, health impact, and performance were collected. Borg Scale score relating to fatigue was 10.1 before training and 11.8 after training. The average score for satisfaction at the end of sessions was 8.7. Lean leg mass increased more than 29%, although total bone mineral density dropped by 1.6%. The ventilatory thresholds increased from 19.5 to 29% and the maximum ventilatory peak increased by 9.5%. Rosenberg's Self-esteem Scale score returned to its highest level by the end of training. For the only track event on a competition bike, the pilot covered a distance of 1607.8 m in 17 mins 49 secs. When functional electrical stimulation cycling training is based on a clear and structured protocol, it offers the person with paraplegia the opportunity to practice this activity recreationally and athletically. In times of crisis, this training has proven to be very relevant.