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Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) ; 36(3): 318-324, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2257624


Wearing a cloth face mask has been shown to impair exercise performance; it is essential to understand the impact wearing a cloth face mask may have on cognitive performance. Participants completed two maximal cardiopulmonary exercise tests on a cycle ergometer (with and without a cloth face mask) with a concurrent cognitive task. Blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, perceived exertion, shortness of breath, accuracy, and reaction time were measured at rest, during each exercise stage, and following a 4-minute recovery period. The final sample included 35 adults (age = 26.1 ± 5.8 years; 12 female/23 male). Wearing a cloth face mask was associated with significant decreases in exercise duration (-2:00 ± 3:40 min, P = 0.003), peak measures of maximal oxygen uptake (-818.9 ± 473.3 mL/min, -19.0 ± 48 mL·min-1·kg-1, P < 0.001), respiratory exchange ratio (-0.04 ± 0.08, P = 0.005), minute ventilation (-36.9 ± 18 L/min), oxygen pulse (-3.9 ± 2.3, P < 0.001), heart rate (-7.9 ± 12.6 bpm, P < 0.001), oxygen saturation (-1.5 ± 2.8%, P = 0.004), and blood lactate (-1.7 ± 2.5 mmol/L, P < 0.001). While wearing a cloth face mask significantly impaired exercise performance during maximal exercise testing, cognitive performance was unaffected in this selected group of young, active adults.

Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) ; 36(1): 75-77, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2081875


A 23-year-old male competitive athlete performed a maximal cardiopulmonary exercise test on a cycle ergometer with a concurrent cognitive test on an iPad 6 days before and 19 weeks after a nonhospitalized COVID-19 illness. Results indicated reductions in time to exhaustion (-3.25 min), peak oxygen consumption (-1.68 mL/kg/min), and accuracy (-8%) during peak exertion despite his return to prior levels of activity. Reductions in functional or cognitive performance in competitive athletes may elicit noticeable differences in athletic performance; therefore, fitness specialists should consider the assessment of both cognitive function as well as aerobic capacity in athletes following COVID-19, regardless of severity, to facilitate safe and effective return to activity.

Br J Sports Med ; 56(2): 107-113, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604636


OBJECTIVES: To (1) determine if wearing a cloth face mask significantly affected exercise performance and associated physiological responses, and (2) describe perceptual measures of effort and participants' experiences while wearing a face mask during a maximal treadmill test. METHODS: Randomised controlled trial of healthy adults aged 18-29 years. Participants completed two (with and without a cloth face mask) maximal cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPETs) on a treadmill following the Bruce protocol. Blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, exertion and shortness of breath were measured. Descriptive data and physical activity history were collected pretrial; perceptions of wearing face masks and experiential data were gathered immediately following the masked trial. RESULTS: The final sample included 31 adults (age=23.2±3.1 years; 14 women/17 men). Data indicated that wearing a cloth face mask led to a significant reduction in exercise time (-01:39±01:19 min/sec, p<0.001), maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) (-818±552 mL/min, p<0.001), minute ventilation (-45.2±20.3 L/min), maximal heart rate (-8.4±17.0 beats per minute, p<0.01) and increased dyspnoea (1.7±2.9, p<0.001). Our data also suggest that differences in SpO2 and rating of perceived exertion existed between the different stages of the CPET as participant's exercise intensity increased. No significant differences were found between conditions after the 7-minute recovery period. CONCLUSION: Cloth face masks led to a 14% reduction in exercise time and 29% decrease in VO2max, attributed to perceived discomfort associated with mask-wearing. Compared with no mask, participants reported feeling increasingly short of breath and claustrophobic at higher exercise intensities while wearing a cloth face mask. Coaches, trainers and athletes should consider modifying the frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise when wearing a cloth face mask.

COVID-19 , Running , Adolescent , Adult , Exercise Test , Female , Heart Rate , Humans , Male , Masks , Oxygen Saturation , Young Adult