Forced vital capacity (FVC) and its two components [forced expiratory volume during the first second (FEV1.0) and peak expiratory flow (PEF)] denote lung function and can be affected by respiratory compliance. Performing an aerobic exercise with nasal breathing (NB) could be beneficial to elicit more significant FVC improvements compared to combined breathing (CB). PURPOSE: To determine if four weeks of aerobic training with NB could improve FVC more than CB. METHODS: Fourteen young males (age = 20.57 ± 1.22 yrs and BMI = 26.03 ± 3.16 kg/m2) participated in the 4-week supervised exercise intervention, consisting of 4 30-minute sessions per week at moderate intensity (70% of maximal heart rate) cycling using either NB (n = 8) or CB (n = 6). A baseline (V1) and follow-up visit (V2) where FVC was measured using spirometry. The FVC test consisted of 2 warm-up trials, followed by three maximal attempts with 1 minute rest between trials. The best spirometry attempts were recorded. The effect of NB and CB on the respiratory variables was examined with a paired sample t-test. Additionally, an independent sample t-test was conducted to compare the percent change [((V2-V1)/V1) x 100] between groups for FVC, FEV1.0, and PEF. Data are reported as mean ± SD. RESULTS: Neither the NB nor the CB group increased FVC. However, the NB group significantly [t(7) = 2.709, p = 0.030] increased FEV1.0 by 1.60% from V1 (4.28 ± 0.75 L) to V2 (4.35 ± 0.77 L), while the CB group decreased by 1.11 % from V1 (4.87 ± 0.63 L) to V2 (4.82 ± 0.66 L). Although both NB and CB groups increased PEF by 6.38% and 18.39%, respectively, it was only significant [t(7) = 2.824, p = 0.037] in the CB group (514.83 ± 96.29 to 595.88 ± 48.14 L·min-1). CONCLUSION: While both NB and CB groups demonstrated respiratory improvements, the significant increase in FEV1.0 after only 1-month of training with NB warrants further testing in various sample groups and longer duration of exercise intervention. FEV1.0 is considered the critical component of respiratory compliance, and the present study supports the idea that aerobic exercise training with NB could be a promising approach to improving pulmonary function.



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