Effects of Nasal Insufflation on Heart Rate Recovery from Exercise


Ivester, B., Miller, P., Bohlen, J., Phan, P. Dobrosielski, DA. Towson University, Towson, MD

During high intensity aerobic exercise the mechanical work of breathing increases significantly. Treatment with high flow nasal insufflation (NI) has been shown to reduce the nocturnal ventilatory loads in patients with chronic conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea. Yet, it is not known whether NI influences exercise recovery kinetics in athletic persons. Purpose: Determine the effects of NI on heart rate recovery following high-intensity exercise. Methods: Aerobic capacity (VO2max) was established on competitive runners using a Bruce treadmill protocol. On separate days, subjects completed two 30-minute bouts of exercise on a treadmill at anaerobic threshold. Following each bout, subjects were fitted with a nasal cannula and exposed in random order to: 1) 35 Lmin-1 NI, or 2) 5 Lmin-1 (Sham). Heart rate was monitored for 20 minutes post-exercise to quantify rate of recovery. The start of the post-exercise period was denoted as 0% recovery, and proceeded to 100% once resting heart rate was achieved. Results: Five men (age: 27 ± 6 yrs; VO2max: 59.4 ± 4.2 mlkg-1min-1) and six women (age: 26 ± 8 yrs; VO2max: 50.4 ± 6.4 mlkg-1min-1) completed the study. Heart rate values throughout exercise did not vary between bouts, indicating equal intensities were achieved. There were no differences in relative HR recovery during the NI condition compared to Sham condition at 2 min (NI: 56 ± 27% vs. Sham: 54 ± 16%, p=0.77), 5 min (NI: 79 ± 16% vs. Sham: 75 ± 15%, p=0.77), or 15 min (NI: 100 ± 24% vs. Sham: 97 ± 18%, p=0.53) post exercise. Conclusion: Treatment with high flow NI did not facilitate heart rate recovery following a high intensity bout of exercise. Future studies incorporating direct assessment of ventilation are required in order to determine whether use of NI during exercise translates to improved athletic performance.

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