2019, Volume 11, Issue 1
The effect of breath-hold diving on selected adaptive mechanisms in the circulatory-respiratory system in simulated static and dynamic apnoea
Magdalena Solich-Talanda1, Rafał Mikołajczyk1, Robert Roczniok2, Aleksandra Żebrowska1
1Department of Physiological and Medical Sciences, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice
2Department of Sports Theory, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice
Author for correspondence: Aleksandra Żebrowska; Department of Physiological and Medical Sciences, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Current research results indicate high adaptation of an organism to long-term apnoea. Breathing techniques allow increasing the volume of the inhaled air and thus prolong the breath-hold time at rest and during physical effort. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of breath-hold on adaptations of the respiratory and circulatory systems and cardiopulmonary-respiratory reactions at rest and during physical effort in persons practising freediving.
Material and methods: The study involved 17 athletes practising breath-hold diving, at the mean age of 38.4 ±8.4 years. Spirometry tests to evaluate static and dynamic lung indicators were conducted. The heart rate (HR), oxygen saturation (SpO2), and the apnoea time in three breath-hold trials were measured: static dry STA-D, static with face immersed in water STA-I and dynamic (DYN-D).
Results: The values of spirometry indicators were higher than the normal values at the appropriate peak expiratory flow (91.6 ± 27.2%). A significant effect of breath-hold on the HR was demonstrated in the STA-D test (W = 0.43, at p < 0.05) and STA-I (W = 0.51, at p < 0.05). The mean breath-hold time was significantly lower in the dynamic trial DYN-D vs STA-D (p < 0.001) and in STA-D Ex vs STA-I (P < 0.001). Higher mean values of SpO2 were shown in DYN-D in comparison to STA-D (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that breath-hold training beneficially affects adaptation of the circulatory system, causing strong bradycardia and lower tolerance in response to prolonged apnoea during physical effort.
Key words: freediving, spirometry, heart rate, apnoea, exercise