BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Although fall sports seasons are up in the air, there will be a lot for teams and athletes to consider if sports do make a return.
News 13 spoke with local ER Doctor, Frank Merritt, who is also the founder of Vitality Pro.
Vitality Pro is a private consulting group that develops innovative health training and recovering modalities for individuals and teams as they study physiology.
“God came to bring us abundant life, so we want to be apart of that, we want to help people achieve their goals and have a healthier better life,” Dr.Merritt said.
Vitality Pro does so through aquatic exercises as well as combining cardiovascular activities to increase lung strength.
Dr. Merritt said the studies they’ve performed show water sports are the best for building the lungs, so they will play sports such as water polo. Another strategy they use is to have athletes use weights while exercising in the pool.
“New types of strategies and modalities so we can build the pulmonary function so people have better pulmonary function,” Dr. Merritt said.
The physician said although everyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 will have inflammation in their lungs, affecting pulmonary function, symptoms will be more noticeable to athletes.
“They’re gonna notice that decrease more than that persons a couch potato,” Dr. Merritt said.
We asked the doctor who has worked with athletes at every level what he thinks about the possible return of sports. With fall sports still up in the air, Dr. Merritt said he would not allow his sons to play in the fall because there is so much unknown about COVID-19.
“I think this is a time that we’ve got to pull back from some of the activities possibly including sports, until we understand this disease and get it under control,” Dr. Merritt said.
He said his stance would not change even if all athletes wore masks during competition, because they would not eliminate the spread of the disease.
“You’re talking about two guys hitting each other they’re playing against each other and they’re wearing a mask it’s still not going to be as effective as staying away and doing those things,” Dr. Merritt said.
Wearing masks will also make it significantly harder for athletes to breathe despite how strong their lungs are because it will create resistance.
“It’s putting extra heat and the honest truth is it is not capturing all of your air and vapor,” Dr. Merritt said.
Although Dr. Merritt will not tell a team or sports organization what to do, he said he doesn’t see the need to play sports at this time.
“As much as I want to see the sports as much as my kids want to play the sports it’s not a life and death situation where we have to play,” Dr. Merritt said.