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Improve blood pressure with 5-minute breathing technique

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, June 6, 2019  /  07:41 am
Improve blood pressure with 5-minute breathing technique

Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST) is claimed to reduce heart attack risk and enhance cardiovascular health. (Shutterstock/udra11)

A recent study introduced a new five-minute breathing technique that is believed to improve blood pressure and may boost brain function – without the need to lift a finger. 

The workout, called Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST), is claimed to reduce heart attack risk and enhance cardiovascular health, as well as cognitive and physical performance. 

Researcher Daniel Craighead from the University of Colorado Boulder´s department of integrative physiology, tested the technique in a clinical trial, Medical News Today reported.

“IMST is basically strength-training for the muscles you breathe in with,” he explained. 

The technique involves inhaling through a hand-held device called an inspiratory muscle trainer. It was initially made for people with respiratory problems such as bronchitis or cystic fibrosis, or to wean people off ventilators. 

During a six-week trial in 2016, participants with obstructive sleep apnea performed 30 inhalations per day. The result showed that their systolic blood pressure had decreased by 12 milimeters of mercury.

Read also: Feeling sleepy all day and other signs of sleep apnea

In comparison, exercising for the same amount of time decreases blood pressure by only half that amount. 

Afterward, the study continued into finding out the possible benefits of IMST for the vascular, cognitive and physical health of 50 middle-aged adults.

“Our goal is to develop time-efficient, evidence-based interventions that […] busy midlife adults will actually perform,” Craighead said.

Researchers compared IMST patients with people using a sham device that provided no resistance on inhalation. IMST participants showed significantly lower blood pressure and improved functions of their large arteries compared to the other group. 

Also, their results of cognitive tests and treadmill tests were better, which means they were able to run longer but kept their heart rate and oxygen consumption low. 

“IMST is something you can do quickly in your home or office, without having to change your clothes, and so far it looks like it is very beneficial to lower blood pressure and possibly boost cognitive and physical performance,” Craighead said. (sop/wng)