High-resistance inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST) may benefit cardiac health.
Heart health is important to your well-being at any age.
The heart pumps blood to fuel the body with oxygen.
Every nerve, organ, muscle, tendon, and ligament suffers when the heart suffers.
According to a recent Money Talks News article titled “This 5-Minute Trick Could Help Your Heart More Than Exercise,” you may be able to improve heart functioning outside of simply exercising.
A recent study indicated high-resistance inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST) shows promise.
IMST involves taking deep breaths through a handheld resistance device.
The study took 36 adults ages 50 to 79 with above-normal systolic blood pressure readings.
“Above-normal” readings were considered 120 or higher.
Half of the participants were given six weeks of IMST training and the other half were given a placebo with less resistance.
These results were recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
What were the results of this study?
Those participating in IMST dropped an average of nine points from their systolic blood pressure.
The point reduction exceeded what can normally be expected from walking 5 days a week for 30 minutes.
The results were similar to some blood pressure reduction medications.
In addition to lowering systolic blood pressure, the IMST participants showed 45 percent improvement in vascular endothelial function.
What is that?
Vascular endothelial function is the ability of arteries to expand when stimulated.
Levels of nitric oxide increased.
Nitric oxide prevents plaque building and dilates arteries.
Finally, the markers of oxidative stress and inflammation decreased drastically.
Although IMST has been utilized to strengthen the diaphragm and other breathing muscles for those with respiratory disease, researchers believe IMST could decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
With about 65 percent of adult Americans over the age of 50 having above-normal blood pressure, the risk of stroke or heart attack for many is high.
Typically the recommendation for IMST is to utilize a lower resistance regimen at 30 minutes per day.
There is also evidence of benefits to a cognitive, cardiovascular, and sports performance with a regiment of 30 high-resistance inhalations per day for six days.
This regimen may also also benefit postmenopausal women.
While exercise has not been shown to benefit vascular endothelial function in postmenopausal women who are not taking estrogen, IMST may provide a boost to this function in women.
The IMST device utilized in the study was a POWERbreathe K3.
The device costs several hundred dollars at this time.
Researchers also say smartphone apps are in development as well.
All that noted, I did some internet research on the various devices available.
As a result, I found and ordered a “Made in USA” device with very high customer ratings online: Expand-A-Lung.
The price? $29.95, with free shipping.
It just came in and I am looking forward to giving it a go.
Based on the research, the payoff could be bigly given even a modest investment of time and discipline.
If you give it a try, I would interested in your experience and progress.
Reference: Money Talks News (July 15, 2021) “This 5-Minute Trick Could Help Your Heart More Than Exercise”