Developed in the 1980s as a way to help critically ill respiratory disease patients strengthen their diaphragm and other respiratory muscles, Inspiratory Musculature Strength Training (IMST) involves inhaling vigorously through a manual device that provides resistance .
Exercising for just five minutes a day via IMST lowers blood pressure and improves some measures of vascular health, as well as, or even more than, aerobic exercise or medication , new research from CU Boulder published in the Journal of the American Heart Association .
30 puffs per day
Just 30 high-resistance puffs per day , six days a week, could lead to improvements in cardiovascular, cognitive and athletic performance.
For the new study, 36 adults aged 50 to 79 years with above-normal systolic blood pressure were recruited. Half did heavy-duty IMST for six weeks; and half did a placebo protocol, in which resistance was much lower. The participants did not know which group they were in .
When assessed after six weeks, the IMST group saw their systolic blood pressure (the top number) drop nine points on average, a reduction that generally exceeds that achieved by walking 30 minutes a day five days a week . That decrease is also equal to the effects of some blood pressure-lowering drug regimens.
The treatment group also saw a 45% improvement in vascular endothelial function , or the ability of the arteries to expand upon stimulation, and a significant increase in levels of nitric oxide, a key molecule in dilating arteries and preventing artery disease. plaque buildup. Nitric oxide levels naturally decline with age.