A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has found simple breathing exercise lowers blood pressure and improves some measures of vascular health and these benefits accrue within weeks.
The study illustrated that the time-saving exercise known as High-Resistance Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST) lowers these heart disease markers as well as, or even more than, aerobic exercise or medication.
“There are a lot of lifestyle strategies that we know can help people maintain cardiovascular health as they age.
But the reality is, they take a lot of time and effort and can be expensive and hard for some people to access,” said lead author Daniel Craighead, an assistant research professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology.
“IMST can be done in five minutes in your own home while you watch TV.”
IMST involves inhaling vigorously through a hand-held device which provides resistance.
Initially, when prescribing it for breathing disorders, the standard practice recommended by doctors involves a 30-minute-per-day regimen at low resistance.