A recent study conducted by the University of Colorado-Boulder finds that a five-minute workout lowers blood pressure like prescription drugs and traditional exercise. Scientists have dubbed it “strength training for your breathing muscles”. It makes use of a resistance as a user breathes while using a hand-held device.
The IMST, or High-Resistance Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training as researchers call it, is a technique that involves a push-and-pull between a user and the device while sucking air. Previously, doctors recommended that patients who had breathing disorders use the device for half an hour at low power. This new study finds that a high-intensity burst for five minutes helps adult cardiovascular health.
Two-thirds of people over 50 years old in the United States have elevated blood pressure, estimates show. This puts them at risk for heart attacks, a stroke, or heart disease. Less than half of them get enough exercise to help their condition to improve.
The study’s lead author, Daniel Craighead, shared through a university release that in reality, many lifestyle strategies for cardiovascular health take a lot of resources and can be tough for people to access. IMST, in contrast, can be done at home in five minutes amidst other activities like watching television.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, also found that the quick breathing workout is a great exercise alternative for postmenopausal women as well.