Breathing exercises can be as effective as drugs, study says

high blood pressure

Daily strength training to strengthen your diaphragm and other respiratory muscles can help promote heart health and lower high blood pressure, according to new research.

“The muscles we use to breathe atrophy in the same way other muscles tend to atrophy with age,” says Daniel Craighead, an integrative physiologist and researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder. I’m here.

To test what happens when these muscles are properly trained, he and his colleagues recruited healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 82 and used a breathing trainer called Powerbreathe. I tried the technique for 5 minutes every day. When a person blows into the machine, the device creates resistance, making it difficult to inhale.

Breathing techniques to lower high blood pressure

Researcher Daniel Craighead said, “We found that 30 breaths per day for six weeks lowered systolic blood pressure by about 9 millimeters of mercury. He says it’s consistent with what you’d expect from conventional aerobic exercise such as

A normal blood pressure reading is less than about 120/80 mmHg, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More recently, some medical professionals have diagnosed hypertension in patients with mean readings consistently above 130/80 mmHg.

Mayo Clinic physician Michael Joyner, who studies how the nervous system regulates blood pressure, says the impact of a sustained 9 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure is significant. “This is the sort of drop you see with blood pressure medications,” says Dr. Joyner.

Studies have shown that many common blood pressure medications cause a drop of about 9 mmHg. The reduction is greater when people combine multiple drugs, but a 10 mmHg reduction correlates with a 35% lower risk of stroke and a 25% lower risk of heart disease.

Exercise can help prevent hypertension

high blood pressure

“I see promise,” Dr. Joyner says of the potential for incorporating respiratory muscle training into preventive care. It may also be beneficial for those unable to do traditional cardio, and given the ease with which the device can be used at home, its simplicity is also appealing.

In an editorial published alongside previous research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, Dr. Joyner said, “Breathing deeply and sustainably is the key to producing the benefits of exercise and physical activity. provides a new, unconventional way to

So how does breathing training lower blood pressure? Emphasizes role. Nitric oxide widens blood vessels, increases blood circulation, and prevents plaque buildup in arteries.

“We found that six weeks of IMST (inspiratory strength training) increased endothelial function by about 45%,” says Daniel Craighead.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing, often used during meditation and mindfulness practices, has also long been known to help lower blood pressure. , promotes the production of nitric oxide. According to Daniel Craighead of IMST, a particular advantage of his machine is that the smaller machine produces more resistance and trains the muscles better, resulting in faster time to effect.

The new study builds on previous research and adds evidence that IMST, which is essentially strength training for respiratory muscles, benefits all adults regardless of age. Daniel Craighead said, “I was surprised to find that the IMST was ubiquitous and effective in lowering blood pressure.” I was thinking.

However, blood pressure decreased significantly in participants of all ages.

This finding suggests that the IMST may help healthy young people prevent heart disease and age-related increases in blood pressure.

Elite cyclists, runners and other endurance athletes may also benefit, he said, with data showing that six weeks of IMST increased aerobic fitness by 12% in middle-aged and older adults. I am quoting.

But he warns that the technology will not replace exercise, nor medication for people whose blood pressure is too high and is at risk of heart attacks and accidents. According to Daniel Craighead, “This could be a good complementary intervention for people already adopting other healthy lifestyle approaches.”

According to the French Public Health Agency, high blood pressure affects more than 1 in 3 French people, and 1 in 2 of them are unaware of their condition and are not receiving treatment. However, high blood pressure can have serious consequences. High blood pressure on arterial walls can stiffen arteries and cause premature aging, putting them at significant risk of cardiovascular events, especially myocardial infarction, stroke and renal failure.

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