Want to Lower Your Blood Pressure Fast? Just Breathe.
High blood pressure affects more than 50% of adults aged 50-60 and nearly 75% of adults over age 60. It’s a chronic condition that increases your risk for heart disease and stroke (the leading causes of death in the United States) and can quietly damage your body for years before symptoms even develop.
According to new research published by the Journal of the American Heart Association, there’s an extremely convenient, easy-to-perform breathing exercise you can do from home that effectively lowers your blood pressure. Not only that, but it also boosts vascular health and sharply reduces the risk of developing a more serious illness, like cardiovascular disease.
The best part is that it can be performed in as little as five minutes per day. Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST) was first developed in the 1980s to help critically ill respiratory disease patients strengthen their diaphragm and other breathing muscles (e.g., rib cage muscles and abdominal muscles). Today, it can be used to help prevent these diseases.
What is Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training?
IMST is a form of physical therapy designed to exercise all the breathing muscles and involves inhaling vigorously through a handheld device that provides resistance. This resistance makes it more difficult to inhale, so your muscles receive a higher-intensity workout.
In addition to strengthening breathing muscles and lowering blood pressure, practicing high resistance breathing techniques for a few minutes each day can deliver a range of other health benefits like, improving sleep in patients with sleep apnea and reducing stress perception.
While there’s no substitute for maintaining a healthy diet, participating in daily physical activity, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest, researchers from the Mayo Clinic agree that taking a deep, resisted breath offers a new, unconventional way to generate the benefits of exercise and physical activity.
If you’d like to learn how fitness training coupled with IMST can improve breathing muscle strength, stamina and reduce breathlessness, call Jason Ferine Physical Therapy at 424-365-2083. IMST is also a beneficial companion to physical therapy for those recovering from a heart attack or stroke.
We believe treating the body holistically through hands-on manual therapy, strength training, yoga, exercise and acupuncture is essential for long-lasting health and wellness.