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Strength training is not just for biceps.

It can provide support to the muscles that help us breathe to lower blood pressure.

For six weeks, the daily volume of high resistance inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST) was reduced Systolic blood pressure According to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, an average of nine millimeters of mercury.

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“In our study, we found that high-resistance dynamic muscle strength training, 30 breaths per day with a hand-held device, reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 9 mmHg,” said lead author Dr. Daniel Harrison Craighead.

He is an Assistant Research Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Researchers have developed the concept of strength training as a way to maintain muscle health in the muscles that help us breathe - such as the diaphragm.

Researchers have developed the concept of strength training as a way to maintain muscle health in the muscles that help us breathe – such as the diaphragm.
(iStock)

“This is important because lowering blood pressure to that level reduces a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other health problems associated with high blood pressure,” Craighead said.

Since muscles weaken over time, strength training is often used to keep the muscles of the body healthy.

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Craighead, however, developed that same concept in Muscles that help us breatheas a diaphragm.

Along with other researchers, he recruited healthy volunteers aged 18-82 to use PowerBreath, a device that provides resistance training to the muscles that help us breathe. (There are many such devices on the market.)

Study participants were asked to use the device for five minutes a day for six weeks.

"Just as you use a heavier dumbbell as your bicep strength improves, you can increase the resistance on the breathing apparatus as your breathing strength improves."

“As your bicep strength improves, you can increase the resistance on the breathing apparatus as your breathing strength improves, just as you use heavier dumbbells.”
(iStock)

According to the PowerBreathe website, it’s often called a “dumbbell for your diaphragm” because it creates resistance when we breathe.

“As your bicep strength improves, you can increase the resistance on the breathing apparatus as your breathing strength improves, just as you use heavier dumbbells,” the website adds.

The new study shows that performing 30 breaths a day for six weeks can reduce systolic blood pressure by approximately 9 millimeters of mercury, which is similar to the reduction found in normal. Aerobic exercise such as walking, running or cycling.

“The protocol only takes 5-10 minutes a day, so we hope it will be easy for people to follow,” said lead author of the new study.

“Plus, the protocol only takes 5-10 minutes a day, so hopefully it’ll be easy for people to follow,” Craighead told Fox News Digital.

“It can be done as easily as watching TV or while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew.”

A 10 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure can reduce stroke risk by 35 percent and heart disease risk by 25 percent by age 65, according to a report in the British Medical Journal.

What is high blood pressure?

The American Heart Association defines normal blood pressure as less than 120/80 mm Hg.

The highest number is the systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and pumps blood around the body.

A nurse measures a patient's blood pressure. "If the systolic blood pressure readings are consistently 120-129, it is called high blood pressure, and a patient is also called hypertensive or hypertensive." A health expert said.

A nurse measures a patient’s blood pressure. “Systolic blood pressure readings consistently between 120-129 are called high blood pressure,” says a health professional.
(iStock)

The bottom number is diastolic blood pressure, or the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest and filling with blood, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

If the systolic blood pressure readings are constantly 120-129, it is called high blood pressure, and a patient has high blood pressure, also called hypertension.

People diagnosed with stage 1 hypertension have a systolic blood pressure reading of 130-139 mm Hg or a diastolic reading of 80-89 mm Hg.

“High blood pressure is a common problem and contributes to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and a variety of other cardiovascular problems.”

When people are diagnosed at this stage, lifestyle changes are often recommended before starting any medication.

“High blood pressure is a common problem and contributes to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and a variety of other cardiovascular problems,” Dr. Deepak Bhatt, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Fox News Digital.

Lifestyle parametersThings like limiting salt intake and losing weight can help lower blood pressure, although many people with high blood pressure eventually need medication.

"Many people with high blood pressure eventually need medication." A professor at Harvard Medical School said medicine.

“Many people with high blood pressure end up needing medication,” said the doctor, a professor at Harvard Medical School.
(iStock, file)

He is the executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart and Vascular Center in Boston.

Stage 2 hypertension is when systolic blood pressure readings consistently reach 140/90 mm Hg or higher, according to the American Heart Association.

“Certainly, breathing training, as done in this [new] Research shows that it can help strengthen the muscles involved in breathing and lower blood pressure, Bhatt said.

Although more research is needed to determine how effective it is and who are suitable candidates, it appears to be a safe approach.

People taking high blood pressure medications should not stop taking these medications without consulting their doctors, Bhatt said.

“We need to do more long-term studies to make sure that we actually see lower blood pressure-related conditions in people who do this training,” said the lead author of the new study.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a magical fix in and of itself,” Craighead of the University of Colorado Boulder told Fox News Digital about IMST, the inspiratory muscle strength training process.

“A reduction in systolic blood pressure may not be sufficient to fully control blood pressure in people with more than mild hypertension,” he said.

“However, so far we have seen that it is effective in people taking antihypertensive drugs – so it could be a good ‘add-on’ treatment to drugs.”

He also said that “breathing training is very different from running or walking – but this question still needs to be confirmed by further research” and that it has additional benefits to regular exercise.

How does breathing training work?

Endothelial cells line the lining of blood vessels, which in turn help produce nitric oxide, a key heart-protecting compound, the Cleveland Clinic reports.

Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, which promotes healthy blood flow.

The study showed that six weeks of respiratory-muscle strength training increased endothelial function by about 45%.

Limitations of the study

Craighead noted that the current study had some limitations, including that it only tested participants for six weeks.

“We need to do more long-term studies to make sure we’re actually seeing lower blood pressure-related conditions in people who do this training,” he told Fox News Digital.

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They also noted that the majority of participants in their study were non-Hispanic white adults, making it difficult to generalize the study to different populations.

We need to learn how effective this breathing training is when people train on their own without researcher supervision.

All of the research was conducted in a controlled laboratory setting, Craighead said, so “we need to learn how effective this breathing training is when people train on their own without the supervision of a researcher.”

Future research is needed

However, it is hoped that the results of the study will encourage more research on high resistance muscle strength training.

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“If the health benefits are confirmed in larger trials with long-term treatment durations, I can see this being another important tool in the blood pressure control toolbox,” Craighead added.

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“I think it’s really promising because it’s time-saving — and it’s been shown to be safe in the groups that have been tested so far.”

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