A breath of fresh health 

Examining new research from across the world  

Published: 19th September 2021 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2021 03:49 PM   |  A+A-

Strength training for breathing muscles.

Express News Service

Examining new research from across the world 

Name of study: Strength training for breathing muscles

By who and where: American Heart Association, US

What does it say?
✥ Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST) 
is a powerful tool, which strengthens the muscles that you use to breathe
✥ If done for six days, it regulates blood pressure, keeps the heart healthy, and boosts brain function
✥ This means you will perform better while exercising and keep stress levels under check


It is powerful

Dr Neetu Jain, Senior Consultant, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, PSRI Hospital, New Delhi

IMST is a form of resistance (weight) training, which strengthens the inspiratory muscles that are used while breathing. When these muscles are strengthened over a period of time, they work for longer. The best part of IMST technique is that it saves time. Five minutes is all you need. It can be performed easily at home or the office, without any equipment or the need for a change of clothes. It is also good for the critically ill, even those paralysed. IMST is recommended for those with asthma, bronchitis, COPD, and emphysema. If you are an athlete, try it as it will improve the diaphragm muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance to help you train better.


Let’s not jump the gun
Dr Hirenappa Udnur, 
Consultant Pulmonologist, 
Columbia Asia Hospital, Bengaluru 

Five minutes of respiratory exercise cannot equal exercise and medication. IMST is an overestimation. People with high blood pressure should be careful before trying it. The technique is not commonly recommended by physicians as it is still in the trial stage. More evidence is needed. There is no quick fix for getting fit. Building health is a sustained effort and physical exercises such as weight training, aerobics, dancing, swimming, and others are necessary. Having said that, IMST can be done as a supplement to your exercise routine.               


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