Exercise is good for building muscle, trimming your waistline, strengthening your heart and improving your mood. But did you know it can also strengthen your lungs?
Breathing training works by providing resistance on the inhalation and exhalation of breath. It is performed as an isolated exercise, taking up to 10 minutes per session.
Most breathing muscle trainers look like inhalers, and they provide resistance during the inhalation and exhalation to strengthen your lung muscles. This type of training is similar to weight training at the gym, and usually only takes 5-10 minutes a day.
Breathing is a complex process that involves many muscles, including the diaphragm and intercostal muscles (located between your ribs). Many people do not use their diaphragms to their fullest potential, which limits the amount of oxygen they can absorb. Strengthening the inspiratory and expiratory muscles with a breathing muscle trainer can improve breath efficiency and help prevent chronic conditions such as COPD, dysphagia, and neuromuscular disease.
Some researchers have also found that strengthening breathing muscles can increase a person’s aerobic capacity, or Vo2 max, during exercise. This is because stronger muscles can distribute blood flow better, resulting in more oxygen reaching the working muscles. This can improve a person’s endurance and help them go longer before they become tired or breathless.
Respiratory muscle training devices strengthen inspiratory and expiratory muscles of the lungs, improving breath support for speaking, singing, coughing, and exercise. They are especially useful for people who have weakened breathing muscles due to disease or surgery.
During intense physical activity, your body’s demand for oxygen increases dramatically. To cope with this demand, numerous muscles must contract in a highly coordinated manner. If your respiratory muscles are weak, it can take a lot of energy just to breathe.
Fortunately, strength gains to the muscles involved in breathing can persist even after the training has stopped. This suggests that a breathing muscle trainer can improve exercise performance just as other forms of strength training can do for bones, muscles, and even the brain. In fact, a study recently found that coupling breathing (breathing in a set pattern with stride) reduces the amount of work that your legs have to do during running. This makes a respiratory muscle trainer especially helpful for runners.
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
The ability to breathe is a critical component of a healthy life. However, weakened breathing muscles can have serious effects on daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, sleeping, and speaking.
By increasing the strength of breathing muscles, respiratory muscle training improves these everyday activities and even helps reduce coughing, swallowing, and speech. This translates to better quality of life for individuals with respiratory disorders.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that high-resistance inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST) can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Taking deep breaths with the lungs against resistance is a simple and cost-effective way to strengthen your breathing muscles and improve your health.
Deep diaphragmatic breathing has long been used to reduce stress, increase oxygen levels in the blood and improve overall mental and emotional well-being. Adding breathing muscle training to your daily routine can boost these benefits even further and increase the health of your heart by improving blood pressure.
Inspiratory muscle strength training increases the endurance of your diaphragm and breathing accessory muscles, improving your ability to get oxygen to the rest of your body. People with conditions that make it difficult to breathe (asthma, COPD, Parkinson’s) will see improvement. Former smokers who have chronic lung disease may find that the training helps them reduce their dependence on medication to help them breath more easily.
Breathing resistance training is a proven way to improve your ability to sleep at night, helping you avoid sleep disturbances like obstructive apnea and nocturnal leg cramps. Several studies have shown that doing inspiratory resistance training for just five minutes a day can significantly improve your sleep quality, allowing you to get the restful night you deserve.
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