A breath of freshness – The new Indian Express


Express news service

Review of new research from around the world

Study name: Strength training for respiratory muscles

By Whom and Where: American Heart Association, United States

What does it say?
Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST)
is a powerful tool, which strengthens the muscles you use for breathing
If done for six days, it regulates blood pressure, keeps the heart healthy, and boosts brain function
✥ This means you will perform better during exercise and control your stress level


It is powerful

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

IMST is a form of resistance training (weight), which strengthens the inspiratory muscles used during breathing. When these muscles are strengthened over a period of time, they work longer. The best part about the IMST technique is that it saves time. Five minutes is enough. It can be done easily at home or in the office, without any equipment or the need to change clothes. It is also good for seriously ill people, even the paralyzed. IMST is recommended for people with asthma, bronchitis, COPD, and emphysema. If you are an athlete, give it a try as it will improve 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, Bangalore

Five minutes of breathing exercise cannot equal exercise and medication. IMST is an overestimate. People with hypertension should be careful before trying it. The technique is not commonly recommended by doctors because it is still in the testing stage. More evidence is needed. There is no quick fix to getting in shape. Building health takes sustained effort and physical exercises such as strength training, aerobics, dancing, swimming and others are required. That said, IMST can be done as an addition to your exercise routine.

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