a breathing exercise to lower blood pressure


  • Developed in the 1980s, this exercise can be done at home, in front of the television, in five minutes.
  • It is more effective than active walking and certain aerobic exercises, and the results are similar to those of antihypertensive treatments.

According to Public Health France, high blood pressure (HBP) affects more than a third of French people, half of whom are unaware of their condition and therefore receive no treatment. However, high blood pressure can have serious consequences. High blood pressure in the walls of the arteries can harden and age them prematurely, exposing them to a significant risk of cardiovascular disease, especially myocardial infarction, stroke, and kidney failure.

To lower blood pressure, there are a number of treatments that work differently on high blood pressure. It is recommended to pay attention to his diet and exercise.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, a breathing exercise called “inspiratory muscle strength training” can also lower blood pressure for five minutes a day. According to the authors of the study, its results were also convincing, if not more so, that aerobic exercise or medication.

„We know that there are many lifestyle strategies that can help people maintain their cardiovascular health as they get older. put in place for certain people “, shows Daniel Craighead, author of the papers. The advantage of this exercise, according to him, is to be able to be “made in five minutes, at home, while watching TV“.

Significantly decreased systolic blood pressure

Developed in the 1980s to help patients with severe respiratory problems strengthen their diaphragm and other inspiratory muscles, this exercise is designed to inspire vigor through a portable device that provides resistance.

Initially, when prescribing this technique for respiratory ailments, doctors recommended a low-resistance diet of 30 minutes a day. Professor Craighead and colleagues are now calling for a more rapid regimen (30 high-strength inhalations a day, 6 days a week) could also improve cardiovascular, cognitive and physical performance.

To find out, they recruited 36 healthy adults aged 50 to 79 with higher than normal systolic blood pressure (120 mmHg or more). Half of them followed a six-week high-strength exercise program, while the other half followed a much lower endurance placebo regimen.

The results showed that systolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 9 points in the prime group, a further significant decrease because it was 30 minutes a day, five days a week. This decrease also corresponds to the effect of certain antihypertensive medical treatments. In addition, the group maintained most of this improvement even after the exercise.

Exercise recommended for menopausal women

Another advantage noted in this group is a 45% improvement in vascular endothelial function, the ability of the arteries to dilate under stimulation, and a significant increase in nitric oxide levels, which is essential for artery dilation and prevention. plaque buildup. Finally, markers of inflammation and oxidative stress decreased significantly after respiratory exercise, which nearly 95% of subjects pursued.

Inspirational muscle strength training may be especially helpful for menopausal women, as aerobic exercise programs are not always effective in lowering their blood pressure. “If aerobic exercise does not improve this key measure of cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women, they need another lifestyle intervention that will.” And this exercise “could be the case”concludes Prof. Craighead.

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