Hypertension and reduced lung function are important features of aging. Slow loaded breathing training reduces resting blood pressure and the question is whether this can also improve lung function.Methods:
Thirty-two people (67±5years, 16 male) with controlled isolated systolic hypertension undertook an eight weeks randomised controlled training trial with an inspiratory load of 25% maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP) at 6 breaths per minute (slow loaded breathing; SLB) or deep breathing control (CON). Outcome measures were resting blood pressure (BP) and heart rate; MIP; lung capacity; chest and abdominal expansion; arm cranking exercise endurance at 50% heart rate reserve.Results:
Home based measurement of resting systolic BP decreased by 20mmHg (15 to 25) (Mean and 95%CI) for SLB and by 5mmHg (1 to 7) for CON. Heart rate and diastolic BP also decreased significantly for SLB but not CON. MIP increased by 15.8cm H2O (11.8 to 19.8) and slow vital capacity by 0.21L (0.15 to 0.27) for SLB but not for CON. Chest and abdominal expansion increased by 2.3cm (2.05 to 2.55) and 2.5cm (2.15 to 2.85), respectively for SLB and by 0.5cm (0.26 to 0.74) and 1.7cm (1.32 to 2.08) for CON. Arm exercise time increased by 4.9min (3.65 to 5.15) for SLB with no significant change for CON.Conclusion:
Slow inspiratory muscle training is not only effective in reducing resting BP, even in older people with well controlled isolated systolic hypertension but also increases inspiratory muscle strength, lung capacity and arm exercise duration.