According to recent studies, daily “breath training” can be just as effective as some medications in reducing high blood pressure.
This news is especially exciting for those who live with type 1, type 2, or prediabetes, as high blood pressure is a common complication associated with these conditions.
But what exactly is “breath training,” and how can it help reduce blood pressure?
Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In fact, nearly half of all adults with diabetes also have high blood pressure.
People with diabetes are at increased risk for heart disease for a variety of reasons.
The most common reason is that high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) can damage the lining of blood vessels, making them less flexible and more prone to plaque buildup and blood clots.
People with diabetes are also more likely to have high blood pressure, which puts extra strain on the heart. And, if you have type 2 diabetes, your body is less effective at using insulin to control blood sugar levels – a condition known as insulin resistance.
All of these factors can contribute to an increased risk for heart disease.
And while there are many medications available to treat high blood pressure, they don’t work for everyone.
What Is Breath Training?
Breath training is a form of slow, deep breathing that helps relax the body and lower blood pressure.
It is a type of breathing exercise that helps improve the efficiency of your respiratory system. When done correctly, breath training can help reduce stress, improve lung function, and increase the oxygenation of the blood. These factors can contribute to lower blood pressure, and lower the risk of cardiovascular events.
How To Do Breath Training
There are many different ways to do breath training, but one of the simplest and most effective ways is through a method called high-resistance IMST (Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training).
Think of it like a resistance training workout for your lungs.
IMST involves inhaling deeply through a straw-like resistance device for three seconds followed by a brief pause. You then exhale normally for three seconds before repeating the process.
The key to IMST is to focus on slowing down your breathing as much as possible while still maintaining a steady rhythm.
It may take some practice to get the hang of it, but once you do you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time!
Does Breath Training Really Work?
A growing body of evidence suggests that yes, breath training can be an effective way to reduce high blood pressure. In one study on the effects of IMST, participants who did the exercises for 30 minutes per day for eight weeks saw their systolic blood pressure (the top number in a BP reading) drop by an average of 10 points compared to a control group who participated in a low-resistance sham training..
In another study, this one on the effects of a different type of breath training called slow breathing, Participants had a lower heart rate and improved heart rate variability (a measure of the heart’s ability to adapt to changes in demand) compared to the control group.
So, if you’re looking for a natural way to help lower your blood pressure, breath training may be just what you need.
Breath Training can be a
The evidence is clear: breath training is a safe, effective way to reduce high blood pressure. If you have diabetes, it might be worth a try!
Start by finding a method that works for you and practicing for at least 30 minutes per day. You may not see results overnight, but with consistency, you should start to notice a difference in your blood pressure over time.
You can always log your progress in a blood pressure log, or use a health app on your phone to keep track of your progress.
As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.