Scientists have found that even irregular training of the respiratory muscles brings benefits

Experimental Physiology: the effect of breathing exercises persists after the cessation of training

Scientists from the University of Waterloo have found that the respiratory muscles remain in good shape even after a long period without training. The study is published in the journal Experimental Physiology.

The study involved 16 young healthy people over 18 years of age. They were randomly assigned to either the control group or the experimental group. For five weeks, the experimental group performed inspiratory muscle training twice a day for five days a week. Then for another five weeks, the participants did not perform breathing exercises, but remained physically active – three workouts per week. The control group did only physical activity for the entire 10 weeks.

Respiratory muscle training allowed participants in the experimental group to improve their heart function during physical activity: they had less pressure increase and a lower heart rate. This contributes to the development of endurance. The researchers found that the effect persisted five weeks after breathing exercise was stopped.

The study proved that the respiratory muscles can be trained like other skeletal muscles, and the effect persists even after the cessation of training. This may mean that training can create some reserve of muscle tone.

Scientists also suggest that improving respiratory muscle function could potentially help people slow the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third leading cause of death worldwide. The authors of the work plan to repeat the study in people with COPD.

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