New findings: What is the central question of this study? What impact does inspiratory muscle training have on systemic vascular resistance, cardiac output and baroreflex sensitivity in adult men and women? What is the main finding and its importance? Inspiratory muscle training exerts favorable effects on blood pressure, vascular resistance and perception of stress. This exercise format is well-tolerated and equally effective whether implemented in men or women.
Abstract: Previous work has shown that inspiratory muscle training (IMT) lowers blood pressure after a mere 6 weeks, identifying IMT as a potential therapeutic intervention to prevent or treat hypertension. Here, we explore the effects of IMT on respiratory muscle strength and select cardiovascular parameters in recreationally active men and women. Subjects were randomly assigned to IMT (n = 12, 75% maximal inspiratory pressure) or sham training (n = 13, 15% maximal inspiratory pressure) groups and underwent a 6-week intervention comprising 30 breaths day-1 , 5 days week-1 . Pre- and post-training measures included maximal inspiratory pressure and resting measures of blood pressure, cardiac output, heart rate, spontaneous cardiac baroreflex sensitivity and systemic vascular resistance. We evaluated psychological and sleep status via administration of the Cohen-Hoberman inventory of physical symptoms and the Epworth sleepiness scale. Male and female subjects in the IMT group showed declines in systolic/diastolic blood pressures (-4.3/-3.9 mmHg, P < 0.025) and systemic vascular resistance (-3.5 mmHg min l-1 , P = 0.008) at week 6. There was no effect of IMT on cardiac output (P = 0.722), heart rate (P = 0.795) or spontaneous cardiac baroreflex sensitivity (P = 0.776). The IMT subjects also reported fewer stress-related symptoms (pre- versus post-training, 12.5 ± 8.5 versus 7.2 ± 9.7, P = 0.025). Based on these results, we suggest that a short course of IMT confers significant respiratory and cardiovascular improvements and parallel (modest) psychological benefits in healthy men and women.
Keywords: blood pressure; inspiratory muscle training; sex; vascular resistance.
© 2017 The Authors. Experimental Physiology © 2017 The Physiological Society.