Family Tree Guy wrote:Next month my workplace has the annual health fair / flu shot / blood test thing, and I always do that. So I can report back to see if there is any change in my BP.
Yes, please do report back and let us know.
Results are in! I had no idea that a blood pressure monitor on Amazon was so inexpensive, so I ordered one a few days ago and have data to share.
The paper (DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.121.020980) reports that using an inspiratory muscle strength training device, people with slightly elevated systolic blood pressure (that 1st number) lowered it on average ~9 points after a 6 week training program. I have read a lot about how even slightly elevated blood pressure may increase Alzheimer’s risk, so I thought I would give this a try.
I ordered the medium Powerbreathe device (this is what the website recommends for an otherwise healthy person who exercises some). It has a little dial that you spin to ‘tighten’ some mechanism, which makes it increasingly difficult to suck air through. Scale goes from 0 to 10.
The paper’s protocol is to do 5 sets of 6 breath repetitions (30 total breaths) six days per week for six weeks. The paper reports some hard to replicate at home calculations for maximum breath strength setting and their protocol for increasing the difficulty over the time period. I just started at what seemed like a reasonable level, and slowly increased the difficulty over time. I have been doing this since beginning of July, so just over 3.5 months. I started at setting 3.1. I am now at setting 8.4. Note that I have been increasing the tension much more slowly as the numbers have increased. (for the past month I only increase it maybe 1 click per 5-7 days. Although I have forgotten a few days, I mostly do it 7 days per week.
From my records (annual workplace health fair) my prior 5 years of BP readings were as follows:
120/80, 122/62, 122/84, 121/79, 122/74.
After the 3.5 months of inspiratory muscle strength training, I took my BP last night, and again this morning:
108/76 (last night), 103/76 (this morning).
Conclusion: my results are consistent with the published research. This type of training sure seems to lower your systolic blood pressure quite noticeably!