Weak inspiratory muscles can be the result of a number of causes, including disease, but the amount of ‘exercise’ they receive has a huge influence upon their condition.
We use the phrase 'use it or lose it' to describe the best way to off-set problems that come with ageing, such as completing crosswords to keep the brain active, but it applies equally well to the inspiratory muscles. For instance if you start getting out of breath when climbing the stairs then next time you’ll choose to take the lift instead. The consequence of this is that your inspiratory muscles receive less ‘exercise’ and become weaker.
As your inspiratory muscles become weaker, the level of physical activity that makes you feel out of breath gets lower, so you avoid anything that makes you feel out breath even more, such as using the stairs, and it becomes a vicious cycle of shortness of breath, lack of exercise and inspiratory muscle weakness.
Also, if you have a condition such as asthma or emphysema, the use of oral steroid medication (not inhaled steroids*) to control lung inflammation has been shown to cause weakness of the inspiratory muscles. This weakness can impair lung function but it can be counteracted by inspiratory muscle training with POWERbreathe.
* Inhaled steroids do not cause inspiratory muscle weakness
So remember this simple exercise principle: USE IT or LOSE IT!
Use your POWERbreathe according to the scientifically established training regimen and you will see improvements. However stop using it and all benefits will be lost.
By training your inspiratory muscles daily with POWERbreathe, the following will be achieved:
- Increase in resistance to fatigue (you can do a physical activity for longer with less effort)
- Improved efficiency (less oxygen is required by the lungs and can therefore be used by your working muscles, such as the legs)
And the result… increased performance!