Winter Training Advice

If we are to believe the news, the UK this year will experience a colder than average winter. But don’t let this deter you from your winter training.

Winter Training

There are a few things you can do to make your winter training more comfortable.

  1. Perform a warm-up for your muscles.
  2. Perform an inspiratory warm-up.
  3. Dress in layers and protect your hands and feet.
  4. Wear reflective clothing.
  5. Hydrate.

Physical warm-up

A physical warm up prior to any exercise is essential. Firstly it will help to prevent injury. Secondly, it will improve performance. A warm-up will take about 10-minutes and is best performed immediately prior to exercise. If you plan on going out for a run, a 10-minute brisk walk or jog will do the trick.

The intention of a warm-up is to increase muscle temperature. By performing a warm-up you will increase blood flow to your muscles, warming them up. Furthermore, by increasing blood flow, more oxygen will be available for your muscles. As a result, your performance will improve.

The NHS website has a great, all-round exercise warm-up routine that takes about 6-minutes to perform. It involves:

  1. Marching on the spot.
  2. Heel digs.
  3. Knee lifts.
  4. Shoulder rolls.
  5. Knee bends.

Inspiratory warm-up

An inspiratory warm-up means warming up the muscles you use to breathe in. Just like your other working muscles, your breathing muscles benefit too from a warm-up. In fact, not warming up the breathing muscles can lead to excessive breathlessness during the start of your training.

An Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) device, such as POWERbreathe IMT, is designed specifically to target the breathing muscles. They use a resistance that you breathe in against. This makes your breathing muscles work harder. As a result, your breathing muscles become stronger and more resistant to fatigue. As a consequence, your stronger breathing muscles will not demand so much oxygen, freeing it up to go to your other working muscles instead. And just like the physical warm-up, more oxygen to your muscles means better performance.

Wear layers and reflective clothing

Wearing layers of clothing allows you to stay warm but easily cool down too when needed. This is beneficial because while training you’ll generate heat. If you’re too warm this heat will make you sweat, and the evaporation of sweat will make you feel chilly. Therefore, the benefits of layering are that you’re able to peel off a layer when you feel warm, and pop it back on when you start to cool down. Additionally, make sure your outer layer – your waterproof layer – is reflective. The reason being, at this time of year it gets dark earlier and this can creep up on you when out training.

In addition to layering your body in clothes, you need to ensure your hands, feet, ears and head stay warm too. In fact, a lot of heat escapes from your head. Furthermore, in the cold, your body firstly ensures your core is warm. This results in blood flow to your hands, feet and head being drawn away, leaving them cold.


In the warmth of summer, it’s easy to remember to drink. However, this is an easy thing to forget during winter training. You may not feel thirsty, but you will still become dehydrated. This happens simply from breathing, as well as sweating. Drinking before, during and after training is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer.

Staying safe

Last but not least, stay safe while winter training. Make sure someone knows where you’ll be going. Monitor how you feel while you’re out. Closely monitor the time too, so you know when to head for home. Listen to your body. You know it best. If you’re feeling rotten, consider training another day instead.

Finally, heed the advice from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) on how to stay healthy during winter.

ERS 2018 – POWERbreathe KH2

This year the ERS International Congress is being held in Paris, France. The ERS 2018 (European Respiratory Society) Congress is the world’s biggest meeting of respiratory experts. It is of interest to researchers, clinicians, GPs and healthcare professionals. Furthermore, it provides a scientific and educational programme in respiratory medicine.

ERS 2018

ERS is expecting over 22,000 delegates. They all have the common goal of improving respiratory health across the world; not just Europe. For that reason, it provides hands-on sessions and seminars, as well as, scientific evidence and new medical equipment and devices.

Respiratory Products at ERS 2018

The ERS International Congress includes an official exhibition. In fact, while attending the Congress, over 87% of the delegates will visit this area. The reason being, this is where medical suppliers demonstrate new products and share information, such as new research studies.

POWERbreathe International Ltd. will be exhibiting in Booth G.03. Here delegates will be able to find out more about the POWERbreathe KH2 with Breathe-Link Medic Live Feedback Software.

POWERbreathe KH2

This electronic device delivers ‘gold standard’ respiratory muscle training. Furthermore, it provides instant monitoring and feedback analysis of patients with dyspnoea. Consequently, it is beneficial to patients with COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, neuromuscular disease, Parkinson’s disease and spinal injury.

The KH2 features a Quality Control MIP test to ensure repeatable Maximum Inspiratory Pressure results. It does this by recording the maximum value of three manoeuvres that vary by less than 20%.

The Breathe-Link Medic Live Feedback Software captures, organises and stores data and analysis of a patient’s respiratory muscles’ performance.

Exclusive Offer for ERS 2018

Attendees at this year’s Congress who visit the POWERbreathe booth will receive an exclusive offer. Please visit our Booth C10 to find out more. Terms and Conditions apply.

POWERbreathe receives ISO Accreditation

POWERbreathe receives ISO accreditation certificate of approval for ‘Design & manufacture of medical devices for improvement of respiratory function’

The Quality Management System of POWERbreathe International Ltd has been approved by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) to the following Quality Management System Standards:

The Quality Management System is applicable to:

Design and manufacture of medical devices for improvement of respiratory function. 

POWERbreathe International Limited is committed to the overall aim of maximising customer satisfaction. We will provide impartial advice on what is appropriate for the customer and comply with such requirements that are necessary to supply high quality medical devices for improvement of respiratory function.

Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods Certificate for POWERbreathe IMT

The Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) Certificate has been issued to our approved provider in Australia, Medtronic Australasia Pty Ltd.

Medtronic Australasia Pty Ltd. is now approved by the ARTG to supply Medtronic Australasia Pty Ltd with POWERbreathe IMT.

View ARTG Certificate >


The Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) is the reference database of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). It provides information on therapeutic goods that can be supplied in Australia.

TGA is Australia’s regulatory agency for medical drugs and devices.

Get Fit Quick

One of the most popular New Year resolutions is to get fitter and healthier, quickly. But staying fit and healthy is more difficult. However the latest trend for HIIT can help. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It will help you get fit quick. Doctor Michael Mosley tried out HIIT for himself in the acclaimed BBC TV series, Trust Me I’m a Doctor. He believes you can get the benefits of exercise in just a few minutes a week.  But it is an extremely intense workout.

It is advised that you consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before undertaking any form of exercise.

Here are our tips for getting fit quick

  1. Perform HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts – ensure you warm up for two minutes beforehand.
  2. Workout with a friend – you’ll not want to let them down (and vice versa).
  3. Pick something you love – you’re more likely to want to do it on the days you feel less inclined to exercise.
  4. Use an activity monitor – they’ll help you reach your goals by keeping you motivated, as they track and log your activity.
  5. Train your breathing muscles. Really? Yes, breathing training improves strength and stamina, reducing fatigue, which in turn makes exercise feel easier.

What is breathing training?

Your breathing muscles, just like any other muscle, will adapt and get stronger if you exercise them. To do this, you need to expose your breathing to a training stimulus. In addition, it must of sufficient duration or with sufficient frequency for the breathing muscles to experience a full training adaptation. Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT), such as the POWERbreathe breathing training device, is ideal for this. IMT targets the breathing muscles, specifically the muscles you use to breathe in.

Breathing exercises and techniques

To get the most from your inspiratory muscle training you need to ensure that you’re using the device properly. Firstly, ensure you are breathing IN through the device. IN for INspiratory.  It’s the inspiratory muscles that play a vital role in the efficiency of breathing at rest and also during exercise. Expiration, however, is normally passive  and only during heavy exercise workloads does it become forced.

Tips for using POWERbreathe during exercise

  1. Ensure you first have a good POWERbreathe breathing technique.
  2. Perform your exercise firstly without your POWERbreathe device. Then perform the exercise with your POWERbreathe device set to the lowest setting (load).
  3. As you continue to perform your workout, gradually increase the load on your POWERbreathe device over a period of the next few weeks.
  4. You can also incorporate a breathing training station into interval training, drills and circuits, or during the recovery phase.

Dr Langer and POWERbreathe IMT in Japan

POWERbreathe International Ltd and Entry Japan KK, our official distributor partner, recently welcomed Dr Daniel Langer from Leuven University Hospital to Japan.

More About Dr Langer

Dr Langer is a member of the academic and teaching staff for the Research Group for Rehabilitation in Internal Disorders at KU Leuven University. It is the largest and highest-ranking university in Belgium. And last month he took time away from his academic and research commitments to travel to Japan to present Inspiratory Muscle Training at medical and sports workshops.

Langer’s Respiratory Research

Dr Langer is a member of Professor Rik Gosselink’s team, working on research projects for the Respiratory Rehabilitation Research Unit at KU Leuven. In fact, Dr Langer, under the supervision of Professor Gosselink, researched The effects of resistance training of the inspiratory muscles in patients with COPD. This is a multicentre study that investigates the effects of inspiratory muscle training in addition to pulmonary rehabilitation on exercise-related outcomes, symptoms and physical activity in patients with COPD.

Dr Langer is currently researching respiratory muscle training in chronic and acute respiratory conditions. As a result, his workshops in Japan were extremely well attended.

Respiratory workshops

Respiratory Workshops

It is through these workshops that Dr Langer shares his extensive knowledge and experience. This is in the area of Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) / Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT). Each of the workshops is very well attended with delegates showing much interest in learning more about IMT/RMT.

National Olympics Memorial Center, Tokyo

Here Daniel Langer presents a one day Sports Science Seminar to 75 delegates.  View photo album

Japan Society for Respiratory Care & Rehabilitation

This two-day conference in Sendai is the 27th Annual Meeting of the society. Most noteworthy is that it welcomed almost 1000 delegates over the two days. View photo album

Tokyo University

The university welcomes Daniel Langer to over 50 delegates as he presented his IMT workshop. View photo album

Since his return, Dr Langer is already initiating some interesting collaborations based on the results of his visit. In addition, we will continue our commitment to supporting the research conducted at KU Leuven University. And it goes without saying, that we are very grateful and proud for his support of POWERbreathe IMT/RMT.

Breathe easier with POWERbreathe IMT – reviewed in Daily Mail

The Daily Mail online features worldwide news stories from the Daily Mail and Sunday newspapers. It is the second-biggest-selling daily newspaper in the UK. And today (21st November 2017) online it features an article about devices that will help you to breathe easier. One criterion specified by freelance journalist, Adrian Monti, is that the devices are to be available on the High Street. Another, quite rightly, is that the devices must be able to back up their claims.

Chest Physician chooses ‘Breathe easier’ devices

In order to approach this from a clinical viewpoint, Adrian has been speaking to a specialist chest physician and GP.

Dr Simon Taggart is a dual accredited Consultant Chest & General Physician. He has wide experience in the field of general medicine and is a specialist in respiratory medicine at The University of Manchester. His current NHS post is with the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. He is also Sub-Speciality Tutor for Respiratory Medicine at The University of Manchester. He’s an expert.

Because of his expertise, Dr Taggart is knowledgeable about the devices and solutions that claim to make you breathe easier, and that are available on the High Street.

Device reviews

For each device that was suggested, supporting data and research were assessed. And in order to be able to provide a rating for each product, each one was personally tested.

Each review in the paper begins with stating the device’s ‘claim’. Dr Taggart then follows this up with his ‘verdict’ after using the product. And finally, a rating out of 10 is awarded. This he comes to after assessing the related research and user experience.

POWERbreathe IMT – a selected device

Although the description of how to use POWERbreathe IMT is inaccurate, the specified aim is. And that is to ‘gradually make breathing muscles stronger’.

You make the breathing muscles stronger by breathing IN through the device against a resistance. It’s this resistance that makes your breathing muscles work harder. And the more you use it the easier the training gets. So this is when you increase the resistance to challenge your breathing muscles again. It’s the same principle as increasing the weight of dumbbells to increase your arm strength. In fact, it is affectionately known as ‘dumbbells for your diaphragm’. And stronger breathing muscles result in a resistance to fatigue too. So both your breathing strength and stamina improve. In addition, POWERbreathe IMT is scientifically proven, and because it is drug-free, it’s being used in many clinical trials where being short of breath is an issue.

POWERbreathe – the verdict

In the paper, Dr Taggart reports using POWERbreathe IMT devices with patients to treat chronic bronchitis. He says that strengthening their respiratory muscles with it helps ease their breathing. He goes on to add that it’s also useful for those who suffer from weak lungs that would benefit from a bit of training.

Rated: 9/10

Breathe easier with POWERbreathe IMT - reviewed in Daily Mail

Also worthy of inclusion – Shaker by POWERbreathe

With the premise that a device must stand up to its claim to make breathing easier and be available on the High Street, we feel another device to be worthy of inclusion. That of the Shaker by POWERbreathe.

The Shaker is a hand-held device that is designed to loosen mucus. And it is also suitable for children (with supervision) as it’s so easy to use. Simply put, as you breathe out through the device the weighted ball inside ‘shakes’ mucus. This loosens it so that you’re able to cough it up and expel it. The result is that you’re able to breathe easier.

The Shaker by POWERbreathe is available in three models, one of which is autoclavable. As a result, it’s able to be cleaned in an autoclave, sterilising it and making it suitable for multiple-use and clinical settings.

Staff floored by POWERbreathe in Portugal

Lying on the floor giggling, Claudia is having a lesson in diaphragmatic breathing from fellow team member Pedro. Claudia and Pedro are members of team POWERbreathe Portugal, and Duncan from POWERbreathe UK popped over to visit them.

Pedro is a singer and so understands the importance of breathing properly from the diaphragm. It’s a concept he talks to sports people about.

POWERbreathe in Portugal

Claudia, from South Portugal, Pedro and Jose also invite Sonia, from North Portugal into the office to meet up with Duncan. Duncan is there to provide CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training and other Better Breathing solutions by POWERbreathe. It is a commitment we make to all our distributors. The purpose is to update skills and knowledge in order to remain professionally competent in the area of respiratory.

Day 1 – Perafita

Today is a training day for respiratory experts Sonia and Claudia. However POWERbreathe IMT is a new therapy for Sonia so Duncan begins by explaining the evidence base supporting it.

Day 2 – Porto

On day 2 the team all visit two hospitals in the region of Porto.

The first visit is to Hospital Eduardo Santos Silva, after which they visit Hospital Da Senhora Da Oliveira – Guimarães. It’s here a group of doctors and physios decide it would be beneficial to have a POWERbreathe KH2 with Breathe-Link Medic Live Feedback Software for the hospital itself, and one for each of their 5 regional centres.

Day 3 – Lisbon

The first visit of the day is to Hospital Beatriz Angelo, a large, private hospital in Lisbon. The team meet senior managers and the physio team to discuss the benefits of POWERbreathe Respiratory Muscle Training.

At the second hospital the team are met by a large group of very enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff who became very excited with the workings of the KH2.

Third visit of the day is to a new, private respiratory and pulmonary rehab centre. Most noteworthy is that it’s the only one in Portugal. And as a result of our visit, the centre expressed an interest in using the KH2 with Breathe-Link Medic Live Feedback Software along with with a POWERbreathe Plus IMT device for specific patients.

See photos of POWERbreathe in Portugal on POWERbreatheUK Facebook.

POWERbreathe K5 Wins Best Innovation For Human Performance Award

The Best Innovation For Human Performance Award is one of the awards being sponsored by FitnessCompared at Elevate this year.

What is Elevate?

Elevate is the biggest cross-sector physical activity, health and performance event in the UK. It brings together policy makers, local authorities and performance experts to focus on tackling physical inactivity. And this year sees the launch of the new Elevate Innovation Awards, one of which is the Best Innovation for Human Performance. This is the award won by the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Live Feedback Software.

About the Innovation Awards

The Elevate Innovation Awards are a series of prizes for the best products and services in 5 defined categories: Best Health and Wellness Innovation, Best Workout Innovation, Best Facility Innovation, Best Innovation for Human Performance and Best Start-up.

POWERbreathe K5 Wins Award

During the first day of the show (May 10th) the expert panel of judges were walking around the stands, assessing entries against a set criteria. After their rounds the judges, who are expert industry professionals and influential fitness bloggers, decide on the winning entries. And at the end of the first day of the show, POWERbreathe received the Best Innovation For Human Performance Award!

The Importance of Human Performance Factors

Human performance is an area the physical activity sector and sporting world will focus on in order to achieve the best results possible. By studying the human body, and in this case studying breathing using the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link software, an individual, athlete or coach will see how their breathing can be improved for a better performance.

Ticking the Human Performance Box

Because breathing is a core human physiological system fundamental to sport, exercise, health and movement, breathing better can influence performance in everyone.

The POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Live Feedback Software ticks the Human Performance box because it:

  • Optimises physical output
  • Turns weaknesses into strengths

And following the analysis and evaluation of a person’s breathing needs, an appropriate performance and training programme is easy to design and tailor to each individual.

Breathe-Link Software Encourages & Improves Human Performance

The performance of an athlete is influenced by genetic make-up, hard work and, more so nowadays, the contribution of science. Breathe-Link Live Feedback Software is one such contribution.

Thanks to the live display of an individual’s breathing, performance will improve almost immediately as the individual responds to their training feedback. And it’s not just limited to athletes. The software caters for all levels and all requirements, from individuals and teams to organisations. The K5 and its software enhances human performance, for sport, exercise, work and health.

The K5 Leads the Way in Improving Human Performance

The most common method for improving performance is to improve technique. And research has shown breathing fatigue can limit performance. Therefore by improving breathing technique, performance will also improve.

The respiratory muscles contribute to limit performance because the high levels of respiratory muscle work sustained throughout heavy exercise cause the respiratory muscles to fatigue. This could “initiate the metabo­reflex, leading to vasoconstriction of limb locomotor muscle vasculature, exacerbating peripheral fatigue of working limb muscles and, via feedback, intensifying effort perceptions, thereby contributing to limitation of high-intensity endurance exercise performance.”


Skiing longer without losing your breath

This article in Ski Magazine suggests that breathing exercises can improve your skiing performance.

Skiing for longer by breathing better

The type of breathing exercises the article refers to is POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT). It also refers to a study by Louise Turner from Indiana University. And findings from the study suggest performing daily breathing exercises to reduce the amount of oxygen your inspiratory muscles require during exercise.

Ski resorts with the longest season are at high-altitude

The resorts that have the longest season for skiing are found at high-altitude. And their winter season can stretch from November to May in Europe. Most noteworthy for skiers is that at this high elevation your body will try to compensate for the reduced oxygen. It will do this by making you breathe twice as fast. Most of all resorts that are above 2500 meters will pose the highest risk to skiers. And at 2500 meters, oxygen is reduced by 25% from sea level.

Breathing effort at high altitude

Due to this thinner air at altitude, enormous demands will be placed on your breathing muscles. And to compensate, your lungs will be working much harder. Consequently any exercise at altitude will push your breathing to its limits. Even if you’re fit.

At 3000 meters the amount of oxygen in the air decreases by 30%, and at 5km it’s half that at sea-level. Furthermore at around 1km you will begin to experience breathlessness during moderate exercise. And then at 4km you will feel breathless just at rest.

Breathing training for high-altitude skiing

At sea level, your ability to exercise is limited by the capacity of your heart to pump blood to your exercising muscles. But at high altitude, you become limited by the ability to pump air in and out of your lungs.

In addtion, if your respiratory muscles are working very hard, they can ‘steal’ blood from the legs to meet their own requirement for oxygen. Consequently this will impair your leg performance and therefore skiing performance.

POWERbreathe IMT

POWERbreathe IMT is used by athletes, healthy individuals and patients with breathing problems. However most importantly to athletes, including skiers, is that it targets the breathing muscles. POWERbreathe IMT will strengthen your breathing muscles by around 30-50%.  As a result, performance significantly improves and breathing fatigue reduces. In fact POWERbreathe IMT:

  • Attenuates the increase in effort associated with ascent to high altitude (1)
  • Reduces the impairment of inspiratory muscle strength induced by ascent to high altitude (2)

In other research IMT:

  • Reduces oxygen requirement of exercise in simulated altitude by 8-12% (3)
  • Lessens cardiac output requirement of exercise in simulated altitude by 14% (3)
  • Decreases breathing requirement of exercise in simulated altitude by 25% (3)
  • Increases arterial oxygen saturation by 4% (3)
  • Enlarges lung diffusing capacity by 4% (3)
  • Lowers perceived exertion (3)
  • Reduces breathlessness (3)


1. Nickol A, Romer L, McConnell A, Jones D. The effects of specific inspiratory muscle training upon respiratory muscle function and dyspnoea at high altitude. High Alt Med Biol. 2001;2:116.

2. Romer L, McConnell A, Jones D. Changes in respiratory and forearm-flexor muscle strength during exposure to high altitude. J Sports Sci. 2000;19:63-4.

3. Downey AE, Chenoweth LM, Townsend DK, Ranum JD, Ferguson CS, Harms CA. Effects of inspiratory muscle training on exercise responses in normoxia and hypoxia. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2006 Sep 20.