Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training in Elderly Women

Published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A (Volume 69, Issue 12Pp. 1545-1553 September 2014)


Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training in Elderly Women on Respiratory Muscle Strength, Diaphragm Thickness and Mobility


“Aging results in a decline in the function of the respiratory muscles. Inspiratory muscle training is emerging as a possible intervention to attenuate the decline of respiratory muscles in the elderly. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of inspiratory muscle training on respiratory strength, diaphragm thickness, and diaphragmatic mobility in elderly women.”


“Inspiratory muscle training of moderate intensity improves respiratory muscle strength, diaphragm thickness, and diaphragm mobility in elderly women and it should be considered to minimize changes associated with senescence.”*

*Oxford Dictionary definition of Senescence: “The condition or process of deterioration with age.”

Only in October did we publish another blog based on a study that revealed how Respiratory Muscle Strength Reduces with Age and how POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training can help.

Other Research

In other research, Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago revealed how people with stronger breathing muscles showed higher levels of physical activity and a slower rate of activity decline.1 These findings are consistent with those from another research group showing that physically active older people had stronger breathing muscles than less active older people.2

Breathing muscle strength may also be an important determinant of death in older people, according to another study from the Chicago group who found that older people with a weaker respiratory system tended to have poorer lung function, known to be a contributory factor to survival.4

“Overall, our findings suggest that respiratory muscle strength is at the beginning of a causal chain which can lead to reduced pulmonary function and death.” The authors concluded.

How POWERbreathe can help

POWERbreathe is a breathing muscle trainer, scientifically proven to increase breathing muscle strength by 20% in just 6-weeks, with 65% of participants feeling less out of breath when undertaking everyday activities.3 Training your breathing muscles can help you remain active, which consequently can help you maintain mobility. And as POWERbreathe is drug-free, there’s nothing to lose in training with it.

Whether the benefits of inspiratory muscle training contribute to improvements in life expectancy has yet to be determined. However, since it has no side effects, and takes less than 5 minutes per day to undertake, it’s probably worth giving it a go.

If you found this blog interesting, you may also like to read about this pilot trial: Effects of inspiratory muscle training on exercise capacity and spontaneous physical activity in elderly subjects: a randomized controlled pilot trial.


1. Buchman AS, Boyle PA, Wilson RS, Leurgans S, Shah RC, Bennett DA. Respiratory muscle strength predicts decline in mobility in older persons. Neuroepidemiology 2008;31:174-80

2. Summerhill EM, Angov N, Garber C, McCool FD. Respiratory muscle strength in the physically active elderly. Lung 2007;185:315-20

3. Copestake AJ, McConnell AK. Inspiratory muscle training reduces exertional breathlessness in healthy elderly men and women. In: International Conference on Physical Activity and Health in the Elderly; 1995; Stirling, Scotland: University of Sterling; 1995. p. 150)

4. Buchman AS, Boyle PA, Wilson RS, Gu L, Bienias JL, Bennett DA. Pulmonary function,. Mech Ageing Dev 2008

Read more about Inspiratory Muscle Training Research our our blog and read more about POWERbreathe in Research.

Ageing Reduces Breathing Muscle Strength

We came across this recent study (Oct 2014) from the Clinical Interventions in Aging which we felt worth sharing because it’s an area of women’s health (and applicable to men’s health) that we haven’t discussed before.

Single – and multiple – set resistance training improves skeletal and respiratory muscle strength in elderly women

Aging & biological modifications

The study identifies how, with aging, biological modifications take place which, generally speaking, “involves a reduction in physical capacity, in association with functional deficits, such as reduced levels of respiratory muscle strength and muscle strength, reduced cardiorespiratory capacity, and reduced mobility, all of which make completing daily activities more difficult.(1-3) A recent study established a strong association between poor physical fitness and respiratory (breathing) disorders.(3)

This dysfunction of the breathing muscles, it states, “can lead to hyperventilation, reduction in exercise tolerance, and even respiratory insufficiency; also, it is associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality rates.(3,4)

The study refers to how specific breathing muscle training has shown significant effects on the breathing muscle strength and endurance in athletes (5). It continues to remark that resistance training can be used for improving breathing muscle strength and that “the evaluation of respiratory muscle strength is of great clinical importance.”

How to reduce age-related breathing decline

In order to limit the progressive reduction of breathing muscle strength that sedentary ageing elicits, the study results suggested “elderly women who are not in the habit of physical activity may start with single-set resistance training programs as a short-term strategy for the maintenance of health.”

But there is a much more direct method for training the breathing muscles to become stronger, and that is POWERbreathe breathing muscle training. This is not to diminish though the benefits of physical activity for the maintenance of health. However, when combined with physical activity, breathing muscle training will improve breathing strength and stamina more than physical activity alone. And the benefits of this type of training apply equally to ageing men too.

Breathing strength and stamina will improve after just 4-weeks of POWERbreathe training, if the scientifically proven training regimen of 30 breaths twice a day is followed. Furthermore, as breathing stamina and strength improve, everyday tasks that once left you breathless will feel more comfortable. Consequently, daily activities will feel easier to achieve and you’ll find yourself enjoying life more.

See How POWERbreathe Works.


1. Westcott WL. Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2012;11(4):209–216. [PubMed]

2. Fiatarone MA, Marks EC, Ryan ND, Meredith CN, Lipsitz LA, Evans WJ. High-intensity strength training in nonagenarians. Effects on skeletal muscle. JAMA. 1990;263(22):3029–3034. [PubMed]

3. Vaz Fragoso CA, Enright PL, McAvay G, Van Ness PH, Gill TM. Frailty and respiratory impairment in older persons. Am J Med. 2012;125(1):79– 86. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

4. Sin DD, Wu L, Man SF. The relationship between reduced lung function and cardiovascular mortality: a population-based study and a systematic review of the literature. Chest. 2005;127(6):1952–1959. [PubMed]

5. HajGhanbari B, Yamabayashi C, Buna TR, et al. Effects of respiratory muscle training on performance in athletes: a systematic review with meta- analyses. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(6):1643–1663. [PubMed]