Obese adolescents feel exercise is easier after breathing training

New research has found that respiratory muscle endurance training (RMET) reduces the O2 cost of cycling and perceived exertion in obese adolescents.

Oxygen cost reduces during cycling effort in obese adolescents

Research published in the American Journal of Physiology assessed whether RMET would be beneficial to obese adolescents who exercised. And so they added breathing training to a standard weight-loss programme. They wanted to see if it decreased the rate of oxygen usage while exercising; in this case, cycling. They also wanted to see if the training reduced how hard participants felt they were working. This is known as perceived exertion. They also wanted to see if it increased their tolerance to exercise.

Researchers method

Nine male obese adolescents underwent 3 weeks of respiratory muscle endurance training. They performed this over 5 days. Another eight age-and sex- matched obese adolescents underwent a standard body mass reduction program. The was the control group (CTRL).

Before and after the exercise interventions each participant performed on a cycle ergometer. Breath-by-breath pulmonary ventilation and oxygen uptake, heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion for dyspnea/breathing discomfort and leg effort were all determined.

Research findings

Participants in both the RMET group and control group decreased their body mass (by ~3.0 kg). During the constant work-rate exercises, the oxygen cost of cycling, the slope of oxygen uptake versus time, breathing discomfort, leg effort and heart rate decreased following RMET but not following CTRL.

Research conclusions

The researchers concluded that in obese adolescents, respiratory muscle endurance training superimposed on a standard body mass reduction program, lowers the oxygen cost of cycling and perceived exertion during constant heavy-intensity exercise. In effect, exercise feels easier after breathing training. And breathing training can be performed in conjunction with a weight loss programme.

Obesity doesn’t have to prevent you from being physically active

The World Obesity Federation predicts that if current trends continue, 2.7 billion adults will be overweight by 2025. Almost every country in the world is experiencing the effects of the obesity epidemic. And the World Obesity Federation believe that overweight and obesity levels will continue to rise.

Obesity and physical activity

People who are obese often experience shortness of breath. And they experience this not just during exercise but also at rest. This is a result of the extra weight on their chest. It’s this extra weight that impedes the action of the inspiratory muscles. As a result obese people are less able to exercise effectively. And so begins a viscous cycle of not exercising and consequent detraining of the breathing muscles.

Study shows POWERbreathe IMT is helpful

A recent study found that POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) improves the functional fitness of obese adults.

Objective of this study

The purpose of this study is to look into improving functional fitness in adults with obesity. It examines the efficacy of inspiratory muscle training (IMT). The study uses POWERbreathe IMT as a non-intrusive and practical intervention. Researchers used POWERbreathe IMT to stimulate improved functional fitness in adults with obesity.

Study method

The study randomly assigns 67 obese adults into two groups. One is an experimental group. The other is a placebo group. The experimental group were asked to perform 4-weeks of POWERbreathe IMT set to 55% of maximum inspiratory effort. The placebo group were also asked to perform 4-weeks of POWERbreathe IMT, but set to 10% of maximum inspiratory effort.

Study results

The experimental group showed significant improvements in inspiratory muscle strength. They were also able to significantly extend post training walking distance. By contrast the placebo group did not show any improvements.

Conclusions

Findings suggest that POWERbreathe IMT provides a practical, self-administered intervention to improve the functional fitness of obese adults. Furthermore their findings show that it is suitable for use in the home environment. Finally the study suggests that it could lead to better preparedness for engagement in physical activity. Efficacy of inspiratory muscle training as a practical and minimally intrusive technique to aid functional fitness among adults with obesity.

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Too fat to breathe

The Sunday Mirror recently reported about how “Britain’s exploding obesity epidemic has led to children having to be put on ventilators – because they are too fat to breathe.” This is a distressing situation when children as young as 6 years old need treatment for the potentially fatal condition, alveolar ­hypoventilation, which means they can’t get enough oxygen into their blood. For children who are overweight, bullying, teasing and inappropriate comments can be a common occurrence and a hindrance to getting outside with friends and being more active. They can make a child resort to eating more, but with POWERbreathe breathing training you can help to break this cycle and help the child build a healthier self-esteem. Here’s how POWERbreathe can help POWERbreathe breathing training increases the strength and stamina of the breathing muscles and reduces fatigue, so any form of exercise, after just 4-weeks of breathing training will feel ‘easier’. This gives a great boost to morale. And when something feels easier, you’re more inclined to do it more. And because it only takes 30 breaths in the morning and 30 breaths in the evening to gain these benefits (from 4-weeks on), POWERbreathe is a great motivator and training can be performed by the child in private (under supervision) as opposed to training in front of a whole class during PE. POWERbreathe breathing training may be used by children over the age of 7 (the Plus series is more comfortable for children) who are old enough to understand how to effectively perform the breathing exercises under the supervision of an adult. Always check with your GP first before undertaking any form of training. There’s no doubt that being overweight can be hard, both physically and emotionally. But with just 5 minute’s a day of POWERbreathe training you can help a child to feel better – and breathe better! This 17-year-old POWERbreathe user came over to see us at the Desford Triathlon to tell us that he’d had POWERbreathe for about 2 months and “my fitness has increased already. I can run farther and I can run for longer.” Here he is telling us about it… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEuHTl42_Ys&feature=youtu.be

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Four Weeks of Inspiratory Muscle Training Improves Self-Paced Walking Performance in Overweight and Obese Adults

“The objective of this study was to examine whether a programme of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) improves accumulative distance of self-paced walking in overweight and obese adults.”

Conclusion:

“This study indicates that IMT may provide a practical, inexpensive, and minimally intrusive intervention to augment both inspiratory muscle strength and walking distance among overweight and obese adults. The beneficial effects of this treatment were similar to those previously reported from vigorous, supervised training among hospitalised obese patients. Our findings indicate similar effects could be expected without the need for hospitalisation and indicate that IMT via an inspiratory resistance device can easily be performed in the home environment. IMT therefore appears a useful strategy to enhance walking performance in overweight and obese individuals which may prove a meaningful priming intervention with which to stimulate performance adaptations and future engagement with physical activity.”

Read Four Weeks of Inspiratory Muscle Training Improves Self-Paced Walking Performance in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial >

Don’t let obesity slow you down at work – POWERbreathe!

In this blog we’re looking at how POWERbreathe could help improve the endurance of heavier people in the workplace.

Published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH), a new study revealed workers that are obese “may have significantly shorter endurance times when performing workplace tasks, compared with their non-obese counterparts.”

The study, which focused on industrial environments where tasks are repetitive and controlled, could also be applied to roles that require a certain level of stamina on a daily basis, such as that required in the public or uniformed services (including the fire service, military e.g. RAF, Army, Navy, HM Prisons); nursing; the postal/delivery service; and builders, for instance.

The study was inconclusive as to what caused the lower levels of endurance; whether difficulty moving because of the worker’s heavier weight contributed to less stamina and more fatigue, or whether fatigue contributed to the weight gain.

The report revealed how being overweight can affect the way muscles work i.e. “decreasing blood flow and thus reducing the amount of oxygen and energy that reaches the muscles. When contracting muscles for a sustained period of time, people who are obese can experience muscle fatigue sooner than others.”

During physical activity your breathing can be pushed to its limit, and as you draw more air into your lungs your respiratory system can start to consume as much as 20% of available energy. This results in your breathing muscles, including your diaphragm and intercostal muscles between the ribs, starting to fatigue and steal oxygenated blood from your working limbs in order to support them. This makes physical activity feel harder and induces a feeling of breathlessness.

The good news is that your breathing muscles are just like any other muscle, so just as you’d train your calves or hamstrings to give you better endurance and strength for a particular sport or activity, you can also develop your breathing muscles using POWERbreathe to improve their strength and stamina which in turn reduces fatigue.

Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for Corporate Fitness, or if you’re already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear from you. You can also read more about POWERbreathe for health and wellbeing in our Health and Wellbeing Blog.

Four Weeks of Inspiratory Muscle Training Improves Self-Paced Walking Performance in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Journal of ObesityA new Clinical Study, published in the Journal of Obesity (Volume 2012, Article ID 918202), examined whether a programme of inspiratory muscle training (IMT), using POWERbreathe, improves accumulative distance of self-paced walking in overweight and obese adults.

Fifteen overweight and obese adults were randomised into experimental and placebo groups. Lung function, inspiratory muscle performance, 6-minute walking test, and predicted VO2 max were assessed prior to and following the 4-week IMT intervention.

Both groups performed 30 inspiratory breaths, twice daily using POWERbreathe.

They concluded the study by suggesting that inspiratory muscle training (IMT) provides a practical, minimally intrusive intervention to significantly augment both inspiratory muscle performance and walking distance covered by overweight and obese adults in a clinically relevant 6-minute walk test. This indicates that IMT may provide a useful priming (preparatory) strategy prior to entry in a physical training programme for overweight and obese adults.

Read the full text pdf of the article here