Sports activity and plenty of exercise in daily life are the most important factors for a long and healthy life, along with a balanced diet. However, older people in particular find it difficult to exercise. According to a study, with a simple 5-minute exercise, you can significantly increase your fitness.
Experts recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of light physical activity a week.1 This can be, for example, the daily bike ride to work, but also tennis, water aerobics or jogging. The main thing is to start the circulation. However, this is not always the case with older people. One study found that about 28 percent of Americans over the age of 50 barely move.two A simple 5-minute workout can increase fitness levels and help beginners get into the sport more easily.
Breathing exercise helps increase fitness levels
Who does not know: if you have taken a long break from sports or do not do much sports, the first jog becomes torture. It doesn’t matter if you’re outdoors or on the treadmill at the gym. – You get out of breath quickly, can’t find a comfortable rhythm, and the annoying side stitch is often added. This is not only embarrassing but also discouraging. It’s no wonder that after such an experience, the desire to exercise quickly disappears. In such cases, a simple breathing exercise can help boost fitness levels, a recent US study shows.3
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Exercise in a breathing apparatus for just five minutes a day.
Scientists at the American University of Colorado put 35 subjects who were at least 50 years old through breathing training. This was done to investigate the impact on your fitness level. The study participants were divided into two groups. One group received light breathing training, the second group was prescribed so-called IMST (High Endurance Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training). In German we speak of strength training of the inspiratory muscles. You breathe through a small handheld device that offers resistance to the lungs. So you have to make an effort.
However, the studio effort was short-lived. Because both groups (both light and heavy breathing) only had to take 30 breaths into the breathing apparatus. That worked out to about five minutes a day over a six-week period.
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Fitness level improved by 12 percent
After six weeks of daily breathing exercise, all subjects underwent a treadmill performance test. It was shown that the IMST group with strong breathing resistance was able to increase their fitness level by 12 percent. In contrast, the fitness level of the low respiratory resistance group did not change at all. But not only that: the researchers also examined 18 different metabolic functions of the participants. They found that in the high breathing resistance group, metabolism improved, particularly in energy production and fat metabolism.
Simple method for middle-aged and older people.
“These preliminary results suggest that five minutes of high-resistance respiratory muscle training per day is a promising and easy-to-implement form of physical training that increases exercise tolerance and optimizes metabolic pathways in middle-aged and elderly adults,” said Dr. study leader Kaitlin Freeberg of the University of Colorado.
In fact, breathing training could be a very simple way to help seniors exercise by increasing their fitness levels. Corresponding devices cost little and are already commercially available. Endurance athletes in particular use them to train their lungs to become stronger and more durable. And even in everyday life, every movement is easier when your lungs are well trained.