Could working out five minutes a day, without lifting a single weight or jogging a single step, reduce your heart attack risk, help you think more clearly and boost your sports performance?

Preliminary results from a clinical trial of Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST), presented this week at the Experimental Biology conference in Orlando, suggest “yes.”

“IMST is basically strength-training for the muscles you breathe in with,” said Daniel Craighead, a postdoctoral researcher in the the University of Colorado Boulder Integrative Physiology department who is leading the study. “It’s something you can do quickly in your home or office, without having to change your clothes, and so far it looks like it is very beneficial to lower blood pressure and possibly boost cognitive and physical performance.”

Developed in the 1980s as a means to wean critically ill people off ventilators, IMST involves breathing in vigorously through a hand-held device — an inspiratory muscle trainer — which provides resistance. Imagine sucking hard through a straw which sucks back.

During early use in patients with lung diseases, patients performed a 30-minute, low-resistance regimen daily to boost their lung capacity.

Read more at University of Colorado at Boulder