It's no secret that the older we get, the lower our muscle activity and fitness levels. But what if there was a way to slow down this process and even improve the physical abilities of older people? One such way is hypoxic training — a method of interval breathing with reduced and increased oxygen in the breathing mixture.
It's particularly relevant for older people with mobility limitations and low levels of physical activity, because it requires no effort to get the body to benefit from hypoxia.
This topic is widely covered in the scientific literature. So, the study by Professors T.V. Serebrovskaya and V.B. Shatilo showed that hypoxic-hyperoxic training is not only effective but also safe for elderly people. Two groups of healthy men aged 60 to 74 years participated in the study.
The first group consisted of 14 men who actively exercised, and the other group – 21 men who did not exercise. Both groups underwent interval hypoxic training.
The patients were trained with breathing under hypoxic conditions when the inhaled oxygen content reached 12%; this level was maintained for 4–5 minutes. Then breathing under normoxia conditions was performed for 5 minutes. This cycle was repeated 4 times during the session with a decrease in oxygen content to 85–86%.
Results of the study
The efficacy of interval hypoxic training was particularly high in individuals with low physical activity.
One of the primary signs of physical health found in exercise testing is maximal exercise tolerance. Another sign is the ratio of heart rate to blood pressure. The results of the study indicate an improvement in both of these traits in individuals with low physical activity.
The results of the study indicate an improvement in both traits in individuals with low physical activity.
This was evidenced by a weakened cardiovascular system response of the studied patients to both hypoxia and exercise. Only in men with low physical activity did hypoxic exercise lead to an increase in submaximal load and oxygen consumption at the anaerobic threshold level.
Hypoxic exercise training led to an increase in sub-maximal load and oxygen consumption at the anaerobic threshold level.
The mechanisms responsible for improved cardiorespiratory endurance due to interval hypoxic training are not yet well understood. According to the study under review, they may include improvements in heart rate and blood pressure control, endothelial function, and increased metabolic enzyme activity.
In the study under review, they may include improvements in heart rate and blood pressure control, endothelial function, and increased metabolic enzyme activity.
Before interval hypoxic training, no differences in microvascular reactivity were found between the two groups of men. Hypoxic-hyperoxic training resulted in a more pronounced improvement in basal perfusion and maximal perfusion during hyperemia in participants with low physical activity compared with participants with high physical activity. It is worth noting that all men tolerated the exercise well, and no side effects were observed.
The results of the study were very positive.
The results of the study clearly indicate that hypoxia-hyperoxia therapy is a proven and safe method to improve cardiovascular and respiratory function, especially in older people.
Don't let age dictate the conditions, try Hyperoxic Hypoxia Therapy and see for yourself how it can improve your overall fitness and slow down the aging process.