Breathing is an obvious physiological process which allows our body to remain alive. Our body is tuned in that fashion that keeps on doing it involuntarily. Generally a normal healthy man has the potential to hold the breath for 2 minutes, beyond this may require some practice and perseverance. Carbon dioxide starts building up by the end of two minutes, as your body has utilized all the stored oxygen. This leads an urge to breathe and by that time the brain sends signal to your breathing muscles to start performing its duties.
But according to a chest physician, it is possible for a healthy man to increase his breath holding time with great amount of practice and repetition. When you hold your breath, the cells of your body receive insufficient amount of oxygen. The stored oxygen in the cells and other body organs gets utilized and that results into built up of carbon dioxide in the body. This built up of carbon dioxide reflex causes the muscles of the chest and the diaphragm to contract. The pain caused due to contraction of the chest muscles is the main reason that makes you to breathe again after holding your breath for some moment.
Holding Your Breath Underwater
The situation is different when you go deep down the sea. Since evolution, human body as well as that of other mammals, including whales and dolphins has the ability of conserve the oxygen when they are submerged under water. The rate at which the heart beats suddenly drops and the blood pressure rises. All the pure blood will rush to the lungs, heart and the brain for its survival. This reflex action in our system helps the body to conserve oxygen. However, it does not help to relieve the spasm of the chest muscles and the diaphragm.
You can consume pure oxygen before hand to increase the breath holding time as many divers do. However, to hold your breath for a long time is definitely harmful. There is no scope for error as it can lead to death under water, or damage to the vital organs such as heart, brain, or the lungs.
How To Increase Breath Holding Time?
- Reduce your weight: reduction in weight helps to increase the oxygen capacity in your body.
- Make your lungs strong by exercising: it is possible to increase the lung efficiency by exercising. This will allow the lungs to capture more oxygen. Try to exhale all the air out before inhaling fresh air.
- Stop smoking: smoking reduces the lungs efficiency to expand and store more oxygen. If you stop smoking and start lung exercises such as blowing a balloon, it will effectively help to increase your lung expansion.
- Breathe in deeply and breathe out till the last molecule of air in the lungs.
- After exhaling all the air, take a massive gulp of air and hold it as long as you can. You should always do it when a person is accompanying you.
- Meditate: In this science, you focus at certain point which is relaxing you. Close your eyes and relax. This will allow your heart rate to slow down. You can also increase the time to hold your breath in this way. Try not to move as it will utilize the oxygen.