home Mind-Boggling Stories What Holding Your Breath Does To Your Body

What Holding Your Breath Does To Your Body

What Holding Your Breath Does To Your Body

Is holding your breath bad for you? And did you know that you can hold it longer underwater than you can on land?

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Ask Smithsonian: What’s The Longest You Can Hold Your Breath?

“Olympic swimmers seem to be able to go great distances without breathing, but that is primarily due to aerobic conditioning, says Cowl. Those athletes are more efficient at getting oxygen into the tissue and extracting carbon dioxide. That allows them to breathe more effectively, and potentially, improve their breath holding.”

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“The lack of oxygen intake while performing a strenuous action almost instantaneously causes the heart to beat faster, causing higher blood pressure. The heart does this to deliver the oxygen the body needs to complete the action.”

How The Dive Reflex Extends Breath-Holding

“Second, the diving reflex makes capillaries in the skin and limbs constrict, redirecting blood away from the body’s surface and toward the vital organs. This shift saves more oxygen for the brain and heart, but to a degree it also seems to fortify the torso against the crushing effects of water pressure at great depth. Moreover, it helps to preserve the body’s core temperature in icy water.”

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Written By: Jennie Butler

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