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~MermaidSage~
06-14-2012, 01:48 AM
I couldn't help but wonder how people can hold their breath for so friggin' long!
I've seen people hold their breath for as long as 5 minutes, and I can't make one minute without leaping around and waggling my arms desperately as I crash around the room.

Does anyone know good techniques on doing this?

Blondie
06-14-2012, 02:34 AM
The longest I've ever gone was 1:20. I have noooo idea how people go as long as five minutes but I'm sure it's lots of practice.

The main tips are to remain really calm and take your mind off of time as you're holding it. I normally sing a song in my head or think about what I'm going to have for my next meal. Time flies then! I heard working out improves your lung capacity. And some people swear by hyperventilation. Personally, I don't believe in that. I've done numerous breath holding contests with people who do that and they always flake out in 30 seconds or so.

Merman Craig (Delphinar)
06-14-2012, 02:52 AM
I'm currently working on my breath hold. I don't how long I can hold my breath, but I'm guessing 1:30. I'm gonna try holding it for two or more minutes. It's pretty hard to do, but I'll get it eventually.

miamiasma
06-14-2012, 04:30 AM
My dad can hold his breath for forever. I've never timed it, but it's a long time. It can be scary snorkeling with him, because he'll disappear in a tunnel or under an overhang while I linger at the surface and worry about him. XD Anyways, when I asked him he said he just practices. One of the things we all do to practice is hold our breath while driving through tunnels. Try setting little challenges for yourself while you're at home. Like, try to hold your breath through a commercial, or while washing the dishes.

There are breathing techniques (like hyperventilation) that are supposed to help with your lung capacity, but you should only do them while there are other people around, just in case you pass out.

Bellasea
06-14-2012, 10:53 AM
Y'all should check out this thread (http://mernetwork.com/index/showthread.php?1374-Breath-holding-tricks&highlight=breath+holding). It's all about breath holding tips!

Also, for improving lung capacity: In cross-country (long-distance running) we do a workout called VO2 Max. Which are designed to improve lung capacity. They are usally intervals are something hard and short. With a recorvery time a minute longer than your interval. One we do is 12345 4321. Sprint 1 min, recover 2 min, sprint 2 min, recover 3, etc. all the way to 5 min with 6 recover, then we start at 4 min sprint, 5 min recover, 3min sprint, 4 min recover until we sprint for 1 min.
The short hard workouts get you breathing heavily, which over time as you get used to doing them you won't have to breath as deeply. If you do no exercise, than just do cardio-workouts regualry will improve you lung-capcity.

Kanti
06-14-2012, 02:14 PM
Usually if you try to hold you're breath when you're really relaxed you can do it a lot longer.
If you try before you go to sleep (after you've laid down for a while) you can probably do close
to 2 minutes. It all depends on your heart rate because that's what's removing the oxygen from
your body.

I don't know how long I can go, I think about a minute.

AniaR
06-14-2012, 05:05 PM
My personal best was only 2 minutes. I actually had help from my doctor to work on it! WHich was cool XD

~MermaidSage~
06-14-2012, 07:51 PM
I redid it and I could do one minute and 20 seconds, I'm so proud xD
Thanks for all the tips guys! I'm going to keep trying until I can beat the world record! Which means I'll be trying forever!

SireniaSolaris
06-15-2012, 01:14 PM
There are a number of things you can do to increase your breath hold. Mine is currently just over 2 minutes (static), and so I aim to get it to around 4 or 5 in the next few weeks so that my dynamic hold is around 2 minutes.

The first thing you want to always practice is anything that will increase your lung capacity. The more air your lungs can hold, the more "fresh" air you will have to circulate around when you are holding your breath. Cardio works well, as does singing. There is also something that is quite simple and kind of silly, but it really opens up your lungs. Stand straight, and then just begin swinging your arms in sync back and forth. Allow your upper arm to come out even with your chest, and then let your elbows bend to complete the swinging motion. Do this a few times a day if possible for a few minutes at a time. It opens up everything and allows both blood and oxygen to circulate better.

Next, there are actual breathing techniques that aid you in learning to control your breath. Again, this should be practiced every day for a few minutes at a time, a couple times a day if possible. Start with 5 seconds. Inhale slow for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds, hold that for 5 seconds, and repeat. Do this a few days until you are solid with that timeframe of 5 seconds, then increase the time by a second or two. So 6 seconds, 7 seconds... in a couple of weeks you should be able to do 10 or 15 seconds like this. Do not jump ahead too quickly - make sure you are solid in whatever time measurement you are using before you increase the time, or you will not obtain the benefits that comes with this practice.

Once you are at 10-15 seconds, that is when you may start practicing apnia. This you should only practice in the presence of another person in case you pass out! Do NOT try this alone. Generally speaking, there are two types of apnia - static and dynamic. Static is when you are relaxed, and still, and do not have to expel any energy. Dynamic is when you are in movement, or doing anything to make your body work. Typically, your dynamic apnia will be around half of what your static apnia is.When practicing, I practice static apnia. Get into whatever position you are most comfortable and at rest in - for me, it is laying flat on my back with a tiny pillow under my neck. Breathe in as far as you can, and then when you reach the top of your inhale, breathe in an EXTRA bunch of air on top of it - almost like your lungs would be over full. And HOLD. The first minute to minute and a half will go by alright, then you may notice it start to feel... uncomfortable (the best description I can come up with). It is pushing through this uncomfotable period that is key. You may start to notice your chest or abdomen sporatically "jumping" - that is just your body's reaction to move the air that is in your lungs around. For me, I generally give out anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute of this discomfort. From others I know who hold much longer, they have told me, that in an additional 30 seconds to a minute, the discomfort eases, and passes altogether, and they find it very peaceful. The next minute tends to fly by, and usually shortly after, they are forced to breathe again - after 5 or 6 minutes total! :)
Now, in addition to practicing this WITH another person near, it is also something that you would want to do spaced apart quite a bit. Your body will force you to breathe heavily for a small time after this practice - much like someone catching their breath after a sprint. Often times, I only do this once a day. If I do it twice, it is once in the morning, and once at night.

If you wish, you may also practice dynamic apnia. I wouldn't recommend doing it in the water at first. Because obviously if you pass out, you drown. But do the same apnia practice, while walking, or doing something in which you are engaging your body. You will notice the time you achieve with this will be half or less than half of that of static apnia, but the whole point is to get this to a point that you can hold while doing something for a couple or a few minutes! Then, when you are swimming as a mermaid, holding your breath for a full minute underwater will be nothing! :)

Hope this helps!

~MermaidSage~
06-15-2012, 07:58 PM
There are a number of things you can do to increase your breath hold. Mine is currently just over 2 minutes (static), and so I aim to get it to around 4 or 5 in the next few weeks so that my dynamic hold is around 2 minutes.

The first thing you want to always practice is anything that will increase your lung capacity. The more air your lungs can hold, the more "fresh" air you will have to circulate around when you are holding your breath. Cardio works well, as does singing. There is also something that is quite simple and kind of silly, but it really opens up your lungs. Stand straight, and then just begin swinging your arms in sync back and forth. Allow your upper arm to come out even with your chest, and then let your elbows bend to complete the swinging motion. Do this a few times a day if possible for a few minutes at a time. It opens up everything and allows both blood and oxygen to circulate better.

Next, there are actual breathing techniques that aid you in learning to control your breath. Again, this should be practiced every day for a few minutes at a time, a couple times a day if possible. Start with 5 seconds. Inhale slow for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds, hold that for 5 seconds, and repeat. Do this a few days until you are solid with that timeframe of 5 seconds, then increase the time by a second or two. So 6 seconds, 7 seconds... in a couple of weeks you should be able to do 10 or 15 seconds like this. Do not jump ahead too quickly - make sure you are solid in whatever time measurement you are using before you increase the time, or you will not obtain the benefits that comes with this practice.

Once you are at 10-15 seconds, that is when you may start practicing apnia. This you should only practice in the presence of another person in case you pass out! Do NOT try this alone. Generally speaking, there are two types of apnia - static and dynamic. Static is when you are relaxed, and still, and do not have to expel any energy. Dynamic is when you are in movement, or doing anything to make your body work. Typically, your dynamic apnia will be around half of what your static apnia is.When practicing, I practice static apnia. Get into whatever position you are most comfortable and at rest in - for me, it is laying flat on my back with a tiny pillow under my neck. Breathe in as far as you can, and then when you reach the top of your inhale, breathe in an EXTRA bunch of air on top of it - almost like your lungs would be over full. And HOLD. The first minute to minute and a half will go by alright, then you may notice it start to feel... uncomfortable (the best description I can come up with). It is pushing through this uncomfotable period that is key. You may start to notice your chest or abdomen sporatically "jumping" - that is just your body's reaction to move the air that is in your lungs around. For me, I generally give out anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute of this discomfort. From others I know who hold much longer, they have told me, that in an additional 30 seconds to a minute, the discomfort eases, and passes altogether, and they find it very peaceful. The next minute tends to fly by, and usually shortly after, they are forced to breathe again - after 5 or 6 minutes total! :)
Now, in addition to practicing this WITH another person near, it is also something that you would want to do spaced apart quite a bit. Your body will force you to breathe heavily for a small time after this practice - much like someone catching their breath after a sprint. Often times, I only do this once a day. If I do it twice, it is once in the morning, and once at night.

If you wish, you may also practice dynamic apnia. I wouldn't recommend doing it in the water at first. Because obviously if you pass out, you drown. But do the same apnia practice, while walking, or doing something in which you are engaging your body. You will notice the time you achieve with this will be half or less than half of that of static apnia, but the whole point is to get this to a point that you can hold while doing something for a couple or a few minutes! Then, when you are swimming as a mermaid, holding your breath for a full minute underwater will be nothing! :)

Hope this helps!

Wow! Thanks so much! Can't wait to try this stuff!

Moonflower
06-15-2012, 08:09 PM
"hyperventilating" isn't what you think it is - it's blowing all the air our of your lungs, taking a huge breath, doing it once more THEN holding your breath. It's getting as much fresh air into your lungs as possible. I learned proper technique when I was learning scuba.

Bellasea
06-15-2012, 08:10 PM
^^ That's close to what I do. I just breathe deeply, quickly. Then blow all air out, and take a deep breath before going under water.

Mizuko
06-17-2012, 09:19 AM
I've found that singing lessons are a great help! ^__^ It strengthens the diaphragm, which means I have ALOT more control over my breath holding. It obviously doesn't help IN the water, haha! But it develops the muscles long term :)
Relaxing is the other thing to do: less blood flow to the muscles, less oxygen used. I dont do the hyperventilating thing- I just breathe slowly and deeply and calm myself. ^_^ But this just works for me! XD