How long can the average person hold their breath?
Most people can hold their breath approximately between 30 seconds and 2 minutes if you are in excellent health. It also has nothing to do about how much oxygen is in your lungs, your body has plenty, but did you know you can train yourself to hold your breath for much longer than 2 minutes?
You are probably asking yourself why you would even need to… You may be a sportsman and want to increase your performance. Maybe you just want to do it for the health benefits.
We recently had Stig Severinsen (Danish freediver) diving with Great White Sharks at Sharklady Adventures and we learned that he also holds 4 world records and multiple Guinness World Records! So how does he do it? Breathing exercises.
5 Benefits of breathing exercises
Exercising deep breathing has many health benefits and here are just 5 of the main reasons why you should consider exercising deep breathing.
1. Weight loss
Did you know that by doing deep breathing exercises regularly you can actually teach your body to start burning fat instead of storing it in your body? Deep breathing draws more oxygen in to our lungs, which in turn delivers more oxygen to your heart. This increases our cardiovascular capacity and the amount of oxygen that is delivered to our cells. Much like in aerobic exercises, deep breathing keeps our cells in an aerobic state encouraging the burning of fat rather than energy stored in the form of glycogen in our cells.
2. Detoxify your body
Unlike the heart, the lymphatic system does not have its own built-in pump. Our lymphatic system is responsible for flushing out toxins and carrying away waste from our immune system. In order to keep the toxins moving, it relies on breathing and bodily movement to detoxify.
3. Stress relief
We all experience stress in our lives, either from work or in our personal lives. The parasympathetic nervous system is what controls our fight or flight response. Deep breathing triggers our parasympathetic nervous system, neutralizes stress and elicits a calming feeling.
4. Pain relief
Have you noticed that when you experience pain that you always tend to hold your breath? The best way to fight pain is actually by breathing through the pain. By taking deep breaths we oxygenate the blood, which causes our brain to release endorphins. It is these endorphins that help reduce stress in the body and decrease levels of pain.
5. Mental health
When we are experiencing an emotional reaction, slow deep breaths trigger the release of endorphins, producing a calming effect. Taking a deep breath helps us re-center and brings us back to the present moment. Deep breath in through the nose, hold, and out through the mouth…
Who knew that simple breathing techniques holds the key to a whole bunch of benefits. If you are interested in learning more I recommend that you check out Stig Severinsen’s Breathology exercises.
What a pleasure it was for Sharklady Adventures to host Stig Severinsen here! His approach to freediving and general breathing tips and its subsequent benefits are very insightful.