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Medical Best way to hold your breath?

  1. Jul 26, 2009 #1
    Best way to hold your breath???

    Hi all, the question i'm about to ask isn't very serious it kinda just popped into my head, but one day the anwser may save my life or even yours :wink:. My question is whats the best way to hold you breath? Below there are 3 options you may choose but feel free to try and find some sort of middleground.

    1. Hold your breath after Inhaling.

    2. Hold your breath after exhaling.

    3. It doesn't really matter.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2009 #2


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    Re: Best way to hold your breath???

    Trying to "hold" your breath right after breathing out sounds like a really bad idea :)

    The best way (at least, what divers seem to do) is to breathe in and out a couple of times, then take a big breath, and while under water slowly exhale, i.e. release a little bit of air at the time.
  4. Jul 27, 2009 #3
    Re: Best way to hold your breath???

    when i say hold your breth i didn't exactly mean as in under water (i see how i gave that impression0, i meant hold your breath as though your trying to break the world record (Which probably won't save your life but you never know what the future brings :uhh:). Which of the options do you think would be best for that.
  5. Jul 27, 2009 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    Re: Best way to hold your breath???

    Well, if the only purpose to holding one's breath is to have a reservoir of oxygen available for a little while (since I don't know how much long the body's store of O2 can last), it would seem that you would want to expand your lungs as much as possible, and then as the partial pressure of CO2 builds up in the lungs, slowly exhaling to maintain favorable partial pressures of CO2 and O2 with respect to the blood.

    That sounds pretty flaky... but I think that's the essence: to think about the combined hydrostatic and 'osmotic' pressures.
  6. Jul 29, 2009 #5
    Re: Best way to hold your breath???

    hmm, partial pressures aren't something i would have thought of. the CO2 is going to be mildly poisonous, but mostly the problem you will encounter is that rising levels of CO2 in the blood will trigger a panic response. some of the art will be in learning to suppress the panic and urge to breathe as CO2 levels increase.

    the real experts to seek out though are probably the freedivers, even though the dynamics may be a little different.
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