• Question: Is there a way to make us be able to breathe longer?

    Asked by lgs10bowej to Jemma, John, Katie, Lisa on 2 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Lisa Fitzgerald

      Lisa Fitzgerald answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      hi @lgs10bowej,

      I presume you mean can we teach ourselves to hold our breath for longer? The most sensible way to survive somewhere with a lack of air is to use a breathing tank … but … free divers have made a sport out of seeing how long they can hold their breath under water. Under high water pressure i.e. at depth your body reacts to reduce the heart rate and reduce blood vessel size which makes it easier to hold your breath for an extended period of time as you use less O2. Free divers train their bodies to resist extended periods without additional O2 meaning that they can hold their breaths for progressively longer.