The Guinness World Record for breath-holding belongs to Aleix Segura Vendrell, who managed 24 minutes and 3 seconds floating in a pool. How do Vendrell and others, like free divers and, er, David Blaine (see below) do it? Psychological training is obviously the first step, says Clayton Cowl, chair of preventive occupational and aerospace medicine at the Mayo Institute. But there's physiology at work too. From Smithsonian:
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.
Just being in the water may confer additional breath-holding ability. All mammals have what is known as a diving reflex. The involuntary reflex is most obvious—and pronounced—in aquatic mammals like whales and seals. But humans have this reflex, also. The purpose seems to be to conserve the oxygen that is naturally stored throughout the body, according to one study.
When a mammal dives into the water, the heart rate slows, and the capillaries of extremities like arms and legs—or flippers—constrict. Blood and oxygen is redirected towards the internal organs. The reflex helps diving animals override the need to breathe, which means they can stay underwater longer.
"What’s the Longest You Can Hold Your Breath?" (Smithsonian)
Researchers from the University of Chicago and Sony are developing a wearable electrical muscle stimulation system that boosts your physical reaction time without making it feel like you’ve lost control of your body. The latter is particularly important when considering the development of exoskeletons and other systems that bring us physically closer to machines for […]
For reasons unknown, up to half of of people who freeze to death are found partially or completely naked. DNews looks into the phenomenon of paradoxical undressing.
My friends at Youth Radio interviewed a sports medicine physician, who used to dance with Cirque du Soleil, about the anatomy of “bone breaking,” the incredible form of turf dancing where the performers rhythmically contort, pop, and flex their bodies in crazy ways. Below, Youth Radio’s earlier video about turf dancing.
Concerned about your eyesight? You probably should be. And we’re not just talking about seniors here. Young or old, we’re all at risk of coming down with vision issues Most of us might get a vision test only once every couple of years or so when we get a new pair of glasses – if […]
We love our smartphones and tablets, but we also love to write. For a while now, there hasn’t been a workable solution. Either hook it up to a keyboard (which defeats the purpose of a portable gadget) or resign ourselves to typing on tiny, unresponsive glass icons. Looks like technology has finally caught up to […]
So you’ve got an iPhone 11 Pro Max. It’s an impressive piece of hardware – sometimes, too impressive. The more you’re compelled to use it, the more an age-old problem pops up: The dreaded low battery warning. Even if you’re on the go, perhaps the best solution to this is also pretty unobtrusive. It’s the […]