How long can you hold your breath for?
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A freediver has posted on social media on how they approach exploring the ocean’s depths without breathing equipment.
Holding your breath while diving deep into a body of water is known as freediving.
The participant in this extreme art must hold their breath for extended periods of time while not carrying any oxygen on their back, unlike its sister sport, scuba diving.
Famous freedivers like Mirela Kardasevic and Herbert Nitsch have been known to plunge hundreds of metres below the surface while holding their breath for several minutes.
Budimir Sobat, a Croatian freediver, currently holds the male record for the longest duration spent holding a breath underwater as of March 2021.
The 56-year-old from Sisak, Croatia, was able to stay underwater for an incredible 24 minutes, 37.36 seconds.
There are now 50,000 competitive freedivers worldwide, but many more are anticipated to participate in recreational diving, according to Apnealogy.
While The Deepest Breath, a critically praised Netflix documentary, has lately brought attention to the sometimes disastrous side effects of freediving, many people are still passionate about the activity and have described how they manage to perform amazing physical feats.
One of these recreational freedivers recently shared on social media why they think it’s just “mind over matter” to hold your breath for extended periods of time.
An experienced diver offered their tips in a Reddit discussion discussing diving horror stories.
They wrote: “That’s the moment when you start to panic – and that’s the skill in freediving, getting to 160ft and your brain is on the edge of panic.
“But you just relax and say ‘I’ll be fine’ – the majority of freediving is mind over matter.”
They went on to claim that their old teacher thought that with the correct mindset, they could someday dive up to 200 feet in other parts of the base.
“I may try it one day,” they said.
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The same person also addressed how they believe other freedivers can best preserve their energy and maintain their air intake elsewhere in the discussion.
They wrote: “When you’re freediving you come up slowly more to conserve energy and air.
“You haven’t breathed compressed air so you haven’t taken on much nitrogen (repetitive deep freedivers can get bent but it’s rare).”
They then warned that by coming up from the water too fast, you must be aware that a high surface pressure gradient may be present.
“If you don’t have enough (sic) oxygen in your bloodstream when you come up sometimes your alveoli can rob O2 out of your bloodstream to keep the right lung balance, and make you pass out.”
In addition, they urged freedivers to “blow on people’s lips and faces to bring them round” if they came across someone who had passed out while spending time underwater.
For this reason, he warned that you should never freedive alone, recalling: “I was in Menorca, down at 20m taking photos of an octopus, alone. I was probably down for 2 minutes or so and maybe overstayed my welcome.”
He said he’s lucky to be alive after getting into problems, freaking out, and passing out while rising to the surface.
He concluded: “I had passed out at 6m – the wind had resuscitated me when I got to the surface.
“If it hadn’t been windy, I would most likely have been dead, as the wind told my lips and the receptors that I was above the surface.”