Wellness
12 Extraordinary Benefits of Holding Breath

12 Extraordinary Benefits of Holding Breath

Most people downplay the benefits of holding breath, yet it could make a significant difference in your performance, fitness, well-being and agility.

IS IT GOOD FOR YOU TO HOLD YOUR BREATH?

12 Extraordinary Benefits of Holding Breath

Yes, but within certain limits. Holding your breath for a slightly longer time is a sign of high fitness levels, calmness and better health.

Normal adults can hold their breath for about 30 seconds. Those that are practising breath control can usually hold theirs for up to a minute.

At this level is where most benefits of holding breath apply.

If you cannot hold your breath for a certain amount of time, it is a sign that you have high-stress levels or are anxious. It also shows that you are using your diaphragm poorly and could be harbouring a host of problems.

On the other hand, excessive breath-holding could be harmful to your health. Individuals who try to break world records are in danger of damaging their tissues and brains when doing so.

You thus want your attempts to hold your breath to be done within reason and stick within the safe zone of 1 minute.

12 EXTRAORDINARY BENEFITS OF HOLDING BREATH

1.      HELPS FIGHT SLEEP APNEA

People who have sleep apnea often struggle to hold their breath. The condition comes because their breath control is unstable.

In fact, experts often diagnose sleep apnea based on someone’s ability to hold their breath for close to 40 seconds.

In this study, it was shown that hypoxemia (a condition in which there is low oxygen in your tissues) has a significant contribution to the development of obstructive sleep apnea.

2.      COULD HELP YOU TO QUIT SMOKING

Most smokers are addicted to the intense inhalation and exhalation that accompanies cigarette smoking. This often compromises their breathing patterns.

Many active smokers cannot hold their breath for longer than 15 seconds. Since this is less than the average nonsmoker, it is a sign that they are in danger.

Unless a man can hold their breath for 30 seconds and a woman can do it for 20 seconds, the chances are that they will struggle to quit tobacco.

In this study, ex-smokers were analyzed for their breath-holding times and the same was also done for smokers. It was established that higher breath-holding times was associated with nonsmoking.

You may thus need to work on your breath control to cease smoking.

3.      CAN INCREASE STRENGTH FOR WEIGHT LIFTING

When you engage in weightlifting and need another way to increase your strength, holding your breath could be one strategy. All you need to do is follow a prescribed pattern of breathing.

Start by inhaling fully, then hold your breath and then forcefully try exhaling without actually doing it. The result is that you will increase the intrathoracic and intra-abdominal pressure needed to give you strength in weightlifting.

4.      IMPROVES YOUR LUNG CAPACITY

The primary organ responsible for breathing is the lungs. If your lungs are in optimal condition, you will be able to engage in most activities that require good breath control.

In case you need to swim or surf, having high lung capacity helps achieve positive outcomes. It also means that you will also be in a position to manage respiratory disorders like asthma.

5.      IMPROVES YOUR ABILITY TO HANDLE STRESS

Handling stress better is one of the benefits of holding breath. Whenever you refine the skill of holding your breath, you often require the diaphragm muscle to help you do that.

If you do breath-holding exercises, you will increase the thickness of the diaphragm. This often increases your stamina when under stress.

6.      DECONGESTS YOUR SINUS

Some people are often prone to congestion around their nose. Instead of seeking expensive, over the counter or prescribed remedies, you could find help with breath control.

To achieve this, exhale to evacuate the air in your lungs, then hold your breath. As you inhale, shake your head so that you can push carbon dioxide into your neck and head.

Finally, let out air after you feel uncomfortable. You will notice that your sinuses have cleared.

7.      IMPROVES SPORTS PERFORMANCE

The most relevant sporting events that require breath control are water sports. This is where your breath training will really come in handy.

However, that is not the only application; several other cardio exercises require you to have strong breath control.

If you practice holding your breath, you will teach your heart to develop a steady beat. Furthermore, this activity causes the nervous system and the brain to work in synchrony.

The result is that you reduce the amount of energy you require when exerting yourself during exercise. Eventually, you will become better at your preferred sport.

8.      IMPROVES RECOVERY

After working out, some people struggle to recover because of the stress undergone by their respective muscles.

In such situations, you need to consider holding your breath to boost your recovery efforts. When you inhale for a prolonged time, you put your system into a healing state.

This is largely known as the parasympathetic state. A state that is essential in rejuvenating your body and fostering recovery.

9.      CAN BOOST YOUR BRAIN HEALTH

If you learn how to hold your breath, you could boost your brain’s health or protect it from excess damage.

According to this experimental study, it was shown that if lab animals had hypoxia-ischemic and were exposed to carbon dioxide, they had fewer chances of developing brain damage.

Since holding your breath involves increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in your brain, this could have a protective effect.

10.  HELPS WITH CONSTIPATION

Sometimes, you may struggle to pass bowels when you visit the restroom because of slow movements in your digestive tract. Before you attempt more drastic interventions, holding your breath could be a simple way out.

To do this, hold your breath until you feel intense discomfort in your body. When you exhale, do not let out all the air. Instead, breath out only slightly, then hold.

You will feel incredibly uncomfortable but will be grateful that it happened because you will then pass bowels.

11.  COULD REDUCE SUSCEPTIBILITY TO CANCER

One of the most unexpected benefits of holding breath is minimizing your risk of developing cancer.

Cancer normally comes about when your cells do not produce enough energy. When you hold your breath, you retain carbon dioxide and eventually cause oxygen to fill your cells.

The result is that you are less susceptible to developing cancer.

12.  IMPROVES SKIN HEALTH

With increased breath control comes increased circulation of air within your body tissues; this includes your sin.

If the cells in your skin are amply supplied with air, the chances are that you will have better-looking skin.

It will appear softer and will have an unusual glow. You may want to consider this strategy when seeking to improve your physical appearance naturally.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The benefits of holding breath have a lot to do with the carbon dioxide that you release into your system. This helps foster a rich supply of air, which has significant effects on your skin, lungs, brain, and other body tissues.

In case you play sports, practising breath control can increase your energy, boost stamina and enhance recovery.

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