A question we get asked a lot is how can I hold my breath for longer underwater?

Holding your breath underwater requires practice and training to increase your lung capacity, improve your breath-holding technique, and manage your body’s response to a lack of oxygen. We recommend enrolling into one of Dive HQ Christchurch’s breath hold courses. But here are some tips that can help you hold your breath for longer underwater:

1. Build up your lung capacity: Regular cardiovascular exercise, such as running, swimming, or cycling, building your anaerobic fitness, which can help improve your lung capacity over time. Practice deep breathing exercises to stretch your lungs and will utilise more of your lung capacity when breathing. This will increase your oxygen intake.

2. Relax your body: Stress and tension can cause your body to use more oxygen, by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. So, try to relax your mind and body as much as possible before taking a breath and diving underwater. Take a few deep breaths and focus on calming yourself. Actually thinking about slowing your heartrate down can help.

3. Improve your breath-holding technique: Practice different breathing techniques, such as tummy , which involves taking a series of deep breaths and then holding the air in your lungs. Experiment with different techniques and find the one that works best for you.

4. Practice regularly: The more you practice holding your breath, the better you will become at it. Start with short durations and gradually increase the length of time you can hold your breath.

5. Avoid overexertion: When you hold your breath, your heart rate slows down, and your blood vessels constrict to conserve oxygen. Avoid overexerting yourself, as this can cause your heart rate to increase and your body to use up more oxygen.

Remember that holding your breath for long periods can be dangerous, and it is important to always dive with a partner or under the supervision of a trained instructor. Never push yourself beyond your limits, and always listen to your body’s signals.

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