‘Freediving’ benefits of holding your breath

health benefits of freediving featured
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A mainstay of what commands understanding in the modern day as being an extreme sport but that is in reality an activity as ancient as the world itself, arising from need and not from desire, freediving is a wonder pursuit stemming from the annals of human history. Known also by such names as breath hold diving or skin diving that embody necessarily the unsupported basis of this form of diving, this is though an activity that encompasses within its whole an array of other related activities. Think for instance traditional fishing and spearfishing, or collecting of pearls, seaweed, starfish and such other items of food and resources that were basic to the human sustenance that necessitated in fact this practice of diving into the depths of the water.

The notion of sustenance though has evolved from pursuits as these accruing to the earlier times of the human existence to today unfurl along an equally wide range of happenings that are recreational as well as essential in the essence of them. What therefore makes up the composition of freediving today are competitive as well as non competitive spearfishing and enhanced pursuits of other underwater sports and the like. But most importantly, freediving continues to rule still the world of adventure sports even in its extreme pursuance because it also happens to be an impeccable form of exercise. Resting on its premise of being a form of diving that relies on no apparatus whatsoever to take the plunge into the deep waters is freediving that imparts a range of health benefits to the human body, resting particularly on its exemplary requirement that it evokes out of ever diver. Dictated by the rather improbable sounding prospect of breath holding is this adventure sport played out in real extremes that is what makes it so technical a science to partake of in all leisure.

Of equal resonance in the many spectacular ways in which holding your breath tends to be an assertion of exciting events to unfold is also the mannerism in which it spans out across the range of the human body in certain amazing advantages of it. And while holding your breath is an exercise not exclusively conforming only with the truly remarkable range of freediving, it sure is one of the most comprehensive of activities along which this exercise in good health can be pursued to effective effect. That, together with the other many importances that freediving holds in regards to better human health is what makes it the wholesome ground on which the breath holding tactic of living gains prominence.

As incredible as it may sound, holding your breath might be some sort of a natural ‘endowance’ as for such folks native to mountainous areas or stemming from such descendants who have been practicing this almost superhuman form of art as part of genetics arising from their adaptive mechanism to the environment they have been continuously living in. For most others though, this is a matter in considerable pursuit which is why activities that require such nature of exertion are referred to as being extreme manifestations of the natural human ability.

Holding one’s breath brings about a rather unexpected change in bodily mechanism. This nature of the unlikely is even more surprising because it in fact entails such mode of bodily activities that we otherwise consider detrimental in effect to our health. The importance of oxygen in continuation of all forms of life is well known. But of certain significance also is the presence of carbon dioxide in the human body. A lack of carbon dioxide and abundance of oxygen in the body cells is what causes the condition called respiratory alkalosis. Triggered by too fast or too much of breathing is this medical condition, the reverse of which is achieved by the mindful practice of breath holding. Holding your breath for a time longer the usual is a helpful means for the body cells to absorb oxygen and produce carbon dioxide, increasing therefore the amount of the latter which can prove to be quite the saviour in case of the potentially fatal condition of hyperventilation. Of similar such effect is the impact of breath holding exercises upon the brain that helps protect it and boost its health through the presence of a larger amount of carbon dioxide. Also associated are the ways in which holding the breath helps with brain function and recovery by promoting the regeneration of new tissue while impairing further damage in this all important organ of the human body.

The increased amount of carbon dioxide made available to the body cells can also act as staver of what continue to be among the most life threatening of diseases. Breath holding can supposedly help reduce the susceptibility of the body to the dreaded disease of cancer. Generally caused by a lack of enough energy produced by the body cells, the chances of cancer can be potentially offset to a considerable extent by such breath holding exercise that help the cells to retain carbon dioxide and in turn cause oxygen to fill them up. Even in the treatment of certain forms of cancer, most evidently breast cancer, breath holding is often employed as a more potent means of subjecting the cells to radiation to help further exemplify the intended effects of such doses.

This surprising way in which breath holding works by increasing the availability of carbon dioxide to the body cells isn’t the only assertion of its benefits. Needless to say, holding one’s breath calls for an increased exertion on the lungs which is one of the most effective ways of enhancing lung capacity. This can be a wonderful revelation for anyone seeking to pursue such adventure sports and intense physical activities that call for performing in situations that offer lesser scope for normal breathing. But more necessarily, improved lung capacity and function is also as effective an way to deal with a range of respiratory issues like asthma. Another respiratory trouble that breath holding can help alleviate the seriousness of is sinus. Characterised by congestion around the nose, sinuses can be offset to a considerable extent with such breath control treatments as breath holding.

Not only is the ability to hold one’s breath a cause and indicator of good health and optimum fitness but it also is a much a bearer of mental wellness. Those people who are not able to hold their breath for a fair enough amount of time are generally perceived to be under a greater amount of stress. As a corollary therefore, breath holding helps alter the levels of stress in both physical and mental assertions. A crucial component of stress management practices and a core relaxation technique, breath holding helps fight also anxiety and panic attacks. Physically though, breath holding exercises work by strengthening the diaphragm that helps increase the stamina of the body while under stress.

As an induced exercise in extremity, breath holding can also spell wonders for such people who suffer from constipation. Because holding the breath longer than the normal pushes your body into a state of the discomfort feels as well as promotes digestion, it can help therefore bring about an effect of laxity when it comes to the stubbornly unrelenting bowel movements. On an unrelated note but equally enamoring in the prospective staving of discomfort through breath holding can be it being traditionally suggested as a ‘cure’ for the really bothering state of going through a series of the nuisance that hiccups are.

Breath holding has also been suggested to have an anti inflammatory effect upon the human body. This it does by influencing the sympathetic nervous system and the immune system that increase the production of anti inflammatory mediators.

Holding your breath helps you to use the lungs to its full extent which helps therefore preserve the health of stem cells, promoting longevity in the long run. In being a more healthy pattern of breathing as opposed to the shallower breaths we generally are accustomed to taking at all times, breath holding also therefore is an overall aider of immunity.

The mental range of benefits entailing the holding of one’s breath finds assertion in such dimensions of it that employs it instead as some form of meditation. Because of the exerting nature of it, breath holding is always conscious and mindful an exercise in pursuit that calls for sufficient concentration and serious effort on the part of each and everyone who practice this exercise in healing. Akin therefore to the art of meditation is the ability of one to hold their breath which means that this simple pursuit in what might be a necessity or a choice can very well be a life transforming experience in itself. Particularly in relation to freediving which in itself is regarded as a different kind of experience because of the phenomenal assertion in duality- one of holding one’s breath in not innately natural means and second the delving into the deep world of the waters in solitude that allows for a peculiar sense of calm and awareness to take over, this whole achievement in extremity is indeed a potential life changer. This leads indeed to better focus and concentration, something that the sport of freediving both demands and elicit in equally effective assertion. The physical equivalents of such mental strength happen to be the vouched for ideals of fitness and flexibility that itself bodes wonders for the human body. Also leading to enhanced body awareness and reduced stress levels is this singular chasing after the exhilaration that a free diving encounter into the awe inspiring depths of the naturally abundant underwater guarantees, thus summing up an experience that is enriching in and even beyond its essence.


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