Who knew that something as simple as learning how to hold your breath longer could be so good for you? Everybody, from amateur scuba divers to elite endurance athletes, is getting to know more about the benefits of apnea training.
For the uninitiated, apnea training is simply conditioning the body to go longer amounts of time without oxygen. This has obvious benefits for the deep water diver, free diver, and surfer because it allows them to stay below the surface longer without coming up for air.
But a growing body of scientific research is now showing that apnea training has other health benefits! Up until now, these benefits have been widely unknown.
Benefits of Apnea – Sympathetic Nervous System Control
The body’s sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system, which also includes the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system controls many instinctive physical reactions, including the fight or flight response.
Apnea training can improve the mind’s ability to control the body’s subconscious sympathetic nervous system in certain situations.
Benefits of Apnea – Hypoxia Tolerance
Another thing apnea training can help with is hypoxia tolerance, or the ability to continue to maintain normal mental function in the presence of lower than normal oxygen levels.
Besides deep divers, developing hypoxia tolerance can be helpful for mountain climbers, firefighters, and many others.
Benefits of Apnea – Hypercapnia Tolerance
Like hypoxia tolerance, apnea also can help with hypercapnia tolerance, or high CO2 tolerance.
CO2 is a byproduct of oxygen absorption in the lungs. Learning to hold your breath longer can help the body adjust to holding higher levels of CO2 in the lungs without replacing it with fresh oxygen as frequently.
Benefits of Apnea – Lung Function Improvement
Perhaps the biggest benefit of apnea training in the water is the way it improves lung function out of the water, even in your everyday life.
Apnea training can improve your overall health, sense of well-being, confidence, and self-esteem. Join the upcoming classes that Hawaii Eco Divers is offering to enjoy these many benefits yourself!