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hold your breath for longer??

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Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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Location: UK London

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject: hold your breath for longer?? Reply with quote

This artical (copied below) was written and applies for free diving... meditative conditioning for the event. It may be the complete opposite for underwater hockey... full on hyper body busting physical demands.

I personally think that underwater hockey fitness / usefulness, is about good recovery time when grabbing new breaths on the surface
But just for info anyway...


by Umberto Pellizari

The suspension of breath during the immersion results in
modifications in the way the heart circulatory and lung apparatus
function. In reality the cardiovascular reaction is divided into two
phases: the first one - generally shorter - in which there is a
growth of heart beat, that is a phenomenon of tachycardia ; and the
second - that on the contrary - provides the rise of a more complex
phenomenon of bradycardia, which results in the slowing down of the
cardiac frequency.


One has to keep in mind that the second phase is reached more quickly
if the immersion exceeds a depth of 10 metres. In any case, it is
enough to take a breath to brake this reaction of our organism and to
observe the rise of the heart beats after a slow return to the normal
cardiac rhythm. In general we can say that the bradycardia of the
athlete of apnea is similar to that of the sea mammals and it happens
as a sort of automatic mechanism that communicates out organism to
reduce to the minimum consumption of the stored oxygen. After a
certain interval of time has passed, the slowing down of the
heartbeats will reach constant values.


The decrease of the oxygen caused by bradycardia goes with an other
very important physiological automatism, the "blood-shift", which is
strongly connected to it. This phrase derives from hyperbolic
medicine and indicates a reaction that happens always, even if it
comes with different intensity at a time, in all conditions of
immersion: as an effect of the pressure of water the blood
becomes shifted from the periphery of the body towards its centre
where it has its "noble" organs, that is the lungs and the heart.

More precisely, the heart undergoes a delay of the right cavities,
which pump the blood towards the lungs and a reduction of the
activity of the left cavities, which are supposed to distribute the
blood all over the body. In consequence, the muscles of the limbs
have to confront an inevitable loss of oxygen, which can partly be
compensated by an efficient training aimed at reaching an adequate
invigoration of the muscular tissues.

The aim of bradycardia in case of immersion is to save oxygen, but
this does not mean that there is no risk for the diver: if there
happen to be an external stimulus that needs plus energy (for example
a non expected effort to make) it may result
in cardiac arrhythmia, which submits the heart to stress.


To all the things above described we have to add the effect of the
depth, which is to be reached in apnea. It is of course evident that
the depth of immersion has an influence either on the quick
appearance of bradycardia or of the phenomenon "blood-shift".

We also have to make a digression to explain what happens to the
gases breathed by the lungs when the pressure of the water increases
going deeper and deeper.

At the level of the sea the pressure is 1 atmosphere (equals to 760
mm of Mercury) and there 4 types of gases present in our lungs. They
all have their own partial pressure: the oxygen approximately 95-100
mm of Mercury, the carbon dioxide 40 mm, nitrogen 573 mm, and steam
approximately 47 mm. These data change significantly in the depth,
and in fact the capacity of the lungs reduces to
It's half reaching 10 metres, to its third after 20 metres, to its
sixth after 60 metres and almost to its tenth at about a depth of 100
metres. Because of the phenomenon "blood-shift", the space in the
lungs left free for the compression of the gas becomes substituted by
the blood shifted by the pressure of water towards the noble organs.


All these stimuli result in a condition of well being, which presses
the diver to prolong, not without any risk, the duration of apnea.
The problems in fact may come at the moment of re-ascending because
in this phase there may be an overturn of the situation: the
hydrostatic pressure decreases together with the partial pressures of
the gases stored in the lungs, among which the "special supervised
one" is the oxygen.

The critical threshold, under which the syncope (loss of
consciousness due to the lack of oxygen) is probable is determined as
about 40 mm of Mercury of oxygen. All this explains why notoriously
re-ascending is the more delicate moment in an immersion in apnea at
a great depth.

Shocked my eyes are not really like this...... they are blue.
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