If you’ve ever strived to become an elite Navy SEAL, you’ve probably tried military-grade breath-holding techniques used by the most elite special forces in the field.
The average SEAL can hold their breath for about three minutes during high-pressure underwater exercises meant to simulate life-threatening scenarios, but the average American doesn’t have to undergo the same rigorous tests to see how well their lungs are working.
Lung capacity tests have cropped up all over TikTok, where users post videos showing a countdown of about 40 seconds. The former should be devoted to a deep inhalation, followed by a prolonged period of breath retention before exhaling.
The online tests, while much less strenuous than the versions that SEAL hopefuls must complete, were easy for some people, while many others said they “almost fainted,” “turned blue,” and “saw my grandmother half way”.
The user should inhale deeply for about four seconds before holding their breath for the time it takes for the dot to travel clockwise to the other side to “exhale.”
TikTok is saturated with videos made by average civilians claiming that if you can hold your breath for about 40 seconds without lights going on in your periphery, you might want to consider a career in the military.
The Navy SEALs, named after the environments in which they operate (sea, air and land), are an elite military force, famous for having raided the Pakistani compound of terrorist Osama bin Laden, who train day after day to prepare for any possible war scenario.
Their grueling training exercises include one in which a candidate lies face down in a puddle of water after the instructors have tied knots in his breathing regulator, forcing him to remain calm with little oxygen while also having You have to untangle the knots before surfacing.
Quizzes on TikTok are much simpler and don’t require viewers to get out of their desk chairs. Simply inhale deeply for about four seconds, which many say online is the hardest part, then hold your breath for 40 to 50 seconds. Then, release a measured exhale.
The simplest test for the layman is strikingly similar to a used by the United Kingdom Royal Air Force during World War I until around 1939 to measure the physical fitness of a military candidate.
The men were asked to exhale completely followed by a deep inhalation and then hold the breath for as long as possible, which came to about 45 seconds on average.
Although the test was used during the beginning of World War II, scientists began to realize years before that the test was a poor measure of physical fitness, with one scientist saying that it only measured a person’s ability to endure the discomfort, not the capabilities of your body. adapt to use oxygen more efficiently.
A cardio enthusiast may find it easier to hold their breath because their lungs are stronger, while a person who vapes or smokes regularly will probably have a harder time.
A 2017 study by doctors in India reported that smokers could hold their breath for 34.85 seconds, while non-smokers could. could hold it for 46.61 seconds.
When someone holds their breath, whether training to be a military machine or swimming with friends in the pool, the body compensates for the sudden cutoff of oxygen.
Holding your breath prevents oxygen from entering and also prevents carbon dioxide from leaving the body because exhalation has stopped. That CO2, instead of being released, can cross the blood-brain barrier, a network of blood vessels and tissue that serves as a protective layer that lines the inside of the brain.
This can cause a drop in the delicate pH balance of the blood. The brain then sends an urgent signal to the lungs to expel that harmful CO2.
Several studies have reported some health benefits from practicing breath-holding techniques, including one from 2015 that reported, albeit in salamanders, that they could help regenerate brain tissue.
Another study, this time in 2014, argued that exercises could activate the body’s function. fight or flight response while also producing anti-inflammatory agents in the body that could help mediate an overzealous immune system response to foreign invaders or its own cells.
Doctors sometimes perform their own versions of lung function tests, although none ask the patient to inhale and hold their breath for a set number of seconds.
If a doctor suspects that his patient who is having trouble breathing has a lung problem, he might perform one of several lung function tests.
One of them is called spirometry, which requires a person to breathe in and out through a mouthpiece with the nose closed. The mouthpiece is connected to a machine called a spirometer that measures the amount and speed of air flow over a period of time.
A doctor can perform another test to measure lung volume that, like the spirometry test, requires the patient to wear a nose clip and breathe through a mouthpiece, this time in an airtight room that looks like a phone booth. The change in pressure in the cabin helps measure lung volume.
They may perform another type of test that asks patients to ride a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill while connected to monitors and machines that measure blood oxygen levels and blood pressure, as well as heartbeat.