Is there any benefit to breath-holding whilst exercising?

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calebb

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calebb asked the Naked Scientists:

You have a great podcast going!

Is there any benefit of people holding their breath when they are engaging in cardiovascular workouts. For example, and walking up a nearby hill, sometimes I breathe perhaps every fifth step, this making the uphill journey somewhat more effortful.

I think it is related to soldiers singing loudly as they run. It certainly must be much more difficult to run when you're singing loudly as compared to not singing loudly as you run.

Do you think that one can usefully tax one's cardiovascular system in such a fashion, this allowing one to work the cardiovascular system harder with less strain on joints, etc.? (I proposed this to a cardiologist and he thought I was absolutely nuts. However, it would be kind of interesting to run a treadmill test in this fashion. Perhaps restriction of airways, or playing a musical instrument, or breath holding, etc.)

Thanks for your insights!

Yours,

Caleb

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 20/11/2008 16:24:56 by BenV »

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Offline Make it Lady

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Is there any benefit to breath-holding whilst exercising?
« Reply #1 on: 20/11/2008 21:12:26 »
Sprinters hold their breath when running the 100metre sprint. They use anaerobic breathing. This allows them to use energy more efficiently for the short period of the race.
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lyner

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Is there any benefit to breath-holding whilst exercising?
« Reply #2 on: 20/11/2008 23:23:46 »
Anaerobic Respiration is much less 'efficient' than Aerobic or we would use the latter all the time. I think the reason for training that way is more likely to improve the body's removal of lactic acid or to increase the local storage of glycogen.

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Offline yor_on

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Is there any benefit to breath-holding whilst exercising?
« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2008 20:58:01 »
When you hold your breath you force your body to increase its blood oxygen uptake.
Same effect as when you exercise hard.
You burn oxygen both ways, and combining them?
Probably works.
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