Slump Over to Catch Your Breath for Faster Recovery

Listen to your body 😉

Exercise form is important for increasing your gains and protecting yourself from injury. But when’s the last time you thought about the way you hold yourself between sets?

Source: The Best Way to Catch Your Breath During a Workout, According to Science

The article suggests that the posture allows for better/deeper breathing, but nothing about it would also help with blood flow and pressure because you aren’t fighting gravity as much.  It also would support my experience with recovery from a sprint while cycling, but that would only apply to someone in an aggressive riding posture (seat higher than the bars/etc) that you’d find in road cycling.

My last triathlon last year, I passed someone who I saw start walking early on the run.  I figured like most they’d given up, passed them and didn’t think any more of it.  It wasn’t far down the route that they overtook me, and I got to see that’s how they attacked the run.  I don’t recall seeing what they did as a sprint, but it certainly worked for them to run faster for short periods with active recovery by walking.  I think they were out of sight by the 3 KM mark.  I’m tempted to try the strategy this year…

Brain Damage Occurs After 6 Minutes, But the Holding Breath Record is 22?

The air you inhale is ~21% oxygen, and the air you exhale is 13-16% oxygen. Hold your breath for a minute with a blood oxygen meter on, and you find that there is zero change in the amount of oxygen your blood is carrying. Hold for another minute and your blood oxygen level will only drop a few percent. The urge to breath becomes intense very quickly because your body doesn’t actually know the amount of oxygen in your blood. But your body senses the build up of carbon dioxide (CO2)…  As your oxygen level drops, your body starts to restrict blood flow to the extremities and this (not the actual lack of oxygen) is what causes your fingers or lips to tingle when you are extremely out of breath.

Our bodies can also power many systems anaerobically (without oxygen) – your muscles can use more energy less efficiently and with more waste (lactic acid) for quite some time.  The only vital part of you that lacks this ability is your brain. Now all this adds up to the ability to hold your breath for ~8 minutes with proper training…  Some use hyperventilating to suppress the breathing reflex – this is extremely dangerous, and thousands of people drown/die that way every year!

The record referenced is a pure O2 record, where the diver holds their breath after breathing pure medical grade oxygen.  The grade of oxygen doesn’t matter – it doesn’t reduce the feeling of needing to breath at all, it just allows someone to hold breath much longer.

Fun fact: Kids can have breath-holding spells.  They generally grow out of it by the time they’re 5 or 6 years old.  I haven’t seen anything to support it, but I was told that the theory was that the carbon dioxide feedback loop isn’t foolproof at that age.  My brother was far worse – he could trigger a nosebleed when he wanted.  My poor mother…

The Easiest Way to Get Started Running: Mind Your Breath, Not Time

I’m going to share a learn-to-run strategy that is so simple, I could even do it. This is how I learned and how I’ve coached newbies for years. It doesn’t involve intervals, speed, calculations, or big words.

It is based solely on your body and how it responds to running. In fact, it’s a plan that is customized to you, because it progresses when your body is ready to do so.

Source: The World’s Simplest Learn to Run Program

It’s basically the couch-to-5K, without the targets/intervals.  I did it years back, and got the results I wanted – dropped weight.  But I can’t remember why I fell out of the habit, only that I did.  When I got back into running for triathlon, I swear I’m much slower now.

Swimming and cycling came more naturally to me, and I’ve been able to figure out how to challenge myself to get better.  Running?  Not so much.  I have no aptitude, and while I can commit to a regiment my approach hasn’t paid off like I’d hoped.  I can see where my training helped, like tackling stairs in cyclocross… but I want it all 😉

Stop Flushing With Your Foot, or: Germ Avoidance “Tricks” That Don’t Work

Perhaps you were as grossed out as we were by that recent Weill Cornell Medical College study that showed New York City’s subway system to be teeming with bacteria. Over an 18-month period, geneticist Christopher Mason and his team collected DNA from handrails, kiosks, seats, and turnstiles across the MTA to reveal a lush, invisible ecosystem containing more than 15,000 different kinds of microbial life. Ick, right?

Thankfully, the study also showed that the vast majority of bacteria found in the subway were harmless or even beneficial to humans. These “good” bacteria might come from food, remove toxins from the environment, or outcompete disease-causing pathogens lurking on surfaces. “That means more [bacterial] diversity, by the odds, would be a good thing,” Mason says.

Source: Pretty Much All of Your Weird Germ-Avoidance Behaviors Are Pointless

Hipster CDC Reports Flu Epidemic Peaked Years Ago

Gloves, tissue, etc – whatever you use to create a barrier between you and what you intend to handle…  It’s moot if you end up handling the surface that came into contact with a contaminated object.

Depending on what you are wearing a mask for, it’s not worth the time.  Most aren’t rated for germs/bacteria you’d be exposed to, and the ones that are – they require a solid fit to ensure quality.  That means no facial hair, guys.  As for what you’re exposed to – the percentage of particles is so vast and minute, some claim we’re breathing particles from Napoleon’s last breath.  In the outdoors, wind patterns can take things further than we’d believed.  Chernobyl demonstrated this when crops and animals throughout the world had higher levels of radiation…

The toilet?  The gross part is that the handle isn’t the issue, as the flush will distribute germs, bacteria, and fecal matter everywhere.  Closing the lid helps somewhat…  But we weren’t meant to use the toilet anyhow.

Germs aren’t a real health hazard; there are germs everywhere in your life, and the ones in bathrooms aren’t significantly more numerous or more dangerous than the rest. The best ways to steer clear of cold and flu germs (the most likely threats anywhere) are to:

  • wash your hands
  • avoid touching your face
  • support your immune system by not smoking and by exercising, eating, and sleeping well