How long can you hold your breath?
Here's a weird thing that I do, that I reckon a lot of other people do too...
Imagine you're watching an action movie in which the protagonist was just involved in a white knuckled car chase.
She screeched around corners and through traffic filled streets as several cars and a helicopter gave chase.
It all ends in a dramatic leap, as the car hits a conveniently placed ramp and is vaulted into the air.
It lands, however, in a river.
Standing by the banks of the river are several armed villains just waiting for her to resurface. So our protagonist decides to take a deep breath from the remaining air in the car, opens the window and swims downstream until it is safe to resurface.
It's at this point that I step in...
As our protagonist takes that deep breath, I do too. I want to see if I would survive that same situation.
Can I hold my breath as long as our action hero?
Usually the answer is no.
What does it all mean?
I often think about how movies and TV shows drastically alter our perceptions of what the human body is capable of.
Whether it is running from a threat or hanging from a ledge, most of us are not anywhere near what I would call 'survival shape'. That is, the fitness level required to survive a physical threat.
For most of us, having to run away from, or towards, something would pretty quickly leave us a purple panting mess that wouldn't be able to walk for the next couple of days due to DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
Very few of us are actually at the top of the food chain, so to speak, and most of them live in what we call ‘third world countries...