View Full Version : Learning to breathe better?

10-28-2007, 13:39
I'm trying to learn to breathe in a more relaxed manner to extend bottom time?

Any tips or helps?

Puffer Fish
10-28-2007, 13:58
I'm trying to learn to breathe in a more relaxed manner to extend bottom time?

Any tips or helps?

Yea, worry more about relaxing overall. Particularly at the start of the dive..

Try to do all your movements slower and more relaxed. Whether swimming or doing anything, try to make it slower and smoother.

Burst energy, excessive movement and being tense uses up a lot of air.

My normal SAC rate is around .4 (some swimming some stopped or drifting)....doing a drift dive (and just drifting), taking pictures of stuff I pass, and I am down to .35. Go lobster catching, swimming a lot from spot to spot and I am up to .5. See 5 lobster under a coral head.. and try to catch them all, and I am up to .7.

Working hard and getting excited suck air big time.

I'm a big guy, so any normal person should be able to be a lot lower.

When you first get in the water, do the zen thing and relax your whole body, and take smooth deep breaths...

Note: With 100 cubic feet of usable air, a SAC rate of .4 means a 83 minute dive at 66 ft, so my dive limit is the level of Nitrox and the No Deco limits.

Note2: I normally use 117 cubic ft HP steel tanks.

10-28-2007, 14:12
I like to count seconds when breathing.

3 seconds in, 3 to 5 seconds out (whatever feels right). This will help you to relax, and (as I read recently in another thread) will help you keep your head clear in stressful situations.

Capt Hook
10-28-2007, 15:20
Long, DEEP, slow inhales and exhales.

10-28-2007, 15:41
While do every day things, practice slow, deep inhales and exhales.

10-28-2007, 15:59
Being in shape helps as well.

10-31-2007, 11:26
Breathe in, count to 5 and exhale. Works for me. I've dropped about 10 pounds of weights since I used that. I was taught by a yoga professional.

10-31-2007, 12:32
I think i am going to try the counting one too.

10-31-2007, 12:37
Just Dive! :smiley20:

Long, slow, deliberate breathing helps, but I've found over time, I don't even think about it. I can't imagine going through a stressful dive counting all the time! :smiley36:

As you become more relaxed UW, your breathing will get better. I'm not sure there is a way to force relaxation UW other than with experience. You can try to become more comfortable UW, but how does one do that? The only answer I can think of is to dive! :smiley2:

10-31-2007, 12:58
I agree with Ron. Just dive. Focus on everything being smooth and relaxed, with minimal movement. Dial in you buoyancy. Be sure you are swimming in a good, trimmed position (horizontal). A frog kick is much more relaxing than a flutter, because you kick, glide... kick, glide... kick, glide... lots of relaxing gliding in there.

Put it all together and your breathing rate will go down all on it's own.

10-31-2007, 21:10
Very useful!

Thanks all!

10-31-2007, 21:55
Having FUN and just RELAXING will do a lot towards your goal.

10-31-2007, 22:13
Nothing substantially new to add and I'm still in the newbie stage myself, but I'll throw my $0.02 in.

If you get a chance to dive with some experienced divers, go with them. I've had the luck to join in with several very experienced divers that have taught me the true definition of going slow and taking it easy. I was amazed at the improvement in my air consumption solely from being very relaxed and moving at a very relaxed (i.e. slow pace)

without the benefit of diving with some very experienced folks, I don't think I would have realized just how fast I was moving through the water on my own, even though I read I was supposed to go slow and thought I was going slow.

11-01-2007, 00:17
Great info! As a rule of thumb I try to stay relaxed in all aspects of my life. I didn't realize the impact till I started to dive and could really see the direct correllation.


11-03-2007, 19:19
Being fit and having good cardio conditioning is one of the best ways to do better in air consumption. Diving more helps because it allows you to get more comfortable underwater. Proper trim and buoyancy are a must. It will come in time.

11-04-2007, 11:01
Good point Illini Fan. Many times - I find myself hurrying through the reef because I'm so excited and want to see more and more. Over time, I think I'll learn to better relax, go slow, and enjoy what's right around me rather than looking for something and using all my air.

Also - when I try to long slow exhales and inhales, I think I actually use more air than if I were truly relaxed.

Also - better-rated regulators w/ easier breathing stats should help too - and may help you relax.

11-04-2007, 11:17
Something to consider, you can cover more ground going slow than by going fast. I've proven it many times over. IE you'll run out of air and surface earlier by going fast.

11-04-2007, 12:51
A lot of people swear by Yoga, I am not a fan of it myself, but a good cardio workout a few times a week can work wonders.