When I was young I often played the ‘game’ of holding my breath for as long as I could (not to be confused with the Choking game, in which one intentionally cuts off oxygen to the brain with the goal to faint/pass out, uhhh WTF?!).
From what I remember I could easily do one minute, but hardly managed to reach two minutes. This week, yeeeeeeeaaaaars later 🙂 , I tried it again with a surprising result; 2.5 minutes!! It was just a dry-run without any ‘practice’ and it felt as if I still could go on for some time, huh?! I actually didn’t dare to hold my breath any longer as I expected that I could harm myself (O2 is kind of important eh 🙂 )…I did some more reading on the topic and I believe it should be fine for sub-5 minute times; the current world record is 11m35s (and 22m32s when pre-breathing 100% oxygen…via WikiPedia).
The most dangerous problem with breath holding is (surprisingly?) not related to oxygen (your body has plenty of that in reserve), but related to the buildup of carbon dioxide which acidifies the blood, and THAT is an issue (understatement 🙂 )…I guess I should not take this ‘game’ too lightly, though some controlled training techniques and safety precautions should make it possible to increase the amount of time I can go without breathing… 🙂
How long can you hold your breath???