Thursday, March 29, 2007

Swim Farther Underwater - Lower Your Heart Rate - Penguins Do It

I was channel surfing last night (as close as I'll ever get to the real thing after an unfortunate experience in Malibu some twenty years ago) and came across a documentary on PBS on of all things - penguins. I've become somewhat drawn to the creatures since taking my kids to see the movie, "Happy Feet", earlier this year. Anyhow, the show was about emperor penguins and it mentioned that they can stay underwater for up to twenty minutes by lowering their heart rates. Since I love swimming under water (even more than on top), I tried the concept out this morning. No I didn't jump in a frozen lake. Before doing my 25 meter underwater routine - something I do each AM to get my heart rate moving before I start my laps - I usually try to pump myself up to make it across. Today, I did the opposite. I just relaxed and focused on lowering my pulse - a trick I've learned to do when someone in a white coat says my blood pressure is high. The result? I got across the pool and still felt totally relaxed when I touched the wall - not winded at all. Try it out at your preferred distance and tell me what you find (show-offs will be penalized).


  1. Interesting, I'll try this out and let you know. What is your swimming technique underwater, breast-stroke? I often wonder if there's another way that I don't know about.

  2. I do a breast stroke with several butterfly kicks between strokes. I also try to keep the glide going as long as possible.


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