divers prepare to take the plunge
try this at home! In June of 2000, Loic Leferme made a record
breaking deep dive of 450 feet -- on a single lungful of air.
Breath-holding, or "apnea," diving is an increasingly popular
sport in Europe and the U.S. As more and more people push
their lungs to the limit, amazing new records are set each
"No Limit," Alan Alda joins Loic and the French national team
as they train at the University of Nice. Team doctor Philippe
Afriat shows what happens during the "dive response" --
a primitive reflex, triggered when our faces are plunged into
water, which reduces the body's demand for oxygen.
Water on the face triggers the "dive response"
divers try to exaggerate
their dive response using relaxation techniques. Then on top
of that, Loic and the French team learn a special pumping
technique which forces extra air into the lungs, blowing them
up like a balloon. After a few hours' training, Alan nearly
doubles the length of time he can remain submerged.
more on this topic, see the web features:
of the Water