Breathing measurements at rest

Breathing rate measurement at rest

When we try to measure our own breathing rate at rest, we are biased. The measurement is affected by our awareness, it is not accurate. Nurses use a trick to shift a patient’s awareness from the breathing, by holding the patience wrist, as if checking the patient’s pulse, but actually, they count the patient’s breaths.

We can ask someone to count our breaths when we are resting, or we can record ourselves with a video camera, while at rest. We can then more accurately count our own breathing rate per minute.

Interpreting the results

>25 bpm: poor
25-20 bpm: over average
20-12 bpm: average
12-8 bpm: good
<8 bpm: excellent

CO2 tolerance measurement when lungs are full

  • Close your eyes and complete 5 breathing cycles, while breathing harmoniously.
  • At the top of the 5th inhale, when lungs are fully inflated, start the stopwatch.
  • Exhale from the nose, as slow as possible.  Extend the exhale for as long as you can.
  • Stop the stopwatch once you run out of air to expel, minimum possible air left in the lungs.

Interpreting the results

<20 seconds: poor CO2 tolerance
20-40 seconds: average CO2 tolerance
40-60 seconds: above average CO2 tolerance
60-80 seconds: good CO2 tolerance
>80 seconds: excellent CO2 tolerance

 

CO2 tolerance measurement when lungs are at minimum air

  • Close your eyes and complete 5 breathing cycles, while breathing harmoniously.
  • At the bottom of the 5th exhale, hold your breath.
  • When lungs are deflated to minimum, start the stopwatch.
  • Stop the stopwatch once you start feeling a slight shortage of air. Do not try to extent measuring time by using your will power or your resistance to the unpleasant feeling of air shortage.

Interpreting the results
<10 seconds: poor CO2 tolerance
10-20 seconds: average CO2 tolerance
20-30 seconds: above average CO2 tolerance
30-40 seconds: good CO2 tolerance
>40 seconds: excellent CO2 tolerance

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