NOTA SUI LIMITI FISIOLOGICI DELLE IMMERSIONI PROFONDE IN APNEA
This article discusses the limits of deep breath-hold diving in humans. After a short historical introduction and a discussion of the evolution of depth records, the classical theories of breath-hold diving limits are presented and discussed, namely that of the ratio between total lung capacity and residual volume and that of blood shift, implying an increase in central blood volume. Then the current vision is introduced, based on the principles of the energetics of muscular exercise. The new vision has turned the classical vision upside down, moving the discussion to a different level. A direct consequence of the new theory is the importance of having large lung volumes at the start of a dive, in order to increase body oxygen stores. I finally discuss the role of anaerobic lactic metabolism as a possible mechanism of oxygen preservation, thus prolonging breath-hold duration.
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