CO2 tolerance, rushing routines, and travel
Supercharged Sundays #6
Welcome to this week’s edition of Supercharged Sundays, a Members-only newsletter sharing three actionable health, fitness, and wellness practices for your week ahead.
The BOLT Test
For the most part, you can assess how well you’re breathing just by paying attention.
Are you breathing through your mouth or nose?
Are you breathing up in your chest and neck or all the way down into your stomach and pelvis?
However, your CO2 tolerance must be assessed through a test: the BOLT (Body Oxygen Level Test).
Take this test when you’re relaxed and at rest, not after coming home from a walk or another physical activity.
Your breathing should be regular, not elevated.
You’ll need the stopwatch feature on your phone to track seconds.
Sit or stand calmly, then inhale and exhale normally through your nose.
At the natural conclusion of the exhale, pinch your nostrils shut.
As soon as your nostrils are pinched shut, start a timer.
Hold your breath until your body gets a little twitchy and you have a strong urge to breathe. Stop the timer once you begin to breathe again and note the number of seconds you held your breath.
Your score is the number of seconds you held your breath.
Below 10 seconds—Your CO2 tolerance is below normal; you have work to do.
10-20 seconds—Good starting place, but you have lots of room for improvement.
20-30 seconds—Close to normal.
30-40 seconds—Everyone should eventually land here.
If you didn’t score well, don’t worry.
Your score is just a starting place to measure your future improvements.
Breathing is something we can all improve at with practice.
Give yourself a week to follow the breathing directives below and the physical practices we’ll cover next Sunday before retesting.
Then continue to retest as you see fit.
Although we’re taught that carbon dioxide (CO2) is just a waste product of breathing, it actually makes oxygen more available to your body.
When we’re working hard and out of breath, we try to suck in more oxygen (O2).
But O2 is rarely the limiting factor.
The problem isn’t a lack of O2, it’s a lack of CO2 that enables us to utilize O2.
CO2 tolerance is important because the longer you can hold on to CO2 in your system, the more O2 you’ll be able to utilize, and the more energy you’ll have available to do what you want to do.
Directives to breathe better
Follow these directives to breathe better:
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