As a general rule holding your breath is not a good idea, however there are times when it's necessary. Activities, like swimming require you to hold your breath for periods of time. Also, some people are gun hobbyists. There are shooting techniques that require you to hold your breath for momentary aim stabilization. Even some yoga techniques require you to hold your breath. Done in excess, holding your breath can have adverse health effects.

Biochemical Deprivation

Holding your breath deprives your body of natural exchanges of vital elements. It prevents compounds like oxygen and nitric oxide from entering and carbon dioxide from exiting your body. Nitric oxide plays an important role in the immune system--it fights disease-causing infection. Nitric acid also serves as a message transmitter for nerve cells, allowing your body to react properly to stimuli. Holding your breath disturbs your natural biochemistry; instead of being more alkaline (it's natural state), the body becomes more acidic and more prone to disease.

Behavioral Issues

The quality of a person's breathing is closely linked with emotional states. A study in the "Indian Journal of Psychiatry" shows that children who hold their breath suffer behavioral complications. Their tolerance levels become low, thus they act out or release emotion intensely. Holding your breath can also induce excessive crying. Children become easily influenced and easily frustrated. The same case study in the "Indian Journal of Psychiatry" showed that 56 percent of children who have breath-holding spells react with temper tantrums, some to the extent of head banging. People who hold their breath tend to be angry, irritable and annoyed. It may be hard to calm or distract them when they are in a bad mood. If there are no breathing improvements, these traits can extend into adolescence and adulthood.

Inadequate Body Function

Your body requires respiration to properly function and stay alive. By depriving your body of necessary air and element transference, your cells do not get adequate amounts of oxygen. Billions of brain cells falter and function at minimal capacity. As long as your breathing remains staggered or is held in increments, your brain is basically running on survival mode. Your body also cannot oxygenate muscles and organs appropriately if you hold your breath. It is important for you to breathe during aerobic exercises. Oxygenation is the purpose behind aerobic workouts --- burning calories and fat requires steady oxygen delivery to your body and bloodstream. If you hold your breath while running, you may become light-headed or even pass out. Running requires energy, which will quickly deplete if not replenished by more oxygen.

Toxicity in Breath-Holding

Breathing expels toxins from your body. Holding your breath keeps toxins inside, allowing ample time for them to disperse and accumulate in your body. Lack of oxygen has been shown to be a main problem among people with cancer or other serious illnesses. Toxins rob your body of energy and keep you looking aged or ill. Better breathing improves your skin's appearance. When you hold your breath you hold onto illness, that would otherwise be released. Maximize your breathing efforts by releasing unwanted toxins to improve your health.