Being a physically fit diver means that you have sufficient aerobic capacity, cardiovascular health and physical strength to meet the demands of the diving environment. Can you fight a current? Perform a long surface swim? Help a buddy in an emergency? All divers need to be physically able to perform these essential tasks.
Here are some tips to help you enhance your fitness for diving:
- While diving itself can be physically demanding, it is not enough to maintain fitness overall. Divers must stay fit with additional activities outside of diving, such as swimming laps, strength training and flexibility and balance exercises.
- Regular physical activity, including aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activity, is essential to maintain physical fitness.
- If you are over 40 and do not exercise regularly, consult your physician before you start exercising.
- Divers should dedicate time to fin swimming. Fitness for swimming against a current includes fin-swimming skills. Divers without these skills may not be able to create sufficient propulsion to overcome a strong current even if they have high aerobic capacity for muscular work.
- At least six weeks prior to a dive trip, gradually increase the level of your physical activities.
- Join your local dive club for more specific training opportunities.
- Visit AlertDiver.com/DiveFitness to find fitness routines tailored for divers.
To avoid an increased risk of decompression sickness, DAN recommends avoiding strenuous exercise for 24 hours after diving.