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Mistakes Divers Make Serie 3

Be Physically ready!

Dear readers,

Happy Sunday! I hope you enjoy your day and use your free time to relax or being busy with your favorite hobbies. And for those who work today, we cheer you up!

So whats the topic -or mistake- of the day? Simple: lack of fitness. Do not worry, there is no need to prepare a triathlon to dive. And you may not even need to swims as hard as this gentleman on the picture above. Good news right?

Now that said, being in a reasonably good shape will help will likely preven incidents or accidents. I know diving for most of us is a hobby, not a job or an activity you want to look at "professionally" unless you are Divemaster and above. Yet, pay attention to your physical condition.

Not a pleasant question but ask yourself prior diving: am I ready? In doctor's words, am I fit to dive?

Non-Chronic diseases

Remember: don't dive when ill. Congestion, cold, hung over are common situations where you should just skip a dive. Wait till you have recovered.

Indicator/ gauge: if you don't feel you can do your usual exercies (running, swimming etc.) don't dive.

Am I too cautious? You may think so but the last thing you want is feeling exhausted 20 meters under the sea and face potential problems.

Been away from diving for years and feel scared? Not confident? Had issues recently? Not sure it will be ok?

Solution: consult a physician. It won't take long, won't cost you much but it will be worth it. Nothing be shy. On a side note, for those who never dived before, have a quick check with a physician anyway first (it is mandatory in certain countries).

Chronic diseases

This can seriously affect your diving capabilities. As such, you may put yourself in a danger zone (not talking about the Top Gun 1985 Soundtrack here), as well as your buddy.

I am not suggesting you cannot dive with a chronice disease. Depending on what it is and how severe it is, it may be business as usual for you to dive. Safer to have a clearance from your physician.

Few examples that may stop you from diving: heart disease, arrhythmias, septal defects, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, chest surgery, pneumothorax surgery.

I won't debate why here, it would be long and to be honest, I wouln't be qualified to pretend teaching you medical stuff. For those interested, here is a link with furthere explanation:


Ok just relax. The picture is purely illustrative. You don't need to carry so much weight to be considered fit to dive. No need to be the new John Rambo here.

In the diving world, being fit is vague and ranges from being in normal shape with no counter-indication to be a triatlhon beast. As a bear I am somewhere in the middle (gave up long ago on the six pack) and I focus on cardio training essentially. Generally, all types of cardio are good to prevent cardiac issues, diabete etc. (its more complex than that of course, I take a shortcut here).

What muscles will you use the most? You back to carry your tank outside of the water, a bit your biceps to carry the material and your tighs to kick against the current as necessary, which in turn will work your heart, which can be demanding breathing from a tank under the water.

Usual, demanding, situations: fight the current, a surface swim (could be long depending on how far from the boat/ beach your surface), respond to a problem (rescue).

So in short: it's abot cardiovascular and some aerobic. I leave aside the mental health aspect here, I assume you are normal on that front.

In conclusion, as you probably understood, it is recommended to exercise regularly beside diving (don't think about diving as your exercise cause it's not).

I know many of the irregular divers count on their Divermasters or Instructors to protect them and do the necessary, well, mistake. Nobody will fin for you. So make sure you are comfortable with that and ready to push yourself a bit.

Not a fan of regular gym? Try to start exercising few weeks before your next dive trip please.

Ok I hope I did not scared you, it wasn't the intention. Just wanted to create or re-create awareness. Oh and one last point: dont' forget your travel, medical or dive insurance...we never know what can happen.

Short post today. You are dismissed!

Happy diving.

Sincerely yours.

The Diving Bear

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