Scuba diving fitness has a lot of different meanings to divers. I’m fit because I can cope with swimming in strong currents. Diving 3 dives a day means I’m dive fit. Because I’m a little over weight doesn’t mean I’m not dive fit. What is your idea of being dive fit.
Being dive fit has been an intriguing question for a lot of divers. Being able to dive in the conditions that are present is part of the test. If you cannot cope with the conditions is it due to fitness or experience.
Diving is a sport and when you dive you use all of your muscles. During a dive the body is put though stress, it may not seen stressful at the time. Calorie burning peaks at 600 calories per dive. This is due to factors like hyperthermia.
The water drawing heat from your body at a rate that makes you burn more calories. The body does this just to maintain its core temperature of 36.9 degrees.
Checking your dive fitness is hard as it requires you to dive. In some places they ask you to do a check out dive. You dive an easy site and see how you cope. If you have no problem, then try something a little more challenging. Building your dive fitness this way is time consuming but you will gain in dive fitness.
Diver confidence will also impact on your fitness. If you have more dives you are more confident. Being a confident diver also means knowing what you are able to achieve on a dive.
Diving in conditions that cause heavy air consumption. Will challenge any diver’s idea of fitness. This is also a gauge of your dive fitness. If you dive every day you will have great dive fitness. If you are diving every weekend you will be dive fit. A holiday diver who dives 10 dives a year is not dive fit. But their level of physical fitness maybe very good.
Diving being a passive sport with low impact tends to be not looked at as a fitness sport. Spend 1 hour diving and you will notice the difference in diet and fatigue.
At the end of a week of diving your fitness will be improved. If for no other reason then exposing your body to dive conditions for 2 hours a day. Most people with a fitness program will not do more then 2 hours of exercise in a day. When you are diving you may not notice the amount of exercise but your body will show the results.
PADI IDC Staff Instructor 331032
AUS DIVING ACADEMY