As divers begin to thaw out from winter and the ocean beacons, it’s the perfect time to reassess individual fitness for diving. Get ready for dive season with this total body fitness wake up call.
Prudent divers begin each dive season by asking themselves three important questions:
1) Have I been exercising during the off-season?
2) Have I had a medical evaluation with a physician within the past six months?
3) Do I honestly know my health and fitness status?
Hopefully divers can answer “YES” to all three of these questions. Once divers have met with their physicians and are better informed about their health, basic fitness for diving begins with aerobic and strength exercise at least four times a week for sixty minutes or more. Maintaining this schedule year-round is part of a healthy diving lifestyle.
Divers who have been off-track with dive fitness need this “wake up call” and divers successful in ongoing exercise programs may use it as cross-training and to help maintain interest. This total body “wake up call” is easy. Make a checklist, let diving be the motivation and enjoy.
Include at least one activity from each of the following fitness and wellness categories each week during the three months prior to diving activity:
Aerobic Exercise – Walk, Run, Dance, Bike, Elliptical, Group Exercise
The highest exercise priority for divers is aerobic exercise which maintains the heart and lungs, and circulation in the body.
Strength Training – Free Weights, Gym Machines
Resistance training helps develop strength and maintain bones and muscle.
Weight Bearing – Martial Arts, Pilates, Tennis, Racquetball, Bowling, Golf
Calisthenics and body weight movements help maintain functional performance.
Flexibility – Stretching, Yoga
Gentle movement of joints, along with other forms of exercise, help prevent injury.
Spa Treatments – Massage, Body Therapy, Meditation
Relaxation helps prevent imbalances, relieve stress and improve mental wellbeing.
Outdoor Activities – Hiking, Disc Golf, Sailing, Pet Walking, Kite Flying
Fresh air is invigorating and provides enjoyable physical activity.
Water Sports – Surfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Kayaking, Snorkeling
Getting in the water improves conditioning for diving.
Juicing – Smoothies, Raw Protein, Fruits, Vegetables
Super foods help rejuvenate and balance the body, fuel fitness activities, guide weight management and boost the immune system.
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By Gretchen M. Ashton, CFT, SFT, SFN, SSC, NBFE