While it’s true that you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to be a good Scuba diver, a basic level of physical fitness can make your Key Largo scuba diving experience safer and
Most dive shops will ask you to complete a basic medical questionnaire to make sure that it is safe for you to dive. If there is any doubt after completing the form, then you may be asked to get a release from your doctor prior to diving. The purpose of the questionnaire is to make sure that there are no pre-existing issues that may lead to a problem during your dive.
Diving is often compared to being more like meditation rather than an aerobic activity. If you watch a good diver, you will notice that they seem to be moving with hardly any effort and breathing slowly and deeply. Despite this, according to the Compendium of Physical Activity compiled by Arizona State University, the amount of energy burnt Scuba diving is rated as equivalent to moderate to hard exercise on a treadmill. Why is this? Apparently it’s because your body is burning energy to keep your core temperature up. As you learn in your dive training, water conducts heat away from your body about 25 times faster than air of the same temperature. So, even with your wet suit providing some thermal protection, your body is burning calories to keep you warm. What better way to burn some of those calories than to cruise around the reef looking at some of the best congregations of fish in the Caribbean!
The first thing to be aware of is the need to be able to move around the boat safely. You will be in the ocean, and even in the Florida Keys, while we get a lot of calm seas, is rarely flat calm. The boat will move with the seas and you need to move with it. This will require some amount of core strength and flexibility.
Once you’re in the water this flexibility will allow you to control your body position and help you with your buoyancy control. It will allow you to make sure that you don’t accidentally bump into some of Key Largo’s pristine coral reefs. Remember that Sea Dwellers Dive Center takes you Scuba diving on the only coal reef in the continental USA.
It’s every divers responsibility to protect it and keep it safe from damage from accidental contact. Improving your core strength will also help you at the end of your dive as you get back to the boat and get onto the ladder. This is especially true if the sea is a little bumpy.
The final thing to think about is getting back onto the boat. Don’t forget that, in addition to the 40 lb tank on your back, you will be carrying 10-15lb of additional weight to help you sink. This means that an amount of leg strength is necessary to climb the ladder. Although the crew of the Sea Dwellers 3 will help you up the ladder, and will even take the tank off your back when you get to the dive platform, you need to be able to help them to help you!
If it’s been a while since your last dive and you’ve put on a few pounds over the intervening period, don’t forget that not only do you have to get those extra few pounds back onto the boat, but you’ll need some extra lead to sink as well! Why not start to do some exercise before your dive trip to try and shed the extra weight before you arrive at a scuba diving destination such as Key Largo?
The Diver’s Alert Network provides much research & information on Health & Fitness for the scuba diver, and monitors incidents around the world. They also offer excellent Medical & Travel Insurance for scuba diving that every diver should consider.
This link takes you to the DAN Website “Dive Fitness” page… DAN Dive Fitness
This link takes you to a great Diver’s Exercise called “Core Quickie”… Link for a Scuba Diver’s Exercise
Special thanks to Sea Dwellers’ Instructor David Jefferiss for creating this page on Scuba Diving Helath & Fitness!