How fit a diver are you?
Scuba diving is one of the sport where the whole family can partake and act within an environment that is changing all the time. For this reason, a minimum fitness level and stamina is beneficial to continue enjoying this fun sport and it will become a necessity when you start considering more advanced diver training. In this series of articles, I will try to demonstrate how you can:
- Assess your fitness level
- Go from couch to 5km run
- Eat your way to fitness
This series is not considering that you are taking medication for a chronic condition and/or illness. IN no way I say this articles are the way to get fit. It is different for each and everyone of us. Adapt the load and above all, go see your physician and talk to him/her about your desire to become fitter and healthier. To start with, it would be a good idea to go and see your doctor as I said and subject yourself to some tests. The reference used in this article is based on the HSE Diver Test to qualify scuba diver instructor and other dive professionals to work in the United Kingdom. We’ll take this as a base and let see what are the health benefits of scuba diving!
So let’s assume, a diver has most of the criteria listed in the HSE list under control and we will focus on the basics, or should I dare say, the Essentials. Generaly speaking fitness falls under two categories:
- General Fitness
- Specific Fitness
Physical fitness is achieved by observing more than a strict diet or a gym program, it is a way of life. From physical exercice to healthy diet and recovery or rest. When speaking to your physician, you must make sure he/she understand the physiology of diving and understand the environment. It would help if the physician is a diver of course!
When being tested for fitness, it should of course be taken in consideration, your actual level of fitness and any weaknesses. What I mean by that, the test is not here to see how far you can go, but if you can go at all. Some of us have chronic pains, old fractures causing aches and pains. So be honest to your physician, it is important. The substance use or abuse, I mean alcohol and cigarettes, must be discussed as well and in great details. How many times per day and for what reason one smokes or drinks. It is not so personal, well it is but you are with your physician, so it is time to talk!
If you have no fitness at all and you know it, your physician will also know and be able to work with you to establish a guideline with a safe and sound way of starting a new life with some physical training as well as dietary guidelines.
Diet is not what we see on TV stunts programs where you can buy the magic powder that will burn fat and make you look like film stars and whatnot.
Diet is a lifestyle as well. Being healthy means, practicing on a regular basis, some sport and eating the right thing… Did I say Eating It Right?? A new acronym for the purist, EIR.
Eating right means simply, no processed food, nothing that you just have to toss in the microwave and wait for the bell to ring. You’re gonna have to buy fresh meat, fish, vegetables and all the things you like but it has to be fresh. Nothing more satisfying than to eat something you’ve prepared yourself.
And remember, there is always the time to cook, if you don’t have it, find it or you will only fool yourself.
Everything is good. Ok, not everything but as long as it is in moderation, it works. Better be fresh though.
NO PROCESSED FOOD – HAVE I MADE MYSELF CLEAR?
Let’s leave it for now and I’ll come back with more details about how to get fitter and healthier.
In the same time, dive safely and conservatively.