Planning and preparation is often the most exciting part of any vacation. That’s true for diving holidays as well. What animals and plants are you going to see? Which pictures are going to be your most prized possessions? What foreign culture, food, and lifestyles are you going to enjoy? The mind is full of possibilities and it is super excited. It is very important to have all the right gears before going on a dive trip. You need the best fins, best masks, best cameras and best underwater watches.
Diving and snorkeling are fun activities. You get to visit beautiful places and see a different view of the world. However, despite its slow, relaxing image, diving will actually put your body under a lot of stress. You will need both strength and stamina. You are less likely to have an injury or illness if you are physically fit, can cope with stress, and are better prepared.
So, how you can make sure that you are fully prepared for your diving trip? Yes, there is no need to be a super-athlete to enjoy diving, however still, a basic level of good health and fitness will ensure that you get the most out of your holiday.
For the best impact, your fitness regime should focus on cardiovascular fitness, strength training and agility. Cardiovascular fitness isn’t strictly essential for diving, but it can still play a major part in improving your diving enjoyment.
A good level of cardiovascular fitness means that your body can absorb and use oxygen efficiently. This will help you in diving because you will use less air, and have more time below the water. By improving your performance here, you will also make your body more efficient at getting rid of nitrogen, and this in turn will bring down the chances of getting decompression sickness.
Types of Cardio Training
- Swimming is a great choice. It improves your fitness, and can help you regulate your breathing. Swimming makes you more confident in the water.
- Cycling is also a great way of preparing for the dive. The pedaling motion trains your muscles for the ‘finning’ action during the dive. Cycling is low impact, so it won’t stress your muscles or joints.
- Running is another good option. It will improve your cardiovascular capacity. You don’t need any equipment, so it is cheap and convenient too.
To get the best results, include high intensity interval-based exercises in your training program. It will be more effective than a longer routine at a lower intensity.
Divers often need to carry an additional weight of 25 kg, thanks to the dive tank and other equipment. Plus, you might have to swim against strong currents or do long surface swims. Thus, it’s a good idea to do some strength training before the diving trip.
Core strength and upper-body strength are particularly important here, but improving your all-over strength will also give you benefits.
Try a combination of weight training and resistance exercises using your body weight. For instance, you can do squats, press ups, and planks. You can do them at the gym or at home. Make sure that the technique is right, because you might get injured.
Divers are going to gain immensely from flexibility and agility. So you need to give them the attention they deserve. You will need to be flexible when you are moving with the diving gear, reach valves behind your head or back, and while changing the direction.
A regular stretching routine, with strength training, can improve your mobility. Try yoga to stretch and strengthen your muscles. Yoga helps you control your breathing too.
There are a few medical conditions that might affect your ability to dive, like asthma or high blood pressure. Ask your doctor for a medical examination before booking your diving holiday (this is necessary in some countries) to minimize your risk of illness or injury.
This may all sound like a lot of work but it really is worth it. A diving holiday can be a fantastic experience and putting some time aside to improve your physical fitness can help ensure you enjoy it to the full.
The diving vacation begins when you take the first plunge into the water. But the preparations must start before you jump into the plane that will take you to the dream destination. So always make it a point to make a lengthy to do-list to avoid leaving something behind and most of all, to ensure a smooth and stress-free diving adventure.
Make sure that all the necessary reservations are done in advance. You will be less anxious if you have made the proper arrangements before arriving.
Always gather the details about peak season of the vacation spot. If you are visiting during the peak season, book the flight tickets, hotel accommodation and the diving trip with the operator, months or weeks before leaving home. Carry all important papers and documents like certification papers, logbook, and insurance proof.
Whether you will go for a liveaboard dive trip or want to spend your time in a dive resort, make sure that you are working with a good and knowledgeable dive operator. Ask about the certifications and other diving requirements as well.
For safety purposes, be sure to thoroughly check all your gadget and gear’s condition before going down into the deep. This goes for whether you are carrying your own gear or renting it.
Lastly, before leaving for the trip, don’t forget to reconfirm your flight tickets. Check with your airline the weight limits and other restrictions for your cabin and checked-in luggage. And of course, always arrive at the airport hours before your departure time. Surely, you don’t want to miss the dive holiday!