If you are a Once A Year Scuba Diver. Scuba Diving Puerto Vallarta Silent World Divers.
The number of active divers worldwide range from 6 and 10 million, with over half from the United States.
Divers who still love diving, however, only dive while on vacation. When it comes to leisure time, In the US, two weeks of vacation is the most common, with many people taking one week in the summer and the other around the Christmas/ New Years holidays. Most divers learn to dive in warm waters and confine their diving to those conditions. For those not living near the warm water diving areas, their active love for diving is limited to one maybe two trips a year. Still if you fall into the “once a year” group, there are ways you can get the most out of your limited diving.
Be Dive Fit
We do not see that level of fitness awareness in scuba diving. Yes there are the occasional fitness article and a few websites geared toward physical fitness for divers, but the focus of the industry is telling beginners you do not need to be more than average fitness. Face it, average fitness is very low. The simple fact is that the better your fitness, the more effectively you use your air. Since your air supply is limited in scuba diving, it makes sense that being physically fit means longer dives. Also, being fit will reduce the stress of diving. Remember those heavy tanks?
It is best to have a year long general fitness plan, but if you do not at least improve your fitness the months leading to your dives. One of the most common acronym in fitness is FITT which can be broken down as:
Frequency: 5+ days/week for moderate activity, 3-4 days/week for vigorous activity
Intensity: Moderate activity that is somewhat hard and elevates the heart rate above resting levels. Vigorous activity that is hard and elevates the heart rate above that for moderate levels, but you should not be breathless. An example of moderate physical activity is brisk walking; an example of vigorous physical activity is running.
Time: Moderate – At least 30 minutes each session (you can break this into three 10-minute or two 15-minute sessions); Vigorous – 20-30 minutes per session. Begin each session with a warm-up and finish with a cool-down.
Type: Activities that use large muscle groups (that is, arms, legs) such as walking, cycling, dancing, or swimming
The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (US) has a free PDF on fitness that is a great place to start. The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) challenge has a set of goals to complete over 8 weeks, that can be a good motivator. The United Kingdom’s NHS Choices has a nice 12 week plan Fitness plan. The DAN website has a number of interesting article on the effect of exercise on DCI, that every diver should review.
Refresh and Prep
Many dive shops will have a local club where divers get together for dives and social events. The benefits of being associated with a local club can keep you focused and possibility give you extra diving opportunities. Many times a diver who only dives once a year can benefit with a refresher before starting on your vacation. PADI’s ReActivate was designed to get inactive divers back into the water. If you do not want to go to that extreme, at least do a pool session and practice your basic skills a few times.
Just Go Dive. Why wait for a once a year dive
It Is All Up To You
If you are happy as a “once a year” diver, then by all means follow the tips above that apply to you and get the most out of your vacation. If you like to dive more often, then look at expanding your skills to be comfortable with other diving options. If you have your own gear and a local dive buddy, you might even want to find your own dive site. Just remember to stay within your limits.
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