Retired and Divers of a Certain Age, Silent World Divers Puerto Vallarta
Many scuba divers have been avid divers for more than decades, and can honestly say that we enjoy diving now much more to be able do it on a more available schedule.
Certainly there are things you can do not do now that you once did and the approach to diving has changed a bit but that does not take away from the enjoyment. And when you travel, you do take advantage of the perks — the “senior discounts” offered to the over-50 crowd. So what does an older diver need to be aware of and how can they continue in a sport they truly love?
Physical Fitness and Our Growing Waistlines
No matter your diving age, fitness is important. Just consider some of the activities you will need to do while diving. Can you do a surface swim in your equipment if you come up away from the boat? Can you physically get yourself into or out of the water before or after your dive? Could you help your buddy if they needed it? As you age your physical abilities decline and you may not exercise regularly or adequately. And like the rest of the country our waistline may be growing. Did you know that the average person gains about 3 pounds (1.4 kg) per decade starting at age 20? Being overweight may not itself be a restriction to diving but it may indicate a lack of physical fitness and certainly can put you at greater risk for cardiac incidents.
Being in poor physical shape as well as being overweight has also been shown to affect bubble formation after diving. You may remember from your training that bubble formation can be an indicator of your susceptibility to decompression sickness.
Being overweight can also put you at risk for Type 2 diabetes (noninsulin-dependent diabetes). Diabetes is usually considered to be a contraindication to diving by Divers Alert Network (DAN).
Is Age a Barrier to Physical Fitness?
We commonly assume that the older we get, the less we will benefit from exercise. However researchers have found that when it comes to improving the strength or endurance of our muscles, age is not a barrier. The cause of age-related differences in fitness appears to be the cumulative effects of our lifestyle choices. We choose to do less, and our bodies adapt. No matter what your age, if you reverse this downward trend you will see that your physical fitness and health will improve compared with others of the same age. Maintain your activity level, and fitness becomes easier to keep over time.
There are challenges to diving as you age but there are also a number of psychological and physical benefits associated with continuing to dive.
Although diving may not be something that you do every day it can be an incentive to staying in good physical shape. And by being in good physical shape through regular aerobic activity such as walking, jogging, biking or swimming as well as muscle-strengthening exercises, we are more able to continue to perform the routine tasks of daily life. Stronger muscles also help to reduce the risk of falling and fracturing bones. Physical activity helps in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease as well as developing high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes. Studies have also indicated that physical activity is linked to improvements in positive psychological states such as confidence, well-being, mental energy and personal image. Although there is still much debate as to the reasons for these benefits, the overwhelming evidence supports the relationship between positive mental health and physical activity.
Diving can also be a very social sport. It is a great way to travel and meet new friends. Participation in social activities as well as physical activity help to reduce the severity or chances of developing disorders such as anxiety and depression while reducing the deterioration of cognitive functions associated with aging.
Your senior status may mean you actually have more time to devote to leisure activities like traveling and diving. Certainly diving can be enjoyed through your senior years. So stay active, eat healthy and get out there and dive.
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Scuba Diving after 50 Silent World Divers Puerto Vallarta
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