Is Diving Good for Your Health?

Each diver has his or her own personal reasons for diving but all of them share one common reason – the pleasure of experiencing the underwater world – an unfamiliar and exciting environment full of new discoveries and new encounters.

Learning to Scuba Dive has never been easier and with fantastic promotions. like those on offer from DiveStyle, why woud you not!

Scuba travel with Dive The World is good for your health!

 

But is scuba diving actually good for you? You bet it is! Scuba diving is an excellent way to improve physical and emotional health. Not only that, but you will also learn new skills and experiences, make friends and expand your environmental awareness.

Don’t believe that diving is good for your health? Then let’s take a closer look at some of the evidence …

Controlled Breathing

Scuba divers are taught to always breathe slowly and deeply during a dive. This is so that the air in your tank will last longer and means more time can be spent underwater but more importantly, deep steady breathing promotes a calm attitude and reduces the risk of a lung-expansion injury. However, this deep slow breathing has other benefits too; it increases lung capacity, strengthens the respiratory system and drains mucous. This in turn helps with the prevention of lung diseases and can actually improve existing ones such as asthma.

The calm, relaxed state produced through deep, slow breathing and through focusing on your underwater environment, reduces stress and balances the nervous system. A relaxed, calm state of mind has been proven to promote a positive attitude and prevent depression.

Deep breathing also means increased oxygen intake and this has numerous benefits too. According to world-renowned doctor and naturopath Paul Pitchford, of all nutrients, oxygen is the most essential and necessary for all normal physiological functions. Increased oxygen levels in the body raises energy levels, stimulates circulation, benefits heart and lung function and improves mental capacities. When there is sufficient oxygen in the body the need for intoxicants and stimulants diminishes.

Travel To Warm Climates

Most divers enjoy visiting other countries to experience scuba diving there, or you may want to make diving part of your family holiday. The likelihood then is you’ll be spending time in a warm climate and soaking up the sunshine! Many studies have revealed that sunlight has important health benefits and aids in preventing ailments such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), nutritional deficiencies and depression.

One of the most important benefits of sunlight is that it supplies the body with Vitamin D. As sunlight penetrates the skin a substance known as ergosterol, located beneath the skin, is converted into vitamin D hormones. This vitamin promotes the absorption of calcium in the gut and is also responsible for the transference of calcium within the cells. This provides strength to the bones and increases endorphin production in the brain which contributes to a healthy nervous system. Vitamin D also plays an important role in immune system health. Another significant benefit of sunlight is that it helps kill off bacteria and viruses therefore preventing infections.

Diving in another country brings other benefits too. They say that travel is the best form of education and most people relish in the experience of visiting new places, experiencing a different culture, and all the new sights and smells and tastes that go with it. Travelling and holidaying in general, means simply taking a break from work and the usual strains of life which reduces stress. Dive travel abroad also means you are likely to meet fun people from all over the world with whom you have a common interest. Have you ever noticed how people tend to be happier and friendlier in a warm climate?

Physical Fitness

Physical exercise in water, such as scuba diving, improves your fitness

Scuba diving on a regular basis steadily improves and maintains your general fitness and stamina levels. Why? Well first of all exercising in water is very effective due to the natural resistance water has against our bodies. Using your legs to fin at depth is great exercise and the sensation of being weightless makes it feel almost effortless. It has been scientifically substantiated that any form of exercise improves cardio-vascular performance and that translates into a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, circulatory problems and ailments in general.

Muscle tone and strength are also improved. This is due again to your movement through water but also the physical effort of carrying equipment such as your weight belt and diving gear. Increased muscle tone helps in relieving tension and improves ailments such as backache because, by strengthening the back muscles, pressure is reduced in the spine.

Physical activity makes you thirsty, and every good diver knows the importance of keeping hydrated. Water is one of the most essential elements needed to sustain life. All the different systems of the body are dependent upon water in order to function properly. Water takes nutrients to the cells and carries away from them wastes and toxins. Scientists and doctors such as Dr. F. Batmanghelidj have shown that drinking water can help improve minor ailments and also prevent the onset of more serious major diseases. It has also been well-known for a long time that drinking sufficient water can help slow the ageing process.

The Watery Embrace

The emotional benefits of diving are many too. It is a well-known fact that watching fish in an aquarium has a relaxing affect on the mind. Compare that to actually being in that underwater environment and those calming effects are intensified. This is one of the reasons divers keep going back for more, they find it a great way to unwind, relax and forget about all the stresses of daily modern life.

Weightlessness has other benefits too. Flotation therapy was invented in 1954 when Dr. John C. Lilly, an American neuro-physiologist and psychoanalyst developed the flotation tank. He was also well known for his research into the relationship between dolphins and human beings. Flotation therapy is essentially a way of placing the body into a state of total relaxation. Floating weightless in a quiet atmosphere breaks down stress responses and allows the mind and body to rejuvenate themselves.

There are close similarities between the soothing effects of the buoyancy of water and the Eastern techniques of meditation. Indeed some divers say that their time spent underwater captivated by the sights of fascinating marine life with the only noise being the sound of their own breathing, is in itself like a form of meditation for them.

Interacting With Marine Life

The pure pleasure, wonder and awe of interacting with and being up close to amazing marine creatures produces a feeling of increased well-being. This feeling is heightened when we have an encounter with a species we feel a certain attraction to, or particular respect for, such as sharks or sea turtles. This produces within our nervous systems similar positive feelings as when we lavish affection on our cherished pets.

And what about the effects of watching the different rainbow colours of reef fish? It has been proven that colour has an effect on humans too. When we are exposed to a particular colour it has a profound affect on our moods and emotions. It has been found that looking at bright intense colours, like those of fish, generally has an uplifting effect. It has also been found that exposure to blue light has a calming, soothing effect and normalises high blood pressure. The colour red on the light spectrum is filtered out by water within a few metres of depth producing a calming, mainly blue colour in the underwater environment.

Life Lessons and Shared Experiences

Diving increases happiness and reducing illnesses caused by stress

When you dive, you meet other like-minded people who often become good friends as you all share that common interest. It’s easy to make friends among divers as you will find a sense of community among them. It’s an exhilarating feeling to surface from a dive full of wonderful memories of your experience and then to be able to talk about and share them with good companions who are just as excited as you are! There is always a lot of smiling and laughter going on aboard a dive boat or liveaboard.

Scuba diving means you need to learn to be responsible for both yourself and your buddy and to look after your own safety. You will learn to stay calm at all times and that can help you during stressful situations in your every day life. In the beginning, learning to dive requires courage too but once you’re more experienced, you’ll find diving physically and mentally relaxing.

The Feel-Good Factor

There is nothing better than the joy of finding yourself on the way to a dive site, full of anticipation for what you’re about to experience under the water, with smiling faces all around you!

Scuba diving can be exhilarating, awe-inspiring, relaxing, calming, rejuvenating, fun and above all good for you! Your time spent underwater can be so fascinating that you become absorbed by the world around you, you relax and your worries just melt away. Diving, done right, really can be good for you!

Courtesy of Scuba Travel

Safety messages issued for the start of the dive season

Safety messages issued for the start of the dive season

About the author

Luke Blissett
Public Relations Officer at RNLI HQ, Poole.

Start quoteSimple steps like checking your kit is in working order after a winter in the garage and practicing in a pool or in shallow water before the first dive of the season can help ensure your safety.End quote

With the start of the season fast approaching, the RNLI has worked together with other members of the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG), to produce seven top tips for divers to follow before they embark on their first dives of the season. 

Nick Fecher, Coastal Safety Product Manager, said: ‘With Easter traditionally heralding the start of the diving season, the British Diving Safety Group has come together to produce and promote a set of consistent safety tips for divers.

‘We are encouraging divers to follow our seven top tips to ensure they enjoy the start of the diving season safely.

‘Simple steps like checking your kit is in working order after a winter in the garage and practicing in a pool or in shallow water before the first dive of the season can help ensure your safety.’

The seven top tips are:

• Have your kit serviced in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Check all your kit is in working order, such as suit seals and rubber straps for perishing, zips and SMB reels.
• Practice your skills in a pool/shallow site before the first dive of the season.
• Plan some work up dives to ease yourself back into the water if you have not dived since last year.
• Be realistic about your fitness levels before commencing the season.
• Don’t let complacency creep in. Inform the Coastguard of your plan and undertake a thorough buddy check before each dive.
• Do not underestimate the risks; accidents do happen to people like you.

Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Luke Blissett, Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663184 or email luke_blissett@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
    14/04/2014
  • Author: Luke Blissett

Titanic Polystyrene Cup – 2005 Expedition – Up for auction now!!!

This auction is being held to raise money for Deptherapy and the RNLI.

The cup is now significantly reduced in size due to the immense pressure experienced during the dive to the Titanic.
Rory Golden, of Flagship Scubadiving Ltd, Dublin, returns to the site of the world’s most famous shipwreck, RMS TITANIC, 1st – 8th August, as a part of the HARRIS EXPEDITION, led by G. Michael Harris, owner of the renowned attraction, Titanic – ‘Ship Of Dreams’ in Orlando, Florida

Mr. Golden will be taking part in a film documentary capturing a Guinness World Record diving attempt by Mr. Harris’s 13 year-old son, Sebastian Harris, the youngest person to ever dive to Titanic. Golden will be in charge of dive safety for underwater camera crews who will be filming the launch and recovery of the submersibles as well as diving to the wreck 4,000 metres deep, and placing a Memorial plaque from Belfast City Council and Harland and Wolff in honour of the men and women who built Titanic, the 22 Belfast men who lost their lives, and all those who perished in the tragedy.

Five years ago, he also placed a memorial plaque from Cobh, the ship’s last port of call, on the ship.

It has always been his dream to return to TITANIC one day and leave a tribute from the city that built it.

It has been 4000 meters below the sea!

It has been 4000 meters below the sea!

New Celebrity Fitness Trend: Scuba Diving

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Sick of the gym or the cold winter weather? Then it’s time to try the new workout that celebs like Jessica Alba,Sandra BullockKatie Holmes, and Nina Dobrev of the CW show The Vampire Diaries love: scuba diving! Although scuba diving may seem like more of a fun vacation activity rather than a workout, scuba burns tons of calories while tightening and toning your body.

“Scuba diving provides a full body workout that combines cardio and strength training to burn calories, tone muscles and even improve breathing” says Theresa Kaplan, director of communications for The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). “Although your body is buoyant underwater and you feel virtually weightless while scuba diving, maneuvering through water requires constant motion by your entire body, thus toning and strengthening muscles in your thighs, shoulders and your core.”

In fact, just 30 minutes of scuba diving can burn up to 400 calories for the average woman. Most diving excursions last about 30 to 45 minutes, so depending on the diver’s experience level and the type of dive, it’s not uncommon to burn 500+ calories during one workout.

One of the best things about scuba diving though — and the reason why so many celebrities enjoy it — is because it doesn’t feel like a workout.

“The act of exploring the underwater world and being one amongst a sea of unique creatures and organisms is an exhilarating and life-changing experience unlike no other,” Kaplan says. “Scuba diving provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, which is why so many people, celebrities included, are drawn to this activity.”

While many celebrities go scuba diving in tropical areas — Dobrev recently earned her Open Water Diver certification at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa over the holiday season — you don’t have to go to a beach to scuba. PADI, which is the world’s largest recreational scuba diving organization, has more than 6,000 dive centers and resorts and 135,000 PADI instructors worldwide. For those who don’t live near open water, they can still learn how to scuba dive in a confined pool at their local PADI dive center, Kaplan says.

“PADI offers a Discover Scuba Experience for those who aren’t quite ready to dive into the certification process, but want to experience the act of breathing underwater,” she says. “For those who are ready to start their certification process, PADI provides a wide range of courses such as Open Water Diver, which can be started at a local dive center or online through PADI’s eLearning option.”

One of the best things about scuba diving though is that it does give you a unique adventure to go along with your workout. For example, one can spot Whale Sharks in Utila, see Manta Rays at night in Kona or swim along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Kaplansays.

No matter where or why you scuba though, be sure to warm-up, stretch and hydrate just like you would for any other workout.

“Although you may not feel it underwater, you are actually sweating and exerting energy while scuba diving, so it’s important to stay hydrated during your diving excursion,” Kaplan says. “Getting plenty of rest and stretching beforehand will also help prevent any cramping underwater and will allow you to swim through the waters with ease.”

Information taken from http://www.shape.com/blogs/shape-your-life/new-celebrity-fitness-trend-scuba-diving

11 Quick Tips for Avoiding Motion Sickness

Even the smallest things can disrupt comfort while traveling and diving. Perhaps nothing ruins a dive trip more quickly than an urgent need to “feed the fish” from the railing. Thus, most divers try very diligently to avoid getting motion sickness – but how? What really works?

First, we need to understand what causes motion sickness. Often termed “sea sickness,” this malady really has little to do specifically with the ocean and everything to do with motion, so “motion sickness” is a more universally accurate term. When such motion causes the tiny sensors in our body to register something’s amiss, we start to feel a bit queasy, and if not remediated quickly, nauseous.

So how can we avoid motion sickness? Here’s an 11-part strategy:

1. Need to feed. A meal before you board is highly important. For most people, an empty stomach is more sensitive to being irritated, so filling it with comfort food 45-60 minutes before leaving shore is smart. Load up on carbohydrates at breakfast and avoid acidic and greasy foods, as they may contribute to motion sickness. Lastly, avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

2. Medicate. If you know you’re especially prone to motion sickness, investigate the use of over-the-counter antiemetic medications such as meclozine (Bonine, Antivert, Meni-D, Antrizine) or Dramamine. Meclozine reduces the activity of the portion of the brain that controls nausea. These medications are highly effective in most individuals, and thus can be a preventive measure for short trips or for mild cases of motion sickness. Be sure to start medicating the night before the dive trip to start establishing the proper blood level of the drug.

3. Go gingerly. In addition to medications, many divers swear that the intake of ginger is a simple and tasty way to help avoid getting ill. If this works for you, it’s an easy solution – just carry a Ziploc baggie of ginger snaps aboard and munch on them before and between dives. Although it’s not yet clear to researchers exactly how and why it works, studies show that the ginger root contains a number of chemicals that seem to help relax the intestinal track. As a result, ginger is often helpful in reducing the risk of nausea.

4. Avoid “conflicting instrument readings.” Look out across the horizon so your eyes can register the same type of acceleration changes your ears are reporting.  Avoid visually focusing on things that are close-by, and most especially, avoid reading for more than a few seconds at a time. Also, face the direction the boat is traveling.

5. Your nose knows. Odors can complicate the mix of signals to the brain, increasing your likelihood of becoming ill. Avoid smelling diesel fumes, cigarette smoke, perfume and of course, anyone else’s vomit.

6. Minimize movement. Standing in different locations on the boat’s deck will result in different amounts of velocity/acceleration being transferred to your body.  Stay topside, close to the center of the vessel.

7. Keep hydrated. Continue to drink plenty of fluids while on board and throughout each surface interval. This will help keep your stomach more full and will help your body metabolize food and process everything else better.

8. Stay cool. If you become overheated while on deck, you’ll be more at risk of becoming ill. Wear a cap to keep the sun off your head and face, sit in a shady location between dives and peel off part or all of your wetsuit.

9. Heads up! If you feel the urge to vomit, move to the leeward rail (with the wind at your back), lean forward and try to direct your explosion toward the sea. The fish will thank you. Never go into the head (marine toilet).

10. Dive in. If you do begin to feel the early signs of motion sickness, get into the water and submerge several feet below the surface, doing so will usually quell the queasy feelings because your body will stop receiving the conflicting acceleration readings.

11. Regulate it. If you happen to become ill while underwater, such as just after submerging, it’s usually perfectly OK to vomit in your regulator. It’s not the most enjoyable experience, but it’s typically over very quickly and you’ll feel better almost immediately.

The bottom line is that motion sickness can be managed and/or minimized by planning ahead with sufficient sleep, proper food intake, use of medications and consciously taking avoidance actions while on-board, before the first signs of motion sickness manifest.

Have fun and dive safe!

How Motion Sickness Occurs

Our body’s primary motion-sensors include the inner-ear sensors, our eyes and deeper tissues of the body surface. Technically speaking, the inner-ear sensors detect changes in acceleration rather than motion, such as the movement a boat makes when bobbing on top of waves in the ocean. When our body’s internal instruments sense these acceleration changes, and those changes aren’t confirmed by other sensory inputs, such as visual feedback from our eyes, the conflict in the sets of data they deliver to the brain can trigger motion sickness. Scientists aren’t sure what causes the nausea that comes with motion sickness, but the most popular hypothesis is that the conflicting data from multiple sensors causes the brain to assume that toxins have been ingested, and the body’s automatic response is to internally induce vomiting.

Information provided by http://www.scubadiving.com/

TOP TIPS: Maintaining BCDs and drysuits

TOP TIPS: Maintaining BCDs and drysuits

The dive season is here and its time to make sure that all your kit is ready for the season kick off.

Two fundamental pieces of dive kit that we all seem to neglect during the season is the BCD and Drysuit.

Follow these simple tips and get you can’t go wrong?

Want to take it a little further? Then why not book onto the Equipment Speciality course and learn how to get years of trouble free service from your dive kit.

Zip

If a regulator fails underwater it tends to lead to one of the following situations: inhaling water, an air leak reducing your air endurance, or a freeflow causing catastrophic air loss. With good training, self control and an alternative air source, all of those events are easily survived. The nightmare scenario of the regulator actually failing to supply air is fortunately extremely rare. The vast majority of divers understand that to avoid these risks their regulators need to be regularly serviced.

Compare that to a BCD. Failures that I have witnessed over the years include: shoulder buckles failing; bladders leaking air and losing buoyancy, direct feed inflation units stuck causing rapid ascent, dump valves failing causing unexpected descents, and cinch bands failing (on one occasion causing the cylinder to be jettisoned down the stone steps of a harbour wall. How we dived for cover that day!). BCDs, and for that matter, drysuits are not maintenance-free devices. When you consider the consequences of these failures, it is clear that BCDs and drysuits are as much a part of your life support system as your regulator.

So why is it that for every ten or so customers that bring a regulator to my workshop for a service, only one brings their BCD as well? Here’s a list of things to cast a critical eye over:

BCDs:

• Shoulder and waist buckles – check these for cracks and replace as necessary, although this may mean renewing the stitching. If your local dive shop can’t help directly they may well know someone with a heavy-duty sewing machine – a sail maker, for example.

• Inspect straps and stitching – especially at the shoulder anchor points as well as the webbing where it is pulled through buckles. This is particularly important on BCDs that spend a lot of their life in swimming pools, as pool chemicals have a very detrimental long-term effect on BCD fabrics.

• Cinch band buckles – look for cracks in the plastic as well as failures of stitching.

• Integrated weight pockets – check the weight-release system to make sure that the weights are secured properly and not prone to accidental jettison because of damaged buckles or Velcro.

Check the integrity of weight pouches

• Leak check the BCD by inflating it – if it deflates but you still can’t find the leak then it’s time to fill the bath and look for bubbles. A small hole can sometimes be repaired with polyurethane adhesive, but this may not be possible if the hole is close to or at the seam. If your BCD is quite old and it appears to have a few pin holes, then the material is probably porous, in which case it’s time to consider a new one. With your BCD in the bath, now is a good time to wash the inside of the BCD with a sterilising solution (same stuff used for baby bottles). Oral inflation of BCDs is a required training skill so it makes sense to ensure that your gear is hygienic.

• Hoses – stretch the corrugated hose and look for cracks due to perishing and stress. Direct feed hoses eventually perish and crack so inspect the entire length of the hose, especially underneath the hose protector.

• Dump valves can leak because of debris underneath the diaphragm – most BCD dump valve assemblies simply unscrew; so as long as they are not too tight or require special tools/procedures, it’s easy to remove and clean them. Operate each dump valve to make sure that they seal properly and don’t leak.

• Direct feed inflation units – they frequently look fine on the outside but can hide corrosion and debris inside. Submerge the direct feed unit with it connected to an air supply and check for leaks. Check that the button works easily and reliably with no tendency to stick. Also check that there is a good fill rate. A slow rate of inflation is usually caused by a filter blocked by salt and corrosion.

• Emergency inflation cylinder – if your BCD has one fitted then it must be tested on the same basis as your main diving cylinder, every two-and-a-half years. The trouble is that because it’s only you that has to fill it and not a compressor operator, it is easy to forget this. Potentially this is very hazardous, because these cylinders do not have an easy life. They tend to get filled and emptied rapidly and have been known to be flooded with sea water from the BCD.

Drysuits:

• Neck and wrist seals – carefully stretch these and look for tiny cracks or holes. Also check that there is still plenty of elasticity in the seal. Dust the seals with unscented talc to help preserve them in storage.

Stretching a wrist seal reveals that it is perished and close to failing

• Use a toothbrush to clean sand from the teeth of the zip – as the zip starts to wear look out for loose threads and trim them with sharp scissors before they unravel any further. Wax the zip with beeswax or a proprietary wax every time. There is not much change, if any, from £100 to replace a drysuit zip.

• Boots – check these for cracks and holes. Minor damage can be repaired with polyurethane repair adhesive. Check the insides for small stones or grit.

• Leak check – one way of leak testing the suit is to block off the seals with suitable objects such as bottles or balls. With the zip closed and dump valve blocked off, inflate the suit fully and then systematically spray soapy water all over the suit until you find bubbles. Small holes can be patched with polyurethane adhesive. First clean the area with a cloth dampened with thinners and then create a patch by brushing a thin layer of adhesive over the hole. If you’re concerned with aesthetics then you can make the patch on the inside of the suit.

• The inflation valve should operate smoothly – if it’s stiff to operate get it serviced without delay. The consequences of it seizing underwater and causing uncontrolled inflation of the suit could be lethal.

• Inspect the dump valve carefully – if you’re getting wet on most dives then it’s quite possible that there is sand or debris under the valve seat. Resist the temptation to service inflation and auto dump valves yourself. They usually require special tools and procedures that require careful attention to ensure that they work properly afterwards. That said, the simple cuff dump valves are very straightforward to open up and clean out.

You can now turn your attention to basic kit – delayed SMBs and reels, weight belts, masks, fin straps and buckles. There surely is no bigger frustration than being fully kitted, only to break a fin strap seconds before going in the water!

Article thanks to Sport Diver and Martin is a PADI MSDT and BSAC National Instructor with 30 years of diving experience.

Scuba diving history, how it all begin?

The story behind scuba diving is a long and interesting one, filled with intrigue, military prowess, incidents of drowning, ingenuity on the part of inventors, tourism and exploration. The first written mentions of human’s interest in what lies underneath the water is of course Homer’s Odyssey, followed by another classic: Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

scuba helmet

History of Scuba Diving

As said, the history of scuba diving is very long and it is hard to ascertain what is and isn’t a true account of course. We will try to give a brief overview below.

500BC in Scyllias, a Greek soldier is said to have been able to dive from the ship of the Persian King Xerxes and hold his breath for several hours. He was said to have used a hollow reed to breathe, effectively creating a snorkel, which allowed him to warn his king of imminent danger or approaching enemies.

 

scuba|diving|history
ancient scuba diver

Several years later, in 414BS, the story of Thucydides appears which states that divers were able to swim to the bottom of the ocean where they were able to remove underwater obstacles that were stopping their ships from reaching the harbors. Some years after that, in 332BC, the great Aristotle reported that Alexander the Great had been submerged in water in what he described as a barrel of white glass whilst the siege of Tyre was taking place.

 

Unsurprisingly, inventors have always been fascinated by being able to breathe underwater, and many have spent years trying to design scuba gear that would allow divers to stay in the water for several hours at a time. Believe it or not, Leonardo da Vinci actually designed some prototypes. The genius that was Leonardo da Vinci – who also designed the first helicopter for example – turned out to be on to something here.

From the 1700s onwards, patents were being issued for devices known as “rebreathing devices”. However, the first design that actually worked and was completely functional was the one developed and designed by the late Jacques Cousteau, who became world famous for his underwater world exploration. His design was developed in the 1940s.

The History of Scuba Diving as a Recreational Sport

Jacques Cousteau is also said to be the birth father of recreational scuba diving. In the 1950s, he wrote history in a book that led to people becoming seriously interested in scuba diving, creating a demand for the development of recreational diving, which was eventually made possible by the YMCA and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Scuba Diving for Regular People

Scuba diving was initially only possible for people that were in the military or for people who were involved in exploration of some kind. However, in 1959, the YMCA started offering diving courses for regular people, meaning that anybody could do it. Unsurprisingly, it was an instant hit, with people all over the world now having diving licences, travelling all over to find the most interesting dive sites.

Scuba Diving in the Military

Initially, scuba diving was only available for people in the military, so called “frog men” in particular. The military has always been trying to find ways to get behind enemy lines without being seen and this is why scuba diving was initially developed.

History tells us that this practice goes back as far as the Trojan wars, where divers were able to sabotage enemy vessels by diving to these vessels and boring holes in the hulls. The Greek military in ancient times tried to construct complicated underwater defense mechanisms to try to keep the enemy away from the shores.

The Italians used scuba diving extensively during the Second World War. It was the American soldiers, however, that coined the name frogmen, as their diving gear made them look like frogs.

As you can see scuba diving came a long way in history before it became the sport as we know it.

For a full list of scuba courses that we offer at DiveStyle just click here

The Ultimate Travel BCD

Oceanic Aeris Jetpack – One Size Fits All!!

The ultimate all in one travel BCD

The ultimate all in one travel BCD

THIS IS NOT A BAG. Fully packed with a week’s worth of travel friendly gear, no checked bags, under 30lbs… Can your BC do this?

The one size fits all Jetpack combines the comfort of a BC harness with the performance of an adventure-style backpack. BC and backpack clip together for carry-on travel, protecting gear and saving on baggage fees. The backpack detaches for diving, leaving a full-featured BC with 30 lbs lift capacity, weight integration and a custom fit.

Much More Than Just A BC.

The Jetpack is the ultimate solution for airline carry-on & transport to and from the dive site. It’s a true hybrid, not a bag and more than just a mere BC. We took a long look at what it means to travel with Scuba gear to a destination and realized pretty quickly that it didn’t make sense to take a BC, your heaviest and most bulky piece of kit with shoulder straps, and stuff it into a bag – so you could carry it… By combining a semi-dry day bag with a one size fits all fully adjustable travel BC, we have managed to create a travel system that can carry a complete set of dive gear (regs, computer, fins, suit, etc) and travel amenities (clothing, toiletry kit, computer, etc) easily for multi-day travel, even a week depending on how you pack… all in only one bag.

The jetpack is ruggedly constructed from high quality durable materials but weighs in at only 6.25lbs. The backpack/BC combo weighs in at a meager 8.25lbs! Fully packed with travel friendly dive gear stays under 30lbs with ample space for the rest of the amenities you’ll need for a week of diving and traveling. The spacious (42 cubic liter) and light semi-dry bag has compartments to enable ease of packing and use during travel making it the perfect day bag for boat dives or shore excursions during your trip.

The Aeris Jetpack represents a true solution for the adventure traveler.

One simple click and it is all yours!

Health Benefits Of Scuba Diving

We all know that Scuba Diving is a very enjoyable and relaxing sport, but did you know that it is truly good for your health…mind, body and soul? Here are 6 key factors that show why this is true:

1. Physical Fitness

There are many reasons why Scuba Diving increases our overall Physical Fitness. Scuba diving on a regular basis steadily improves and maintains your general fitness and stamina levels. Exercising in water is very effective due to the natural resistance water has against our bodies especially when we kick our legs to fin and propel ourselves in the water. It has been shown that scuba diving for an hour can burn as many as 500 calories, making it just as beneficial in terms of calorie burn as working out for an hour on a cardiovascular machine in the gym.

Because divers have to be able to support the weight of their scuba gear when moving on land, they are constantly building muscle tone in their legs and back.  Increased muscle tone helps in relieving tension and improves ailments such as backache because, by strengthening the back muscles, pressure is reduced in the spine.

2. Meditative Breathing

Slow, deep breathing is important in scuba diving to optimize air consumption and bottom time. An added bonus is that deep, steady breathing promotes a calm attitude and reduces the risk of a lung-expansion injury.

Similar to breathing during meditation, breathing slowly and deeply while diving induces a calm, relaxed state while the diver focuses on the underwater environment rather than thinking about problems they may be experiencing in daily life. This helps to reduce stress and balance the nervous system. A relaxed, calm state of mind has been proven to promote a positive attitude and prevent depression.

Deep breathing also means increased oxygen intake and this has numerous benefits too. Increased oxygen levels in the body raises energy levels, stimulates circulation, benefits heart and lung function and improves mental capacities. When there is sufficient oxygen in the body the need for intoxicants and stimulants diminishes.

3. Warm or Cold Water Adventures

Taking a vacation and getting away from daily stresses will improve one’s mental health. In addition, the majority of divers when planning a diving holiday choose warm, tropical climates where they are exposed to more sunlight than usual.  One of the most important benefits of sunlight is that it supplies the body with Vitamin D which has many health benefits including increased absorption of calcium which strengthens bones. It also increases endorphin production in the brain which makes us “feel good.”

Diving in another country brings other benefits too. They say that travel is the best form of education and most people relish in the experience of visiting new places, experiencing a different culture, and all the new sights and smells and tastes that go with it. Dive travel abroad also means you are likely to meet fun people from all over the world with whom you have a common interest. Have you ever noticed how people tend to be happier and friendlier in a warm climate?

4. Healing Effects of Water

Often times people are submersed in water to calm down or to be healed. Water has a way of making us feel healed and restored.  For example, watching fish in an aquarium has a relaxing affect on the mind. Compare that to actually being in that underwater environment and those calming effects are intensified. This is one of the reasons divers keep going back for more. They find it a great way to unwind, relax and forget about all the stresses of daily modern life.

When divers are underwater, they are at the mercy of the ocean currents and surges. The very act of surrendering to this force instantly calms the body and allows it to flow just as the marine life does so naturally. Rather than fighting against the natural flow, this act of surrender induces a calmness and feeling of being at home in the underwater environment.

5. Marine Life Encounters

Connecting with marine life takes the health benefits of diving to a whole new level. Just as pet owners feel good when they interact with their household pets, interacting with marine life creates a connection that most divers will never forget. The pure pleasure, wonder and awe of interacting with and being up close to amazing marine creatures produces a feeling of increased well-being. This feeling is heightened when we have an encounter with a species we feel a certain attraction to, or particular respect for, such as sharks or sea turtles.

Marine life encounters increase one’s awareness of the environment and how critical the health of the ocean is. Millions of life forms depend on clean, healthy oceans, and marine life interaction deepens the conviction for divers to make a difference in their daily lives to benefit the oceans.

6. Social Health Benefits – The Buddy System

Scuba diving means you need to learn to be responsible for both yourself and your buddy and to look after your own safety. You will learn to stay calm at all times and that can help you during stressful situations in your every day life.

When you dive, you meet other like-minded people who often become good friends as you all share that common interest. It’s easy to make friends among divers as you will find a sense of community among them. It’s an exhilarating feeling to surface from a dive full of wonderful memories of your experience and then to be able to talk about and share them with good companions who are just as excited as you are!

 

 

Get ready for the 2014 dive season!

The 2014 dive season is underway and if you aren’t ready to grab your dive bag and head off for your next exotic location, what are you waiting for?

Before you strap on your gear, be sure that you are completely prepared for another season of underwater adventures.  It takes more than the right gear to get you ready for everything the water will throw in your direction. Your body must be prepared for rough conditions as well as the physical and lung strength it takes to successfully complete a dive.

Don’t get out of shape during your off-season. Before you plan a dive, get a quick health and fitness assessment to ensure that you are safely taking the plunge. You may not have to be in Iron Man shape, but it is important to not have any injuries or health issues that may affect your ability to dive. Consult a medical professional to give you the green light if you have recently had any changes in health. Diving will give you a good workout, so be sure that your legs, glutes and core are ready for the journey.

Another item you will want to check off your list is your equipment. Be sure that it is in peak condition and ready for use. You may want to have your equipment professionally serviced to ensure its safety. An equipment failure is not something to take lightly and can be prevented with regular service and care. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that your gear will continue working like new with every dive.

If your body and equipment are ready to go, make sure that the skills required are fresh in your mind. Brush up on important information, or even take some courses to learn new skills. There are endless opportunities for growth in the diving realm, and PADI offers numerous certification courses that will expand your horizons and make your diving experience even better.

Contact your local PADI Dive Shop to take a course, get a quick scuba review, or find where you can service your equipment before you start the 2014 season.