THE GOOD REFLEXES TO HAVE BEFORE GOING DIVING
• It is important to eat well
Diving may not seem like it at first, but it is a sport that requires a lot of energy. You should know that one hour of diving allows you to burn 500 calories which is equivalent to 50 minutes of jogging at an average pace or 1 hour of cycling.
So be careful not to dive on an empty stomach: give preference to slow sugars and avoid, as much as possible, an excessively fatty diet.
• A good hydration before the effort
You will also become extremely dehydrated when diving. Diving modifies the physiological activity of our body. In the water, the blood is concentrated around the vital organs. To lower the pressure, the body releases all the water in the blood. Hence the irrepressible urge to “pee” after each dive!
In addition, the air in the tank is dry, so it must be humidified to promote gas exchange. In other words: drink a lot of water, tea, fruit juice… Everything, except alcohol of course.
Staying well hydrated also reduces the risk of decompression sickness!
THINGS TO KNOW DURING YOUR DIVING SESSION
• Never dive alone
In diving, you are never alone underwater. It is a sport that is done in pairs or more.
We keep an eye on each other and it’s much nicer to discover the underwater world together and to be able to talk about the fish we met when we got back on the boat!
The rule is simple: never move more than two meters away from your buddy to be able to react quickly in case of problem. If your buddy gets sick, has a problem with his regulator or needs air quickly, you must be able to be there in three strokes of the fins.
• Control your ascent to the surface
This is the basic rule: when diving, it is essential to ascend slowly in order to give your body time to eliminate the nitrogen, otherwise you risk decompression sickness.
It is estimated that an ideal ascent is no more than 10 to 15 meters per minute. If you have a dive computer, you won’t have to worry about this issue because it is set to beep if you go too fast.
• Understanding the safety stop
To make sure that the nitrogen in the body is eliminated as much as possible, the vast majority of divers make a “safety stop”. The principle is simple: a three-minute “break” between 3 and 5 meters deep.
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR DIVE
• Respect the interval between two dives
Diving several times a day is possible, but you must respect a “surface interval”. In general, it is considered necessary to stay at the surface for at least one hour before diving again. Also, if you plan to explore the ocean floor several times during the day, plan to do the deepest dive first.
• Don’t dive before you fly
Even though you were very careful during your ascent and followed the safety stops to the letter, your body did not have time to eliminate all the nitrogen it contained. Don’t panic, it will continue its work at the surface and all this nitrogen will be evacuated without damage. This is provided that you do not fly immediately after your dive.
The pressurization of the cabins could indeed lead to decompression sickness. For a single dive, you should allow an average of 12 hours before taking the plane and 18 hours if you have dived several times.
• No violent sports after diving
Because of the nitrogen saturation of the tissues, it is recommended not to practice apnea or sports after a dive. Violent exercise is a good way to prevent decompression sickness. It would be a shame to get injured after diving.
• If you don’t feel well when you come back up, say so
The dive went well and yet, since you came back up, you don’t feel well. Muscle pain, itching, fatigue, nausea… Even if there is a good chance that it is not serious, do not stay with your discomfort: these signs could be symptoms of decompression sickness.
Talk to your dive instructor who will be able to make an initial diagnosis and refer you to a doctor if in doubt. The earlier decompression sickness is spotted, the better it will be treated.
In summary :
-Eat well and especially drink well
-Never dive alone and stay within 2 meters of your buddy to be able to help him in case of problem.
-Go up very slowly and make a safety stop of 3 minutes at 3 meters
-Do not do any sport or apnea after the dive
-Wait between 12 and 18 hours before flying again