Scuba diving can be an extremely rewarding adventure, but it definitely takes some practice. As of 2013, there were between 2.7 and 3.5 million active scuba diving enthusiasts in the U.S. alone, and they all knew one thing: conserving oxygen is key. But how do you conserve oxygen when the environment doesn’t supply it to you? Here are a few air-saving tips that might just help you breathe a little easier during your scuba classes.
The colder you are, the more energy and oxygen your body requires to stay warm. Shivering and hyperventilating take much more oxygen than simply floating in the water. But no two insulated diving suits are the same, so make sure you experiment to find out what level of insulation is right for you.
It’s easy to strap on your scuba diving equipment and want to zoom through the water, but moving quickly is only going to expend more oxygen and energy. Increased resistance underwater isn’t going to do your oxygen any favors. Try to move only using your legs and with sweeping, flowing movements.
Measure Your Breathing
Time should be your guide for breathing. Inhaling for five seconds and exhaling for seven seconds is a good rule to follow if you’re not sure how to time your breathing. When you practice scuba diving, count the seconds you’re breathing in and out. Once the breathing pattern becomes more natural, you won’t need to count anymore.
Pause at the Top
When you breathe, there’s a natural desire to pause at the bottom, or at the exhale. Instead of doing this while you’re diving, try pausing at the top, or inhale, or your breath. The pause allows your body to take in more of the oxygen from your lungs, which means more energy.
Practice Makes Perfect
As with any activity, scuba training requires practice. Strap on your scuba diving equipment as often as you can and make sure you take time to practice all of these tips before you set out on an advanced diving course.
Scuba diving can be a real adventure, but it also requires caution and proper safety procedures. Don’t forget to conserve your oxygen!