Learn About Competitive Free Diving

The Essences of Exercise and Competition

When it comes to attaining optimal levels of health and fitness, there are a vast array of activities an individual or group of individuals can engage in together to get the most out of their workout. One of the most exhilarating and effective forms of exercises is free diving. Free diving has has evolved so much since its first days that it has now become a competitive sport all around the world.

What Free diving Consists Of

Free diving is a form of diving that occurs underwater and relies heavily on the diver’s ability of holding their breathe until they resurface onto the water without the utilization of breathing apparatuses or scuba gear equipment. Some popularly recognized examples of free diving activities include competitive free diving, non-competitive free diving, traditional fishing techniques, underwater rugby, underwater hockey, synchronized swimming, underwater hunting, snorkeling and underwater target shooting. The term free diving is associated with holding one’s breath in a competitive environment. However, while some may regard the sport of free diving as a specific type of activities that occur underwater, others may consider it to be the same as breath-hold diving. The free-diving activity that is most popular and commonly participated in is competitive apnea that requires its competitors to attempt at attaining great times, depths and distances on one single breath.

Free diving On a Competitive Level

The competitive free diving community is governed by two world associations currently, the AIDA and CMAS (International Association for Development of Apnea and World Underwater Federation, respectively). The majority of free diving competitions are common in that they are individual based sports in which one’s success is based on their individual achievements. A solid exception to this rule is the World Championship for Teams that takes place twice a year. There are currently nine different disciplines utilized by official governing bodies and a dozen different disciplines being practices at the local level. Every discipline can be conducted by women and men, and while they are done outdoors, there are no particular differences in the environments as far as records go.
The AIDA disciplines can be conducted in competition and record attempts with the exceptions of no limits and variable weights in which each are done solely as competitive record attempts.

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Best Places To Stay While Free Diving

You want to learn how to free dive but you want to go someplace that’s beautiful, warm, and tropical. So, where does one go to check out and learn how to do this exciting thing and check it off of their bucket list? For those that want to stay in the States, Kailua-Kona in the beautiful state of Hawaii has dive-opportunities! Big Island Divers offers not only boat and sightseeing tours but water sports, including scuba diving and snorkeling! Their divers/tour guides are diver certified and are there to make sure that every dive is safe and fun for everyone, from the absolute beginner to master! While diving in the crystal clear waters of ocean, you’ll see the beautiful fish, coral and maybe even a few dolphins!

If you want to travel outside of the United States, the Bahamas are there for the beginner diver who wish to see life under water thanks to Stuart Cove’s Diving Boat Operations in Nassau. The warm temperature of the ocean and clarity, gives divers, even a beautiful view of the ocean life for about 80 feet! They even provide the new divers with easy to use equipment. For divers who love to see wreckage under the waters, check out the British Virgin Islands! There are quite a few areas that beginner divers can explore such as the Sir Frances Drake Channel, which is home to seven islands and home to protected reefs and coastal line. This magnificent small coastal underwater world is home to RMS Rhone, the area’s most famous wreck, as well as the ships of Wreck Alley off Cooper Island.
Want to go further than that? Check out the Island of Koh Tao in Thailand! This is home to Buddah View Dive Resort. On this approximate 12-square mile island, one can get dive certified not just once but twice, if they like! According to one certified dive operator, many people, once they get beginner certified, they go immediately again to get a certification at an advanced level!
For more information on where to go, check out the Travel Network on your local cable channel, on the go with a mobile app, or in your vehicle, RV, boat with DIRECTV For Travelers.
As with any adventure, especially diving for the first time, listen to your instructors, and have fun! Live and love life…and swim with the dolphins!

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The Science Behind Free Diving

Free diving originally was an ancient method of harvesting sponges or pearls. It has now become an extreme sport. A free dive has no breathing assistance or tank but is dependent on the lung capacity of the diver. Spear fishermen, explorers and photographers free dive. So do sports competitors. Another term for it is apnea diving.

When it comes to equipment for free diving, there really is none that is required. Some divers do like to use fins to propel themselves deeper. Goggles allow them to see more of their surroundings and weights help them to achieve their maximum depth. Training for a competitive version of free diving requires practice holding the breath while diving either from a small boat or surface diving. Relaxing and staying focused are two components that increase lung capacity and depth.

As science has been better able to monitor what happens in a diver’s body they have learned some interesting things. When a diver submerges, going progressively deeper, the air he is holding in his lungs becomes compressed. His lung tissue also becomes compressed. The rigid breast bone does not compress.At one time doctors and scientists believed that going beyond 115 feet deep could cause damage. Instead the diver’s blood fills that empty space by distending the blood vessels in that area. One variable scientists have been able to observe is that compression in divers varies with water temperature. These are observations that are actual measurements done in controlled circumstances of experienced breath holding divers.

The science of free diving relies on the mammalian dive reflex as well. What this means is that mammals have an automatic response when going deep under water holding their breath. This reflex redirects oxygen from extremities and toward the internal organs, especially the heart and brain. This keeps down potential serious damage to the diver.

Free diving can be fun for both beginner and expert, but it can be dangerous as well. None of the exercises and training systems is completely fool proof, and people have been injured or killed when they do not keep their body relaxed and their mind focused.

Generally beginners can train themselves to hold their breath about forty-five seconds, which would be to about a thirty foot depth. The top freediver recorded so far has reached an astonishing 700 foot depth. That was a record that could not be imagined less than a century ago.

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