Joe G.'s Safety Minute for December 2018
Why It's Important to Stay Physically Fit

Diving is deceptively physically demanding; although much of our time underwater is relaxing, long surface swims, diving in strong current, carrying gear and exposure to extreme weather all combine to make diving a strenuous activity. Maintaining an acceptable level of personal fitness is key to diving safely. Lack of fitness leads to overexertion, which can in turn lead to faster air consumption, panic and any number of resulting accidents.
 
Obesity, alcohol and tobacco use and tiredness all increase an individual’s susceptibility to decompression sickness, while 25 percent of diver deaths are caused by pre-existing diseases that should have excluded the person from diving in the first place. Always be honest on medical questionnaires and seek the advice of a physician as to whether or not you can dive. Be mindful of temporary impediments to physical fitness — while a cold may not be dangerous on land, it can cause serious damage underwater. Recover fully from any illness or surgery before getting back in the water.