When most people think about scuba diving, they picture vibrant coral reefs, sea turtles and fascinating marine life. And though, these are definite reasons to go scuba diving, they are not all that diving has to offer. Did you know that scuba diving has a multitude of positive health benefits? Yes, we are talking of scuba diving for Fit India! Some of the scuba diving health benefits are derived from the physical activity it entails. But there are also proven mental health benefits. In fact, you might be surprised to learn just how far reaching the effects of scuba diving are on both your physical and mental well-being.
Scuba Dive for Fit India & A Healthier You
Here are just a few key benefits you experience when you go scuba diving in India:
1. It improves your breathing and respiratory system.
Scuba diving encourages divers to take long, slow, deep breathes. A calm, slow breathing pattern reduces the risk of a lung-expansion injury while diving. But did you know that it also helps reduce mucus build up?! This breathing pattern has also been known to help with existing conditions, such as asthma. The breathing technique used during diving is similar to that used during some styles of meditation, including yoga. It helps slow down your heart rate, promoting a state of peacefulness. Slow rhythmic breathing can also have a calming effect on your psyche.
2. It increases your fitness levels, strength and flexibility.
Have you heard of resistance training? When you go scuba diving, you’ll be doing that too! Your muscles have to work harder underwater than they would on land due to the increased resistance caused by the water around you. The level of resistance increases significantly when you are swimming against even a mild current. That’s why we recommend scuba diving for Fit India. The more you dive and swim, the more your muscles begin to strengthen. And you’ll also develop endurance as well as flexibility. Scuba diving and swimming doesn’t only give your legs a workout. It can also help build up your core strength, which is important for a good overall posture.
3. It lowers your blood pressure
Remember the first time you went underwater? In all likelihood, you would have experienced a spike in blood pressure. Most divers do, due to the excitement and adrenaline. But this is usually only a temporary increase. Once you have recovered from the initial spike, your heart rate reduces, so does your blood pressure. The slow and deep breathing technique you learn helps lower your blood pressure and keeps you calm throughout the dive.
4. It introduces you to the spectacular marine life underwater
Seeing stunning coral reefs and a fabulous array of fish and critters is enough to put anyone in a good mood. Also, it has been proven that seeing certain colors can affect the brain in many different ways. Scientists believe that being subjected to bright, intense colors, similar to the ones we might find surrounding reefs, can promote feelings of happiness. It can uplift your mood. In addition, the color blue has been known to induce a calming effect on the body.
5. It encourages you to travel around the world on an adventure
Yes, it is possible to dive virtually anywhere on the planet that has a body of water. However, divers tend to travel more than they dive at home. Traveling overseas, exploring and taking time off work, all lead to adventures, excitement and positive experiences. All of which are good for your body, mind and soul. Infinitely much better than being stressed, bored and stuck in a rut, don’t you agree?!
6. It provides you with the healing effects of water
Being underwater has many healing benefits. The likeness to being in the womb is believed to promote feelings of security, well-being and happiness. In addition, being in salt water for long periods of time can cause your body to dehydrate meaning that you tend to drink a lot more after the dive. This in turn means that you are replenishing your cells. You are receiving all the benefits of water both externally and internally.
7. It exposes you to sunlight
Being exposed to sunlight creates vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium, which in turn keeps bones healthy and strong. Exposure to sunlight also helps increase endorphin production. Now you know why we scuba divers are a happy lot.
8. It has socializing benefits
Diving is a social activity. It involves diving with a buddy. And among divers, we find like-minded people with a common interest. There is a sense of community. A sense of being part of a ‘tribe’ when spending time with other divers. All of which are positive feelings and good for your mental well-being. Did we mention that it also helps lower stress, building confidence and gives you a sense of security and belonging!
9. It is a great stress reliever
We have mentioned it earlier that the breathing pattern for diving is similar to a meditative breathing pattern. Meditating is a great remedy for stress too. Slower breathing promotes calmness. Not just that, but when we are diving, we are focused on the environment around us which enables us to completely forget work, family, relationships or financial issues. Having this mental ‘time out’ gives the body a chance to rest. It brings the nervous system back to its natural balance. Studies have shown that a relaxed and calm mind promotes a positive mental attitude. It helps you deal with your issues in a calm and rational manner. It reduces feelings of depression.
Corona Virus & Fitness
There are many uncertainties and unknowns surrounding the Corona Virus pandemic. But one thing that is widely believed to be true is that the effects of COVID-19 are generally less severe in a person who is physically healthy and fit. We know, you may not cherish the thought of going to the gym to work on your fitness, but how about going diving instead!
Scuba Diving in India
At Plant Scuba India, we are following recommendations regarding scuba diving health and hygiene standards. We have new procedures in place to ensure that gear is disinfected and all recommendations are being met. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will require a doctors medical clearance, as a precautionary measure, prior to participating in any in-water activities. Contact us by email and we can provide you with a form for your doctor to sign.
If you’d like to learn to dive or to join us for fun diving in India, or if you have any questions about scuba diving for Fit India, health and diving, or corona virus and diving, contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to diving with you soon!
Text: Sarah Ann Wormland, PADI
Photos (in order of appearance): Madhava Reddy, David ST Loh, Gopala Krishnan
Diving equipment in India: Buy vs Rent!
It is a common dilemma: should you buy your own scuba diving equipment in India or continue renting your dive gear. If you think you’d like to buy scuba gear, you may be asking yourself: ‘when is the right time to buy?’ Or ‘which dive equipment is the most important to purchase first?’ Or even, ‘is it more essential to buy now due to Covid-19?’
Buying your own scuba diving equipment is an investment. Hence, it is important to look at all of the options before making a decision that is right for you personally. After all, there is no one universal answer. But there are some good guidelines to help you reach your decision. Here are some pros, cons and suggestions for both new and experienced scuba divers to help you navigate your way around the scuba diving equipment store!
Buying vs renting scuba diving equipment in India
It is not necessary to have your own scuba diving equipment if you plan on going diving with a certified dive center. However, there are some exceptions such as:
- Professional divers who may be required to have their own scuba gear for work
- Divers who have special fitting requirements
- Scuba adventurers planning trips to remote destinations (or on some liveaboards) that require you to supply at least your own basics dive equipment. These include mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit.
It is not imperative to buy scuba equipment due to Covid-19. However, everyone has different comfort levels regarding buying versus renting. If you do not feel comfortable renting gear, you may wish to purchase key items such as a mask, snorkel, regulator mouthpiece, rashguard and wetsuit. Today, most scuba divers in India, and even snorkelers, prefer owning at least the key dive equipment. Quite a few scuba divers in India are even choosing to purchase their own regulators right now.
On the other hand, if you feel comfortable renting dive gear, you should check the precautions your chosen dive center is taking to prevent the spread of Covid-19 via their rental equipment. The Divers Alert Network (DAN) has published guidelines for dive centers. It details how to care for rental gear and how to correctly disinfect equipment between uses.
At Planet Scuba India, we not only meet these guidelines, we exceed them! We are taking the utmost safety measures to disinfect our equipment. Both our rental scuba gear, as well as dive equipment that is being serviced by us. (You can find additional details here.)
The pros of buying your own dive gear
There are numerous plus points to owning your own dive gear, these include:
1. Comfort & fit
When you buy your own scuba gear, you’ll take some time trying on different sizes and styles. You will make sure that you get the fit that is most comfortable for you. This is important – a badly fitting rental BCD or a leaking mask can really take away from your diving enjoyment.
2. Safety through familiarity
When you have your own dive equipment, you get familiar with it. You know exactly where everything is, which increases your safety. Your SMB is always in the same pocket. You know where you have hooked your alternate air source. And it is easy to locate your other accessories.
3. Long-term savings
Equipment rental prices can vary considerably, depending on where you are diving. When going on longer dive holidays, gear rental can make a sizable difference to the overall cost of your trip. Especially if you are planning on diving every day.
At Planet Scuba India, our PADI courses (up to and including PADI Rescue Diver) include equipment rental in the price.
Owning your diving equipment in India, or anywhere else in the world, means that you know its service history. Since you alone are using it, you know that it has been well looked after. At Planet Scuba India, all of our rental gear is either new or well-maintained. We follow a thorough maintenance schedule. We are an Aqua Lung Partner Dive Center. This means we have trained technicians on site to service Aqua Lung, Apeks and the other equipment brands we represent. You can rest assured that your scuba gear is being professionally serviced.
5. The right item for the job
Some divers have specific scuba equipment requirements, which may not be guaranteed if you are renting. For example, an underwater photographer may need large BCD pockets to store interchangeable wet lenses. You often have limited options when renting gear. It is best to buy your own dive equipment to avoid being disappointed. Especially if you have special requirements.
Not all diving gear is only for scuba diving. Your mask, snorkel and fins double up as snorkeling gear for your next beach holiday. Wetsuits can be used for other water sports. Rashguards can be used while swimming in the pool to avoid sunburn. Many dive computers also include free-diving modes.
7. Dive computers
Each dive computer has different settings, buttons, menus, functions and algorithms. It can be both frustrating and time consuming to try and figure out a different model of rental computer each time you go diving. More importantly, it can also potentially compromise your safety. More so if you do not fully understand the information on the display. Owning your own dive computer means you will get to know how it works. Also all of the dives stored in its memory will be your own dives. Many computers also link up to apps and/or your laptop so you can transfer your logged dives instantly.
The pros of renting your scuba gear
1. Baggage allowance
Consider your baggage allowance if you are planning on going diving on holidays. Some airlines provide additional allowance for scuba gear. However, if they don’t, you could be charged for excess baggage at the airport. That said, quite a few companies have come out with lightweight scuba gear that’s perfect for travel.
2. Different locations, different requirements
That 3mm shortie you love may be great when you are scuba diving in India or in the tropics. But what about when you travel to cooler waters?!
3. Maintenance & servicing
You need to look after your scuba equipment, and this extends beyond rinsing it after diving. Dive computers need battery changes. BCD inflator hoses need to be cared for. Regulators need servicing and parts (especially O-rings) need replacing periodically. We, at Planet Scuba India, are currently offering free servicing on Aqua Lung and Apeks diving equipment in India. So that you can take that giant leap into the blue without stressing about your gear. For details, click here.
You will need somewhere to store your equipment at home when you are not using it. This should be somewhere cool and dry, where it can be hung up or laid flat.
5. Try before you buy
Here’s the kicker with scuba gear: in most dive stores, you can try the gear on in the shop, but not in the water! One way around this is to note down the rental gear that you really like. Record the manufacturer and model name (and size) and start creating a wishlist.
There is no way around this one; buying a full set of gear is a big investment.
Important: If you decide to buy your own scuba gear, only buy it from a reputable dealer and follow the manufacturers’ instructions. Keep your receipts, warranties, guarantees.
Scuba diving equipment in India & Covid-19
To ensure the safety of our staff and scuba divers, at Planet Scuba India, we have implemented additional disinfection measures post the onset of Covid-19, especially with regards to our rental equipment. All rental equipment will be thoroughly disinfected after each use. The entire regulator system including the primary and the alternate air source will be disinfected, as will the BCD oral inflator and the internal bladder.
For scuba divers who prefer to purchase their own equipment, we have a well-stocked dive store comprising the best scuba diving equipment in India, from the best brands from around the world. Our experienced staff are on hand to offer any advice regarding fit, suitability and compatibility of your scuba gear purchase.
Have some more questions about diving equipment in India? Simply drop us an email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You could also just fill in our online contact form here, and we will get right back to you!
We look forward to diving with you soon!
Text: Sarah Wormland, PADI (with inputs from Planet Scuba India)
Dive India & Advance Your Scuba Skills
Did you ever dive in India? Are you a certified diver who wants to develop your skills, learn new ones and become a more confident diver? Are you trying to decide between taking a core PADI course or a specialty?
The good news is that as a certified diver you have plenty of options to dive in India. We have a diverse range of sites in our country for you to explore; all while you develop your skills and learn new techniques.
Deciding on which course to take next depends on your current certification level. It also depends on your interests and what you want to get out of the program.
If you are a PADI Open Water Diver, the next course for you is the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course. This is our recommendation for all Open Water Divers who want to dive India or anywhere else in the world! You’ll make 5 incredible dives with your instructor, including a deep dive and underwater navigation. The other three dives are yours to choose from a wide range of options. In fact, you can start learning most of the courses from home straight away! Get in touch with us to know how.
For those who are already Advanced Open Water certified, the next step is the PADI Rescue Diver Course. Do you want to become a PADI Divemaster or Instructor? Then you’ll need to become a PADI Rescue Diver first. It is a requirement for all pro courses.
Here are some other programs that might be of interest to you when it comes to developing specific skills…
With the current Covid-19 situation, in all probability, it has been a while since your last dive. Do you want to recap some of the essential basic underwater skills before moving on? No problem, the PADI reactivate program is specifically designed for this purpose. It will get you back in the water and make you feel confident about your abilities!
Enriched Air Specialty:
It seems so unfair when you have plenty of air left and your computer tells you to shallow up. Ever wished you could stay deeper for longer? Diving with Enriched Air (Nitrox) increases your allowable bottom time. This means you can admire the depths of your favorite dive sites in India, for longer!
Emergency First Response:
This program is a complete CPR and first aid course. It is mostly known by its abbreviation: EFR. The course deals with all aspects of emergency assistance, not just those related to diving. You’ll learn about handling accidents at home and in other daily situations too. Topics covered include CPR, spinal injuries, serious bleeding, choking, shock, splinting… It also includes first aid assessments and many more techniques that can extend a patient’s life. This is a great certification for anyone as it teaches essential lifesaving skills.
Are you already a PADI Rescue Diver? Thinking of a career in the scuba diving industry in India? Then the PADI Divemaster Course is your first step into professional diving! Unlike other PADI Courses, you’ll be mentored and work alongside your instructor. You’ll gain insight into the workings of the industry and behind-the-scenes at a dive center. You’ll also develop the skills required to assist PADI Instructors with PADI courses. And also learn how to guide certified divers independently.
Digital Underwater Photography Specialty:
It’s hard to explain to non-diving family and friends about some of the beautiful life we see underwater. But with amazing images, you don’t need to! Master the techniques required to produce sharper and more colorful images which will impress your buddies and land-loving friends! The best part is that you don’t have to travel too far to get fabulous photographs. There are many sites that you can dive in India too for some amazing clicks and memories.
Other PADI Specialties:
Is there a particular type of diving you want to learn more about? We also offer a full range of PADI Specialty Courses. These allow you to learn more and develop knowledge in specific aspects of diving. Here’s the list of additional PADI specialty courses: Boat Diver. Deep Diver. Drift Driver. Night Diver. Peak Performance Buoyancy. Search & Recovery Diver. Underwater Naturalist. Underwater Navigation. Wreck Diver.
Are you feeling inspired to take your diving to the next level? For more information, send us a message through our online contact form. Or you can email us at: email@example.com and we will get right back to you!
By Sarah Wormald, PADI
India scuba diving & other fascinating facts
Scuba diving in India is still at a nascent stage. This is mostly because only a small percentage of Indians have taken that giant leap and joined the dive club. That said, most non-divers are as intrigued by the underwater world. As a scuba diver, you have definitely been asked some, or most, of these questions: What does scuba mean? Do you breathe oxygen underwater? Are corals as colorful in reality as they are in pictures? Have they really found the lost city of Dwarka, and can you dive there?
You can find the answer to all these questions here, along with some more fun facts about scuba diving in India. Also we have interesting tidbits about diving in general, which you may not have known.
Scuba is an acronym.
It stands for ‘self-contained underwater breathing apparatus’.
In 1943, the first scuba gear was invented.
By Jacques Cousteau. It was called Aqua Lung. Currently, one of the top scuba diving equipment companies in the world.
Divers breathe compressed air underwater.
No, not oxygen. In fact, breathing oxygen under pressure is toxic. The scuba diving cylinder contains the normal air you breathe on land, which is 79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen.
Colors fade underwater.
This is because water absorbs light. Water absorbs different wavelengths of light to different degrees. The first to fade is red. Next to follow is orange, then yellow… This is why your blood looks greenish-black underwater. It is also why corals don’t appear as colorful as they are in pictures. Well, until you point the light from your dive torch at them.
Only 5% of the oceans have been explored.
The final frontier is not just space, but also our own oceans. Approximately 95% of the world’s oceans still remains a mystery to us.
The Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the ocean.
It is about 10,944 metres below sea level. No chance of scuba diving there. But it was first explored in 1960 by Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh.
The world’s deepest scuba dive is at 332.35 metres.
Or 1,090 feet and 4.5 inches to be exact. Ahmed Gabr broke the Guinness World Record for the deepest scuba dive in 2014. Then 41-year-old, he set this world record in the Red Sea, off the coast of Dahab, Egypt.
For scuba diving in India, only a fraction of our 7,500-kilometre coastline has been explored.
The Andamans and Lakshadweep are two of the best-known destinations for scuba diving in India. But there’s also good diving in Goa, Netrani, Pondicherry, Chennai, Rameshwaram…
Scuba diving in India at Dwarka has been on every avid diver’s bucket list.
Ever since marine scientists discovered archaeological remains underwater, off the Gulf of Khambhat, on the west coast of India. Rumor has it that the discovery might change history as we know it. And that the remains lying underwater here are allegedly 9,000 years old.
You can begin your scuba training at age 10.
The PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification allows young divers to dive with a PADI professional or certified parent or guardian to the depth of 12 metres.
9 ways to responsibly scuba dive in India
Being a responsible scuba diver is important wherever you are diving. But it’s even more so in India because of our dense population. The great news about being a responsible scuba diver is that it has a major feel-good factor, and together we can make a difference and raise awareness – all of which leads to healthier dive sites and the ongoing development of scuba diving in India. Here are some tips to responsibly scuba dive in India, how they help in your underwater adventure, and how they can help you in your daily life too!
1. Get certified to scuba dive in India
If you want to scuba dive, get certified! This not only increases your personal safety underwater, it also means you’ll learn about how to dive to limit your impact on the coral reef and marine life. This in turn means that dive sites stay preserved for you and other divers to enjoy, dive after dive. If you are not certified to dive, sign up for the PADI Open Water Diver Course – you can even start learning online from home now! Once you are a certified diver, you’ll be recognized as such by dive centers all around the world. Yes, you will have more places to explore and more buddies to meet and dive with!
2. Don’t touch coral reef or marine life
Did you know that corals are living animals? You need to treat corals with the same respect you would give other creatures. Touching corals can not only lead to nasty stings, but you can actually infect the reef. Contamination from humans can be deadly for coral reefs, and for the fish living there. Hard coral is often covered with a thin layer of live tissue which protects it. When touched by humans, this layer gets damaged. The basic rules of sustainable scuba diving are: (1) don’t touch the corals and (2) don’t take any corals or shells out of the ocean.
3. Be in control of your movements
Having good control underwater comes through proper training and supervised practice. If you are not a certified diver, sign up for a Discover Scuba Diving program. You’ll learn some basic skills to keep you and the reef safe, followed by an amazing dive in the ocean with an instructor. If you want to get certified, take the Open Water Diver Course and commit to learning to scuba dive in India. Want to develop your diving skills further? Why not take the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course? Being in control of your movements makes you look more accomplished underwater and you’ll also be ensuring the longevity of the reef by not making contact with it. As an ‘in control’ diver, beginners will look up to you and follow your example.
4. Maintain good buoyancy
Divers with good buoyancy control are looked up to wherever they dive. Be a good role model with excellent diving skills, and you’ll gain the respect of your buddies in no time. Good buoyancy control also means that your air will last longer so you can dive for longer. You’ll be able to avoid crashing into a reef or making contact with the bottom. Also, you’ll also be able to maneuver better, which means you can get closer to the marine life and corals. You’ll reduce your stress and anxiety levels in the process as well. Say hello to more relaxing and comfortable dives.
5. Invest in the right equipment
Scuba diving in India is still a relatively new activity. There’s yet an element of ‘cool-ness’ attached to it. You have to have the right equipment if you want to look and feel great underwater. And it has to fit correctly! Over-sized gear or a too-snug fit are both uncomfortable and unsafe. Ask us about which scuba diving equipment you should have and how it should fit for the best performance. If your gear isn’t the right size for you, you’ll struggle with buoyancy and are more likely to damage the reef, since your focus remains on your gear and not on your surroundings. All your scuba gear needs to be tucked away. Nothing should be trailing or dangling, as it can cause to damage to the reef or even lead to entanglement.
6. Don’t pollute the water
For the sake of both land and marine species, it is increasingly important today to be responsible and try your best to reduce your environmental footprint. Never throw trash, even organic, in the ocean. Pick up any trash you see while diving, and others will follow your example. Role model good behavior at home too. Try to reduce your use of plastic by using eco-bags for your shopping and think twice about buying items that are overly packaged. In India, we generate a huge amount of plastic waste. Be a trailblazer and get active on social media about what you are doing to reduce your own plastic consumption.
7. Educate yourself and others
The more people know about something, the greater their interest in protecting it. Learn about corals and marine life and share your findings with others. Not only will you impress them with your knowledge, but you’ll also help create a new generation of educated Indian scuba divers who, like you, want to protect our amazing underwater world.
8. Be an ocean advocate
Being a scuba diver is not just about what we do when we are diving in India. It’s about our behavior at home too. Be a diver everyday by becoming aware of global issues such as climate change and overfishing. Join online conservation groups and be a leading voice on social media. We all know the power of people, so help start a wave of awareness and change!
9. Promote scuba diving in India
Share you underwater pictures and talk with your friends, family and neighbors about your adventures and experiences when scuba diving in India. The more Indian divers there are, the more powerful our collective voice becomes.
Are you ready to put these points into action? Get started by booking a PADI scuba diving course, or your next dives now! Contact us via our online contact form or send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
— BY SARAH WORMALD, PADI