Diving is an activity that allows you to explore the wonders of the world that lie underwater. This can be an exciting and fun experience, as long as you take precautions and have plenty of air to breathe during your exploration. Nothing can ruin the enjoyment of a scuba trip faster than being deep in the water and realizing you are running out of air. There are several tips you can follow to help prolong your air and stay safe while diving.
Breathe Evenly - Keep in mind that the only common ground between diving and the first leg of a triathlon is that you are in the water. Diving is not a speed sport, and there is no reason to be in a hurry while you are underwater. If you take your time and enjoy your surroundings, you will conserve air and get a chance to see a lot more while you are down. Remember to breathe normally. The pace and depth of your breath should be the same throughout your dive as it is while sitting on the deck of the boat. Maintain a relaxed, even pace to your breathing and you'll find that your air will last far longer than it would if you were trying to do too much too fast, according to the PADI diving website. The only exception to this rule is when you first enter the water and descend. Breathe out all the air from your lungs to relax yourself and move swiftly several feet under the surface, so the weight of your equipment is not a burden. After that, you should relax and have fun at a leisurely pace.
Don't Fight It - Don't fight the water to stay in position. Learn to maintain buoyancy with minimal movement, and save your energy and air by decreasing the amount of drag when you swim. Keep your arms to your sides as much as possible, and let your flippers do all the work. Smooth kicks will move you along adequately and will not force you expend unnecessary energy and oxygen.
Have a Buddy - If you don't have a diving buddy, you should get one. While it is a good idea to keep a back-up air source on your equipment, anything could happen. Maybe you forgot to bring it. If you and your buddy are deep in the ocean, and your air supply malfunctions, have an agreed upon signal for "no air," and commence with an ascent to the surface using the buddy breathing method. The buddy method is sharing one air tank between two people. Once your buddy knows you need air, he can position himself near you, take out his mouthpiece, and hand it to you while he holds his breath. Take a few deep breaths and then hold you breath and pass back the mouthpiece. Once you have the system down, begin to slowly ascend to the surface, passing the air source back and forth until you reach safety.
Get Healthy - One of the best breathing tips for divers is to stay in shape. Of course this is something you'll need to do long before the actual dive, but maintaining good health and not smoking will go a long way toward conserving air while you are underwater, and will make your body adapt to these abnormal conditions much easier.