Cave Diving is a physically demanding activities. In an emergency, personal fitness can literally make the difference between life and death. Fitness is also a key factor in reducing the risk of decompression illness. Successful Cave Diver students typically have the following commitment to personal health and fitness.
Diet/Body Mass: During a typical day, you have a fairly good feel for not only your total calorie intake, but also your consumption of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Fatty foods, typical of what you find at most fast-food restaurants, are simply not part of your normal diet. You have little difficulty maintaining a body weight that is in proportion to your height, sex and build. Your Body Mass Index, relative to total body mass, is well below that of the all-too-typical recreational diver.
Exercise: Your minimum aerobic workout should consist of at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week. At least 30 minutes every day is better. In general, exercise is something you make time for, not something you do when you have time.
Lifestyle: Substance dependency? Don’t even think about it. Like to stay up late and party? Not if you want to dive the next day.
It should go without saying that you should either be able to answer every question on the RSTC Medical History/Exam Form with an unqualified No, or have a signed physician’s approval for diving, based on physical exam that meets RSTC/UHMS guidelines and took place within the last twelve months.
How do you stack up against the criteria just presented? If you can honestly say, "Yes, that’s me," you may be ready to become a certified Cave Diver.