Becoming a better diver has very little to do with the quality of your equipment. While your gear may make diving easier or allow you to tackle different types of dives, your own skills have more effect on how your dive goes. One essential skill that every diver needs to constantly practice is their breathing.
Keep reading to learn 5 tips on how to improve your breathing while diving.
1. Slow Your Movements
No matter how great your lungs are, if you move quickly, you’ll breathe quickly. This could lead to pressure injuries or other issues while underwater. If you want to learn how to control your breathing, you need to start by learning to always move slowly. You can start practicing this out of the water while you’re doing breathing exercises to help you remember to do so while practicing scuba breathing underwater.
2. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing
The best way to improve breathing for scuba diving is by learning a better breathing technique. When most of us breathe, we draw breath using our chest. But diaphragmatic breathing, or breathing from the diaphragm, is the better choice, especially when it comes to scuba diving. To practice diaphragmatic breathing, you need to pull in air using your lower lungs. If you’re doing this correctly, you’ll see your abdomen expand. This form of breathing is more efficient, delivering more oxygen to your lungs. This means that you won’t have to breathe as often.
3. Exercise More
Cardio exercise increases your lung function. This means that you’ll be able to breath deeper and slower, while still getting the oxygen you need to move. Without exercise, your breathing may quickly become labored, even during a very easy dive. If you want to improve your breathing, you need to improve your lung function through exercise first.
4. Breather Deeper, Not Bigger
One misconception many people have about breathing is that a big breath is the same as a deep breath. While both feel as though they are drawing in a lot of air, deep breathing delivers that air to your lungs. Taking a big breath doesn’t force the air anywhere. Instead, you simply breathe out that oxygen when you exhale.
5. Practice Focus
Even if you spend hours a week practicing your breathing techniques, distractions can make everything you’ve learned disappear from your mind completely. When you’re in the middle of a dive and something captures your attention, you may lose focus. You might breathe too quickly or not deeply enough, which could put you in danger. Practicing keeping your focus out of the water can help prevent this from happening during a dive. Try thinking about your breathing while you drive, work, or even at the grocery store. Eventually, it will become second nature to continue better breathing habits all the time.
Learning How to Improve Your Breathing While Diving
Using these tips to learn how to improve your breathing while diving will help you breathe better both in the water and out. You’ll enjoy diving more and feel increased confidence the next time you go in the water.
If you are looking to improve your diving in your immediate area, we can also help you with that also.