Free-diving is a great sport. It is used in various aquatic activities such as spear-fishing and underwater photography. It is also a competitive sport known as apnea; the diver attempts to attain great depths with a single breath! The use of breathing apparatus is prohibited.
Apnea demands great physical and mental strength. The diver has to be relaxed in order to avoid danger. Training methods involve practice hold-breath walks; the athlete attempts to walk as far as they can with a single breath. This accustoms the muscles to work under anaerobic conditions. Another method practiced before diving is hyperventilating in order to delay the warning signals of running out of air. As you can imagine, apnea is a dangerous sport. The pressure of the water upon the lungs can have serious consequences such as:
• Reflex bradicardia; the heart rate drops
• Vasoconstriction; the blood vessels shrink and all blood is directed to the heart, brain and lungs
• Deep-water blackout; the lack of oxygen causes the diver to faint underwater
Your body experiences many changes underwater and the consequences become more serious and complicated the deeper you dive.
If you are interested in learning more about this extreme sport, you can browse our diving companies throughout the U.K. It is a thrilling activity and if taken seriously you can compete professionally.