The simple answer to the question of whether or not there is a maximum age for scuba diving is no. There is no maximum age for scuba diving. In fact, many sources encourage those who are a little older to do everything they can to get some exercise. If you are a more senior diver, then there are some things to consider especially if you are not very experienced, including making sure you know your limit and that you don’t push your body to the point where you may be in danger. Scuba diving is not off-limits for an older participant by any means. It just requires you to take extra care of your safety and those around you. This extra awareness of how long you can spend in the water before feeling tired is essential in making sure you are as safe as you can be and so that you can focus on having fun with your diving.
Risks of Scuba Diving When You Are Older
Like any form of exercise, there are some risks if you are older. Rather than trying to compete with many younger sports participants’ high energy athletic performances, you should focus on working out how much your body can take. It is important that you see the difference between a good workout and putting your body through strain that could cause damage or increase the risk of injury.
Scuba diving has many risks for even the healthiest of divers, so it is vital that you take extra care as an older diver. One of the most significant risks would have to be that you can quickly run out of energy and find yourself in trouble in the water. Any water sport carries this risk, but for an older body, it will increase slightly compared to those at full health. Any sport that requires you to spend time in water carries this risk due to the high amount of energy that is required to maneuver your body through water, as well as being without natural oxygen and having to force yourself to go underwater. There is a significant risk of becoming tired from scuba diving.
Risks caused by sealife
Another big risk that comes with scuba diving would have to be the risk of injury during wildlife interactions. It is a common story of many experienced divers who spend time underwater to look at the natural wildlife below. If you get too close to things like coral, plants, and rocks, there is a chance that you could injure yourself in some way, older bodies are much more susceptible to injury, so this is another factor to watch out for when you are diving. As you get older, your lung capacity and ability to retain long breaths are going to decrease. As a scuba diver, you should be consistent with your breathing techniques and be able to hold your breath for long periods of time. If you are older, your breathing capacity is going to be much lower, so you should be aware of these risks before you go on your next diving trip.
Rules and Regulations
As mentioned previously, there are no laws in place that state a person over a certain age cannot go diving. This is a good thing in some respect as people of an older age range should not be deterred from taking part in activities that are going to be beneficial for their overall health and fitness. Keeping active is essential to maintaining the body’s health, so the fact that older citizens have access to such sports and leisure activities can only be a good thing.
However, depending on the locations you choose to visit for your diving, there may be some safety rules and regulations in place that you should follow. Many locations or diving companies state that those who are of a lower experience rate and fitness should speak to a professional before going diving, this is so that your diving company can speak to you first to ensure that you know the correct procedures when it comes to driving safety, this knowledge is essential especially for someone without a lot of experience so you really shouldn’t be deterred from speaking to somebody. This also provides peace of mind for yourself, the professionals, and the other people in your diving group, as everyone is provided with the knowledge of what to do in case of an emergency.
Other than following your diving coach or company’s instructions, the only regulations that are in place are those that restrict the places that you can dive. As long as all of the standard diving rules are adhered to, you should be fine to go ahead and have fun no matter how old you are. You are never too old to start your diving career, and as long as you are sensible, there is no reason why you can’t start looking at the best places to dive in Europe and get planning your next trip.
How to Stay Safe as an Older Diver
With all of this discussion around the risks of diving at an older age, you could be easily deterred from giving it a go. However, it is not the mindset to have, and you should be prepared to do any form of fitness exercise no matter your age as it is beneficial for both your physical and mental health. If you are an older diver, there are many steps and precautions that you can take in order to ensure your safety. However, due to the lack of laws surrounding a maximum age for divers, you will have to make sure you take the necessary precautions yourself, as you may require more than that of a younger diver.
It cannot be stressed enough that the quality of your diving equipment is up to scratch. As an older diver, you are going to be susceptible to more things like pressure and water temperature, so doing all that you can in the form of sourcing high-quality protective equipment is one of the best things you can do. A thick wetsuit is essential in helping to contain your body’s temperature. As you enter the cold water, you could easily lose your breath or go into shock. If you have a high-quality wetsuit that is composed of a thicker material than that of the standard design, then the effects of the water should be softened. This also applies to your diving mask. Making sure that you purchase a suitable mask and comfortable for your face is very important. Older divers should concentrate on their safety, so limiting any distractions is paramount.
Another risk of scuba diving at an older age is the fact that you should never fly on a plane after diving. It is a common question within the diving community of whether you can go to altitude after diving. The answer is very simple, and no matter how old you are, you should never get onto a plane after going scuba diving. If you are older, the risk of falling very ill is only increased further than that of a younger person, so it should be avoided at all costs to ensure your safety. Overall, when it comes to diving at a more advanced age, you should not be scared to try it, with proper research into the risks and how you can make the experience safer there should be nothing stopping you from taking up this amazing leisure activity.