Scuba diving is probably one of the most popular extreme sports. Many holidays in the sun have local diving schools where you can opt to go for your diving licence, or take an introductory dive. However, reports have said that there are risk factors involved if you are over 50. Let’s explore the truths and myths behind this report, particularly since research has shown that more and more over 50s take part in a range of extreme sports.
What Are the Associated Risks With Diving Over 50?
As the body ages, certain health risks start to show their ugly faces. The most common health problems for the over 50 include:
- Bone thinning
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Some of these illnesses, particularly heart disease, do prevent you from being able to take part in scuba diving. In certain cases, cancer can also be a reason not to dive.
Diving After 50 and Staying Safe
The reality is that being over 50 does mean you are more prone to certain illnesses however, it does not mean you are in fact ill, nor does it mean that you should not be able to partake in any hobbies, including extreme sports. Generally, before joining a diving school, you will have to complete a detailed medical form. Be honest on the questions, as you are talking about your life, of course.
If you are serious about diving and are looking for more than just the occasional dive, it can be advised to have a yearly full medical examination. It is possible to receive a specific diving medical examination, which will take into account your overall fitness, how well your ears, nose and throat are functioning, your blood pressure, your lung function, your gastro-intestinal tract and your muscular-skeletal functions. Often, a diving school will be able to advise you on where to go to receive this diving medical. So long as these test come up clear, there really is no reason for you to not go scuba diving: if your body functions properly, age is but a number.
If you are interested in going diving and you are over 50, there are a few books available on Amazon that you may want to consider, including:
- The Sports Diving Medical – a very good guide explaining all the medical conditions that are relevant to scuba diving.
- The Assessment of Diving – medical fitness. This book is relevant for both divers and diving instructors.
- Scuba Diving Explained – a great book to learn about the medical aspects of scuba diving and how your body is likely to react to the pressures of this sport.
If you are over 50 and you are in good general health, which can be checked by a physician, there is really no need to stop yourself from taking part in extreme sports. They do say that 50 is the new 40, so go and live! Be safe and enjoy yourself!