Free diving is the art of diving under the water without any breathing equipment. For example, underwater diving, free dive photography, free dive spear fishing, and, snorkelling. When you go swimming on the beach and you dive down to pick up an unusual looking rock or a pretty shell, is a form of free diving.
Free diving and under water walking is part of the training for the space program, as it is the next thing to show how movement and pressure affects the body during space flight.
Free diving has been adapted to the competitive arena, which competitors compete in depth, distance and time, on one single breath. It has become so popular that sports events have been established and we can attend events in underwater rugby, underwater hockey, and go to Florida to watch the Mermaids swim for long periods of time without breathing.
The history of free diving goes back some 2000 years as free diving Japanese would dive for pearls. These divers had learned the art of holding their breath for very long periods of time, some even holding their breath for over five minutes. This is a major accomplishment since the average person can only hold their breath for an average of 3 minutes.
The training for free diving starts with breathing exercises out of water. These exercises start by holding your breath for one minute, two minutes, and continuing until you can hold your breath and walk as far as you can before you take a breath of air. This type of training is very good in conditioning your body, especially your ear drums to become accustomed to the pressure that deep free diving will put you through. The ear drums are the first part of the body that will experience the first signs of anybody problems. The deeper a person goes, the more pressure is pushed against the ear drums and causing this pressure to go toward the inner ear and bursting it.
One of the exercises to prevent this from happening is for a person to hold their nose while blowing air through it. This causes an artificial type of air pressure to go to the middle ear and helps prevent the ear drum from bursting while you are free diving, however this does not always work, there are several reasons for this one being illness, which is why consulting a doctor before beginning diving is so important, and why if you experience any pain at all when diving, you should discontinue and seek advice.
The other body functions that are affected are the lungs, which contract the deeper you dive causing a sense of being squeezed together. In the past, doctors believed that if a person went too deep, the pressure would cause the lungs to implode and that would cause death. However, with proper training, this is not the case. Doctors have also observed that the blood moves away from other parts of the body in order to send more blood to the brain. The heart rate is also slowed down and the blood pressure is increased. The exercises that one learns in free diving class helps people to learn how to cope with such issues as these.
With all the difficulties that can occur while free diving that make it a dangerous activity, it is always a good idea to take classes to learn the techniques of breathing and controlling your body functions as well. Never free dive without a partner just in case something were to happen.