Stay active with pool swims and helping out on courses
One thing for sure is that your enjoyment of diving will improve if you stay active through the winter. Winter sports, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and any aerobic gym workout is beneficial. Just a moderate regimen will increasing stamina and improve your breathing… and both will have a positive effect on your comfort while diving. Thirty minutes, three times a week is considered a good jumping off point. The more your do the easier it becomes.
Swimming should also be part of your winter workout schedule. Swimming tones and strengthens the body, conditions the cardio-vascular system, and is one of the best “tools” for improving and maintaining fitness for diving.
Many divers try to vary their pool workouts by throwing in the occasional long swim with mask, fins and snorkel… but do make sure that your local public pool has no issues with you using “scuba” gear during public swim times.
One of the best swimming coaches we’ve found is a book by Emmett Hines called Fitness Swimming. Hines includes about 60 different structured workouts plus more than a dozen sample training programs. If you want to improve your technique or you just want to get the most benefit from your pool workouts, I cannot think of a better investment than this book published by Human Kinetics in it fitness spectrum series.
Another great thing to do in winter is ask your local SDI training facility when they are running courses, and if you can attend. This is a natural if you are already a divemaster or are thinking about getting into SDI leadership, but even if you are not in a leadership track, many dive stores will run special “tune-up clinics” that divers can attend and work on skills, such as buoyancy, trim, fin kicks, mask removal, and other basics. There is usually a nominal charge but it’s money well invested.
Whichever option you take this winter (perhaps a combination of every one ) have fun, keep active and keep thinking of scuba