Health Tip: The Aging Diver | Sport Diver

Health Tip: The Aging Diver

Aging Diver

Stephen Frink Collection/Alamy

Question: I will be turning 60 next month and am concerned that I will have to give up diving in the near future. Are you ever too old to dive?

Answer: As I too have joined the ranks of “mature divers” (loosely defined as over 50), I am increasingly more sympathetic in my response. Fortunately, the dive-medicine community generally concurs. Many people who took up diving in their youth want to continue to dive. Others, who perhaps lacked the opportunity to dive ­recreationally until retirement approached, are taking it up. There is no upper-­age limit for diving. If a diver is free of health problems that would potentially put him or her at a significantly higher risk of injury in the water than the average diver, there is no reason to refrain from diving.

Cardiovascular disease is by far the biggest health concern facing us as we age, but it is not an inevitable condition. Genetics plays a large role, but making smart choices regarding diet and exercise can pay huge dividends. Regular medical checkups and focused evaluations to exclude significant medical issues are more important for older divers. If you do not have a medical problem or take a medication that precludes safe diving, there is no reason you cannot continue to dive well into old age.

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