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9 Tips to improve your air consumption


At some point, everyone has looked up to dive guides and instructors with envy and mild suspicion; they must be hiding a pair of gills somewhere, because how else could anyone breathe so little? And everyone knows the dreaded question when we come back from a dive: "How much air did you finish the dive in?"


The good news is that if you feel like you're the only one who always gives the thumbs up before everyone else, there are lots of things you can do to improve your air intake and make your dives last longer:


#1 Buoyancy: To achieve neutral buoyancy, check your weights and make sure   that you are weighted accordingly. Battling buoyancy issues takes a lot of effort, and constantly unnecessarily inflating and deflating your BCD consumes the air in your cylinder quickly.


#2 - Take care of your equipment: Regularly check your equipment to make sure it doesn't have any leaks. Have it serviced by a trusted company.


# 3 - Configure your equipment: Look for different mounting positions until the best configuration so that you can stay as horizontal as possible in the water. This will keep you nimble in the water and result in less effort while diving.


# 4 - Minimalism: When diving, take with you strictly what is necessary for that dive, taking equipment that will not be used only increases the weight and its drag.


#5 - Relax: Perhaps the most important factor - reduce stress and just enjoy the ride; by reducing your workload underwater, you'll reduce your air consumption.


#6 - Slow Down: Doing movements in a calm, slow and deliberate manner will help you to keep your breathing rate in check so that you take slow, deep and controlled breaths.


#7 - Keep Warm: The colder you feel, the more air you consume to keep your body warm. Remember that you lose your body heat about 20 times faster in water than in air, so be sure to wear the proper exposure clothing to avoid getting cold.


#8 - Don't Use Your Hands: Don't use your hands, use your fins. Swimming with your hands won't give you the displacement you want, and will only increase your air consumption unnecessarily. (The exception here, of course, is if you have physical limitations and can only use your hands to get your speed.)


#9 - Dive More: The more you dive, the more familiar you become with your gear, the more comfortable you'll feel in the water, and therefore the more relaxed you'll be on your dives (remember point #5).


So, the next time you dive, try these little tricks and you'll soon be able to stay on the bottom longer and better control your air consumption.


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