You do not have to be an Olympian to scuba dive but you do need to be in good, physical shape for the ultimate in safety and fun!
Just as with any type of physical activity, one of the first and best things you can do for yourself when it comes to scuba diving is to get into shape. Although water takes weight off the joints and allows the body to move about freely, scuba diving still requires a strong body for swimming and even breathing. Remember, that does not mean that you have to be a bodybuilder or track star, but you should prepare your body before you begin to dive.
Although you do not always need a physical examination to scuba dive, if you have physical challenges and even question whether you should have an exam, the safest thing would be to let the doctor determine if you are physically fit to dive. However, if you plan to become certified, you will be asked to complete a medical history questionnaire. The instructor will look over the answers and if none of the listed conditions applies to you, nothing further is needed. On the other hand, if you answer yes to any of the questions, you would be required to have your doctor provide a medical release.
While scuba diving is exciting, fun, and adventurous, it is physically demanding. In addition to this release ensuring that you are safe and not putting yourself at risk, it also protects the diving instructor or school from liability should something go wrong while diving. Although medical releases vary, most include standard questions and identify standard risks. For instance, a scuba diver should not be overweight, have circulatory or respiratory difficulties, and not suffer from things such as coronary disease, current cold or congestion, respiratory illness, and epilepsy.
Some medications can cause risk for divers and under no circumstance should an individual dive if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Therefore, if you have had any physical problems, even if you think they are no big deal, talk to the scuba diving instructor to make sure. Most often, challenges can be overcome, which would allow you to enjoy diving but being honest about your health could be the difference between life and death.