5 Things You Need to Know About Scuba Diving; Here's Your Scuba 101

An underwater adventure awaits

Are you seeking an underwater adventure that involves more than sipping piña coladas poolside with your toes in the shallow end? If deep sea navigation paired with exploration floats your boat, scuba diving will be right up your alley as you plunge beneath the surface.

Scuba diving is an experience you won't soon forget. As land creatures, being able to breathe underwater without coming up for air may seem unnatural, but it's unbelievable. Let's dive in…

The Skinny on Scuba

Scuba 101Unsplash

As explained by Arenal Diving, "SCUBA (stands for) Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus." Advanced divers can go as deep as 40m, but as a beginner, "Most courses limit the maximum depth of all dives to 18m until the diver has obtained further training and experience."

Aside from the thrill of going deep, the things you'll see under the sea will open your eyes. As Aquaworld puts it, "As soon as you submerge, (you) will access a whole new dimension filled with marine life and biodiversity overall. Bright coral reefs, flashy invertebrates, curious marine mammals and an unbelievable array of colorful fish."

Not to mention how you'll feel. Being underwater gives you the sensation of weightlessness. "A scuba diver exploring the ocean can be compared to an astronaut space walking. Being able to control your buoyancy will give you a great comfort which enables you to freely dive," notes Aquaworld.

No wonder scuba divers are always so eager to share their amazing adventures and dish about their dramatic dives!

You'll Need to Get Certified

Get certifiedgetyourscubacertification.wordpress.com

This activity is far from a "dive right in" sort of hobby. As fun as scuba diving is, you'll need to learn the ropes to ensure you're as prepared and safe as can be. Whether it's a few classes, a full-on course, or a pre-dive brush-up demo, scuba education is not only useful, but required in any legitimate diving spot. You must be at least 12-years-old to begin scuba diver training.

As per the World Organization of Scuba Diving (WOSD), "Learning to scuba dive is actually very easy. In principle, everyone can learn in 15 minutes time how he or she needs to breathe and move underwater. However, being safe and responsible underwater needs some more time. To do this, you not only need the necessary knowledge. Also, you need to master various skills to ensure that you are no longer a danger to the underwater world, for other divers and for yourself."

According to Fly & Sea Adventures, "In order to become a scuba diver, you will have to complete a short course and obtain a certificate." The course consists of three parts – knowledge development, confined water dives, and open water dives. Fly & Sea Adventures adds, "Courses last a minimum of three days, but the practical sessions, confined dives and open water dives can be spread out over a few months."

The more teaching and training, the better. Study up, practice, and prep as much as you can before your first outing and always continue educating yourself between dives. Follow these steps to take towards certification.

Get in Gear with the Appropriate Gear

Scuba gearstore.ecdivers.com

Scuba diving requires special gear that not only protects but provides underwater utility needed for deep sea swims. As Arenal Diving explains, "We have different equipment that we use to enable us to dive; masks allow us to see under the water, fins help us move around easily and the scuba unit allows us to breathe underwater. The air that we breathe is exactly the same as the atmosphere (only cleaner and without humidity)."

According to Scuba Diving, "It's helpful to think of buying gear in two phases: first, the basic stuff you need for class; second, the major pieces of life support — regulator, BC and dive computer — that you're allowed to purchase once you've got a (certification)."

You'll Need to be Aware of Your Body and Mind

The "bends"Unsplash

Scuba diving isn't the same as swimming. You will need to realize you'll be experiencing new and sometimes odd sensations and reactions to the different way of getting air while under the surface. Some people experience decompression syndromes AKA Caisson disease, commonly referred to as "the bends."

"The bends" occurs in scuba divers or high altitude or aerospace events when dissolved gases (mainly nitrogen) come out of solution in bubbles and can affect just about any body area including joints, lung, heart, skin and brain. Decompression sickness (DCS) is caused by the formation of bubbles of gas that occur with changes in pressure during scuba diving," as explained by emedicinehealth. Symptoms include fatigue, rashes, joint pain, itching, chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and others.

Emedicinehealth advises seeking medical care if you experience any of these symptoms within 48 hours of scuba diving. Doctors treat patients in a hyperbaric recompression chamber.

If you don't feel mentally or physically prepared for such possibilities, rethink your drive to dive.

Buddy Up

Get a scuba buddyUnsplash.com

Find a friend, family member, or "special someone" to experience scuba diving with. Whether a beginner or a long-time scuba diver, sharing the moments and memories with someone as thrilled about the experience as you are is priceless.

Additionally, being with a buddy is an extra step towards safety. Going out into the ocean is always risky no matter how many precautionary measures you take. Knowing someone is accountable for your whereabouts and you for theirs adds another layer of security.

If you can't find an adventure-seeking someone to scuba with, Aquaworld knows you won't be lonely. "Diving is very social! You'll meet a lot of new people in your adventures from all over the world with many different cultures and you will always have something to talk about with these new friends."

You Must Love the Water

An underwater wonderlandUnsplash.com

Any scuba diver knows how much time will be spent in the water. If you're not into the whole "beach thing," choosing scuba as an activity may be a letdown. But if you love the ocean air, blue waves, sunshine, and sand, scuba diving is your calling. You'll be off dry land for extended periods of time, making your experience refreshing and rewarding. Even the training will involve lots of underwater education, so you must be willing to get wet!

And according to Andy Scuba Diving, even non-swimmers can get into scuba. "In over 10 years in the diving industry we have had plenty of experience with non-swimmers and even the occasional person who has a fear of water! It is not unusual that someone who is fearful of being in the sea still has a compelling urge to go scuba diving. It just proves what a powerful attraction our beautiful underwater world has."

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How Prima Helped Me Improve My Daily Routine

Primas hemp products helped my create new habits

The last few months of working from home and barely leaving my apartment have been tough. Everyone seems to be improving themselves during quarantine but I was just trying to adjust to the new isolated way of living.

Now that the hardest part is hopefully behind us, I'm ready for some self-improvement. After months of WFH followed by binge-watching Netflix and binge-eating junk till 2 am, I've got to make a few changes. I took some advice from my sister who told me to pick three areas I'd like to makeover and then form new habits to help me achieve my goals.

She also suggested that I try hemp. She's been in love with all of Primas products for the last month and claims they've made a huge difference in how balanced she feels throughout the day. She said that Prima's hemp stands out from other brands because it's the highest quality hemp and rigorously tested to ensure potency and purity. But I was all about the new habits, so I ignored that advice.

Here are the three new habits I've added to my daily routine:

  1. Make time for me!

This one may seem silly after nearly three months stuck in the house alone, but what I mean is quality time for me. I needed to integrate activities that are mentally and physically constructive. I heard yoga was great for your mind and body and with so many tutorials on youtube, I added 20 minutes of yoga before breakfast to my morning routine.

2. Exercise

I don't like gyms and that's never going to change. So I needed to refresh my exercise options. I love being outdoors so I added an evening walk weeknights and long hikes on the weekends. The fresh air clears my head after a long day and I can start hitting those 10K steps we're meant to do every day!

3. Less Screentime

This isn't just for kids! I realized I was on my work laptop all day, and when I wasn't looking at that screen I was watching TV on my phone. My eyes were never getting a break and neither was my head. I had to limit the crazy amount of time I was spending on my phone. I got a free app that alerts me when I'm on it too long, like an alarm that kicks me off. Then I ordered some novels to read instead of scrolling through Instagram and Twitter in bed. Now I read a few chapters and nod off.

My new habits took a while to get used to, but after two weeks of constantly reminding myself, they're part of my routine that I'm just loving. I'm definitely sleeping better and feel more motivated in the morning. However, I still felt like there was something missing. And my aching neck started to get worse. I thought the yoga would help but once the afternoon hit, my namaste had completely vanish-tayed and my neck was in bits by bedtime! I even sorted out my home office with a new chair and keyboards so I wouldn't be bending it so much all day but I think the damage was done.

That's when my sister jumped in and reminded me that I should try Prima's hemp products. For my neck? I still doubted that was the solution. But when she promised me Primas R+R recovery cream would help my neck, with her husband also vouching for it I gave it a go.

Once it arrived at my door I tried it every night a week for bed. The first night I felt a little difference but I just put that down to the cooling effect of the menthol. I was surprised hemp was just one ingredient among so many really amazing ones such as menthol, eucalyptus, and marula oil. Along with the botanicals tea tree, lavender, rosemary, and peppermint which are great to encourage total relaxation. While on their site, I couldn't believe the variety of hemp products they have.

By the end of the week, I really felt the magic of Primas R+R cream and it has become the most important part of my nighttime routine. I forget what it was like to have neck discomfort thanks to Prima.

I loved it so much that I couldn't help treating myself to their award-winning Night Magic Serum. I can't wait for my glowy skin!!

I never imagined I'd become a hemp fan, but Prima is the perfect piece to complete my revamped wellness routine that makes me more mindful and balanced. I'm so glad my sister introduced me to Prima, it's my new favorite habit that I will be keeping!

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What's Up with All These Fireworks?

New Yorkers have been hearing constant explosions throughout the night. Is it a conspiracy?

If you live in a large metropolitan area like New York City, Black Lives Matter protests likely aren't the only things you hear making noise in the streets.

In the past couple of weeks, as Black Lives Matter supporters march in memory of George Floyd and countless other Black people killed by police, the sounds of fireworks can be heard virtually every weekend. More than just your average Fourth of July shindig, these explosions often trail into the wee hours of the morning.

According to Gothamist, there were 6,385 total "311" complaints about fireworks in New York City from June 1 to June 19—up from 27 during the same time period last year. "This is not the simple firecrackers and little small toy-type rockets, but it was very elaborate," Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told Gothamist. "That in itself is raising a high level of concern with me... When you see the large displays along Brooklyn and in Manhattan, Upper Manhattan, you're seeing extremely sophisticated type fireworks displays that can be extremely dangerous in the hands of the wrong people."

Anything more powerful than a sparkler is illegal in New York, but that hasn't stopped regular folks from buying the type of fireworks you'd see in a professional display. But who is buying these fireworks, and what are they trying to accomplish? There are some wild theories.

NYPD, FDNY appear to let illegal fireworks show play out, video shows

NYPD, FDNY appear to let illegal fireworks show play out, video shows nypost.com

As author Robert Jones, Jr. pointed out in a lengthy Twitter thread, antics by "bored Black and brown kids" tends to be the general assumption made by most mainstream media. "My neighbors and I believe that this is part of a coordinated attack on Black and Brown communities by government forces; an attack meant to disorient and destabilize the #BlackLivesMatter movement," Jones wrote.

One goal Jones proposed was that white people were the ones setting off the constant fireworks in an attempt to "stoke tensions between Black and Brown peoples." Many have voiced their frustrations online about the sheer volume of the fireworks they hear, and a shared annoyance is growing.

Another motive Jones proposed was that the fireworks are being used as a desensitization method to acclimate citizens to the sounds of the blasts—which often sound like gunshots. "When they start using their real artillery on us we won't know the difference," Jones wrote. "It's meant to sound like a war zone because a war zone is what it's about to become."

Police don't seem too concerned. The New York Post shared a video this week of fireworks being set off behind an NYPD precinct in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. No officers appear to deter them. A similar video in Harlem, Manhattan also shows a flock of police cars—none of which seem to mind the explosions.

Another video shows what appears to be Brooklyn firefighters setting off fireworks:

Video shows FDNY firefighters light off illegal fireworks in Brooklyn

Video shows FDNY firefighters light off illegal fireworks in Brooklyn nypost.com

Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he was forming a task force to combat the illegal fireworks. "Illegal fireworks are both dangerous and a public nuisance," he said. "We're cracking down on this activity at the source to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers and the ability of our neighbors to get some sleep."

But if over 6,000 complaints have been made about fireworks to seemingly no avail, it seems a task force won't merit much of an improvement.

Many seem to agree with the theory that inconspicuous government officials have been offering fireworks to Black children, newly on summer vacation and hungry for ways to ease their quarantine boredom. As with many issues going on in America, these constant fireworks will probably be just another way for the government to further discriminate against marginalized groups.

At least we can always rely on memes to spread the good word.

I don't know about you guys, but working from home has taken a serious toll on me. It started off really well. I was sticking to my usual routine as much as possible, but I've been slowly becoming less and less productive.

I noticed my sleep schedule had completely changed. I was rolling out of bed a few minutes before I was due to start work, and sometimes even working from my bed. I ate lunch at the desk and worked straight through my scheduled breaks. I was sleepier throughout the day, unable to focus as much, and just feeling less motivated overall.

So I looked into what I could do that would help me out of my slump. I tried a few things. Some were so simple I never thought they'd make much of a difference, and some I wouldn't have thought of at all, but now I'm back feeling more productive than ever.

Here are my three tips for working from home:

1. Get up early

Yes, it seems so simple. But it's super important to stick to a normal routine if you can. Not only do I get up early, but I shower every morning and cook myself a nutritious breakfast before I start work. This definitely helped me feel more energized and motivated throughout the day.

2. Have a designated workspace

This is important because it separates your work from your home. Our homes are associated with relaxing, so designating a space that will be used only for work will help you concentrate on work while you're in that space. I also found that doing this helped me actually take appropriate breaks. When I left the space I was in relax mode, and once I came back, I was ready to work again.

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3. CBD supplements

When looking into ways to improve my focus and sleeping patterns, I came across an article about CBD supplements, specifically a brand called Prima. I'd never bought into the whole CBD craze, but when I read that you can try Prima's Rest Easy, Go-To, and Brain Fuel elixirs by purchasing their Trifecta for just $26 with shipping, I thought why not?

The elixirs are powders that you can mix into any beverage. The Prima Trifecta has a few samples of all three. The Brain Fuel elixir is to be taken in the morning, so I mixed it into my coffee, and I was awake and alert and able to throw myself into my working day.

Their Go-To elixir should be taken around noon. My daily midday productivity crash had gotten so much worse while working at home, but taking this elixir helped keep me sharp through the remainder of my work day.

The Rest Easy elixir is taken at night to help you get a good sleep. Since I started taking this my sleep schedule has greatly improved. It was so much easier to get up early again. It left me feeling well rested and ready to start my day.

I never realized how much simple things, like setting out a specific workspace, and getting up early would help me escape my unproductive rut. I wasn't expecting Prima's CBD supplements to help as much as they did, but they definitely had the biggest impact for me.

After trying the Prima Trifecta, I ended up buying the full size of all three elixirs. If you're having problems with sleep, focus, and productivity like I was, I'd recommend ordering the Prima Trifecta.

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This is a real testimonial.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.