Yes, I realize there’s not much good freediving around the office, but now that I’ve gone back to working a desk, I’ve had to be more creative with my training. I have to go to 6am gym sessions and have MacGyver-ed a stand-up desk so I don’t have to sit all day. Luckily I really do love my new job, but the key is making the office work for your needs without letting your regular tasks slip. Here are a few tips I’ve found that help me keep up on my general freediving fitness while working a desk.
Stretch– Be sure to stop several times during the day and take a moment to stretch out. I’m not even saying you need to get on the floor and do downward facing dog in the office, but pause for a moment, touch your toes, stretch your arms above your head, stretch side to side to loosen your intercostal muscles and do some twists to relax your spine. It takes only a couple minutes and keeps your flexibility up during the day.
Alarms– I’ve got a phone alarm that beeps at me every 2-3 hours to remind me to go move around. It’s great to do a few squats or lunges to keep your legs strong for kicking and occasionally, if you can, try a 1 minute plank or a few situps. These are particularly helpful for dolphin kicking.
Easy Apnea– If I’m working on a project on the computer and don’t have to be on the phone, I’ll do some easy breath-holds. Try not to push too hard as that can often draw unwanted attention from coworkers and nobody wants to be that weirdo who makes strange noises in the office. However, a fairly easy breath-hold practice can be done while typing a report or emailing and will remind your body to stay ready for the diving coming on the weekend.
Gym– Make it work on the off hours. Any office workout isn’t going to replace a full gym program, so commit to yourself several days a week to make it there before or after work. Or, even better, take your lunch break at the gym. It breaks up the day, gets your heart rate up and lets you get in a few apnea walks!
Daily Goals– Do at least one thing each day to work towards your freediving goals. If it’s to dive deeper, work on your equalization technique on a break. If it’s to learn how to spearfish, try reading up on local fishing regulations at lunch.
Weekend Goals– Do at least one bigger thing on the weekend to work towards those goals. Try fitting in at least one full, difficult apnea table per week. Or, do some resipiratory muscle stretches every Saturday morning. Whatever it is, commit yourself for a given period of time and you’ll notice improvement next time you’re out in the water.
Go Diving on Weekends- Crazy, I know, but there’s really no substitute for going diving. Plus, that’s the whole reason you’re working hard in the first place, so make time for it.
Hope this helps and take it from me: working in an office is no reason to let your freediving skill slide!