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The word apnea comes from the Greek phrase “a-pnoia” – ‘without breathing’. In current terminology it is used to refer to the sport of free diving which is the immersion underwater without the aid of respiration.
For some people free diving is a way to enjoy the depths of the ocean without the need of heavy, clumsy and uncomfortable SCUBA equipment. Others see free diving as an extreme sport with the uniqueness of requiring deep relaxation and peace in contrast to most other adrenaline pumping extreme sports. Some see free diving as an instrument for hunting underwater. Many see free diving as an art form and a form of self-expression and many others see freediving as the way to become one with the ocean and the rest of nature.
Free diving is a form of deep meditation which leads to a positive change in ones awareness of oneself and his surrounding environment and in one’s ability to concentrate. Free diving leads to a better physical and mental condition of those who practice it.
Apnea was certainly practiced in many cultures around the world and especially in populations settled on the shores of seas and lakes.Freediving was born out of the necessity to draw food.
Many people practice free diving without realizing it! A free diver is anyone who holds his breath and is immersed in water; from a person who plays with the fish at the depth of two meters to the person who descends to a depth of two hundred meters using a sled, as long as you’re holding your breath underwater and enjoying it, you are a free diver.
However the practice of free diving requires a healthy psychophysical condition. You have to remember that it is an outdoor recreational activity and it has various risks.
Lack of good training or a certain level of fitness (cardiovascular, pulmonary, and psychological) can impose great risks on an individual.
So keep in mind that if you wish to initiate the practice of free diving it is important for your safety that you undergo a thorough medical exam.

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