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When it comes to what happens to the human body in extreme environments – like scuba diving in cold waters – Dr Neal Pollock knows his stuff. In fact, he probably knows it better than anyone else on the planet.

Which is why we should consider ourselves lucky that he has agreed to present some of his research to Aquasport divers when he is in the UK later this month.

If you want to know his credentials, Dr Pollock is research director at DAN and a research associate in the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology at Duke University Medical Center, he sits on the board of directors of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and on the editorial board of the journal Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. Among many other things.

So you can see he is smarter than most of us in the room – put together. And here’s why.

Aquasport staff members who saw his eye-opening presentations on diving in cold water and dive fitness when he was in the UK last year have both admitted that it changed the way they way they looked at their diving. And he promises to do the same this year.

Just read part of the introduction to his dive fitness paper in Alert Diver, the journal of the Divers Alert Network or DAN.

“If you want to dive, you need to be ready. If you exercise regularly at an intensity that keeps your heart rate above 70 percent of maximum or so for more than 90 minutes per week, it is a good bet that you are physically fit enough to dive recreationally under a variety of conditions. Diving activity alone, however, will likely not be enough to constitute regular exercise. In addition, exercise conducted during or close to diving has implications for safety. So, what are the recommendations for exercise and diving?”

Now read the paper and ask yourself if you are dive fit.

Think about thermal stress and your body temperature when diving. It can be a great concern for divers particularly in the UK and appropriate thermal protection can play a major role in making a dive enjoyable. Now take Dr Pollock’s thermal stress quiz and see how much you really know.

If you have got through those two pieces of information with your brain still intact then you can see why attending Dr Pollock’s presentation is an important one for you.

His presentation remains a closely guarded secret and the arrangements for when and where are still being finalised but keep Thursday 29th November free in diaries because this is one not to be missed. The presentation is free for paid-up club members but there will be a small charge for non-club members.

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