Health benefits of diving

Not just blowing bubbles
Not just blowing bubbles

If you ask most divers what the health benefits of scuba diving are they will probably tell you they’re not sure but that “it makes me feel great – and it’s so relaxing!”  So, we thought you might like to know why.

There are, of course several reasons. The first is that diving is not so much a relaxing activity as a “recreational sport” and scuba diving, even for novices, can deliver the wonderful combination of stillness of mind and a physical workout. And if you consider yourself to be somewhat exercise averse, you hardly notice how much exercise you’re doing. That is, until you come back to the surface, take off your gear and realise it might be time for a little nap!

Water is heavier than air and therefore provides greater resistance against your movements. As a result, the water helps develop and strengthen your muscles without the physical impact of other sports. So, you benefit from the exercise without risking your joints. To move efficiently through the water, a diver learns to streamline their body, engaging core, glute and back muscles, and kick from the hip, as opposed to from the knee to glide through the water. Let’s also not forget the out-of-water benefits of diving. Lifting scuba tanks, weights and other dive equipment can be comparable to many weight lifting exercises. The amazing thing is divers can experience the strengthening benefits of diving without feeling the strain of a typical workout, as they are not sweating profusely as they would with a more traditional fitness regime and are taught to achieve neutral buoyancy, or weightlessness, while underwater. As a low-impact sport, diving also offers an exciting alternative to running, biking or other activities that could cause knee problems. As regards to burning calories, a one hour scuba dive can easily burn up 350 calories.

A further benefit of scuba diving is that it will improve your breathing technique. Diving underwater requires you to inhale and exhale deeper. The health benefits of deep breathing techniques are numerous and studies show that yogic deep breathing is extremely effective in handling depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders. Furthermore, deep breathing stimulates the lymphatic system, which is an important component in the elimination of toxins from your body.

Lastly, scuba diving is good for reducing stress as it allows you to take your mind off work or other niggling distractions. Every dive offers the opportunity to disengage from the real world’s distractions and simply be present in the activity. Every breath is focused, every movement is deliberate. The mind can relax and focus on simple things; fully inhaling and exhaling, making minor adjustments to buoyancy, extending and elongating a kick cycle. All while enjoying some amazing marine life. By focusing on a recreational activity such as diving, and many other sports, you give your mind the chance to truly relax.  The whole experience of scuba diving, especially when you are surrounded breathtaking coral or tropical fish with myriad colours – brings a sense of joy and happiness that simply must be good for you!!!