While scuba diving may not give onlookers the impression of being an energetic or high impact sport, or even be a sport that people looking to get fit would take up, it does still provide lots of health benefits for those who enjoy it as a hobby.
To consider why, think about the environment in which the sport is performed, the areas of the body that are constantly in use while in the water, and the demands that are placed upon it.
Combine that with the effects on the mind and you may be surprised at the results.
Scuba Diving Environment
Unlike other sports performed in the gym or outdoors, the environment in which scuba divers perform offers much greater resistance than ‘thin air’. Every movement performed whilst in the water requires much more effort to counter the water resistance than the same movement performed on land.
When the body is totally submerged, the water is acting against every moving muscle, so unlike other sports it is not only one area of the body that benefits from the exercise it is the body as a whole.
The best thing about it though, is that while divers are under water exploring or interacting with the marine life they have found, they don’t see it as exercise; neither do they feel as though they are exercising, divers are simply doing what they love to do.
Everyone knows that swimming is an excellent way of burning excess calories and toning muscle, but rather than swimming on the surface of the water divers are beneath the waves, where the pressure is greater and the water resistance is more intense.
Never Hold Your Breath
It’s not that lung capacity will increase by taking up scuba diving, but this is a sport that encourages correct breathing, and by breathing correctly you are ensuring that the oxygen in your blood is kept at the correct levels and that your muscles are kept supplied with everything they need to operate at peak efficiency.
Breathing is something we all take for granted whilst on dry land, but beneath the water breathing, and breathing correctly is of paramount importance.
Not only does it impact on the rate of air consumption but also on the diver’s buoyancy control, which is essential when planning the descent to the sea floor.
Scuba will reduce stress
We can all benefit from reducing stress in our lives, and is there any environment less stress inducing than the weightlessness of the underwater world.
If a trip to an aquarium can reduce the stress levels of the average person then the fact that you are swimming in the wide open water with them must do an awful lot more.
Scuba divers must be the less stressed people on the planet! The weightlessness and tranquillity of the underwater environment works to soothe the mind whilst the support of the water eases aching muscles.
How many people wish that they could leave the world behind and escape to somewhere relaxing, stress free and where their bodies are not limited to the usual daily restrictions? Scuba divers make that escape every time they enter the water.
Scuba diving Benefits from Head to Toe
By making your sport scuba diving you will be putting your body in situations that cannot be replicated on land and therefore exercising it in ways that simply cannot be performed anywhere else.
Leg and arm muscles undergo development and toning as they work against the resistance of the deep water.
Feet become more flexible and supple as they power the body through the water, working against the resistance in play against the fins. Divers need to remain constantly aware and focussed whilst in this alien environment and regular dives will improve concentration and co-ordination and eventually the diver’s sense of balance.
When under the water all the distractions of daily life are left on the surface, as the diver submerges the mind is cleansed and refreshed and ‘surface time’ suspended for the entirety of the dive.
This is one sport that works on body and mind combined to increase fitness levels and decrease stress levels, so for those who had trouble seeing any benefits to health associated with this sport, they should now see that there are in fact plenty of health benefits in its favor, and a sport that many more people should try so that they can feel the benefits for themselves.
How does scuba diving benefit you? Let us know in the comments below
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Blog written by: Rutger Thole who used to be a scuba scuba instructor but he got stuck in a suit a couple of years ago. Now he is on his way back, as a the founder of bookyourdive he travels and dives as much as he can. His motto as a start up founder and scuba diver is "The only good suit is a wetsuit"