We all know that Scuba Diving is a very enjoyable and relaxing sport, but did you know that it is truly good for your health…mind, body and soul? Here are Health Fitness Revolution‘s list of health benefits of scuba diving:
- Warm Water Adventures: Unless you’re lucky enough to live by the sea- a sea worth scuba diving in- you’re going to have to travel to enjoy this sport. We wrote an article about how traveling makes you a healthier person here. Taking a vacation and getting away from daily stresses will improve one’s mental health. In addition, the majority of divers when planning a diving vacation choose warm, tropical climates where they are exposed to more sunlight than usual. One of the most important benefits of sunlight is that it supplies the body with Vitamin D which has many health benefits including increased absorption of calcium which strengthens bones. It also increases endorphin production in the brain which makes us happier!
- Physical Fitness: Exercising in water is very effective due to the natural resistance water has against our bodies especially when we kick our legs to fin and propel ourselves in the water. It has been shown that scuba diving for an hour can burn as many as 500 calories, making it just as beneficial in terms of calorie burn as working out for an hour on a cardiovascular machine in the gym.
- Breathing and Meditation: Slow, deep breathing is important in scuba diving to optimize air consumption and bottom time. An added bonus is that deep, steady breathing promotes a calm attitude and reduces the risk of a lung-expansion injury. Similar to breathing during meditation (we wrote an article about the health benefits of meditation here), breathing slowly and deeply while diving induces a calm, relaxed state while the diver focuses on the underwater environment rather than thinking about problems they may be experiencing in daily life.
- Healing Effects of Water: Often, people who are submersed in water tend to calm down or to be healed. Water has a way of making us feel healed and restored. For example, watching fish in an aquarium has a relaxing affect on the mind. Compare that to actually being in that underwater environment and those calming effects are intensified. This is one of the reasons divers keep going back for more. They find it a great way to unwind, relax and forget about all the stresses of daily modern life. When divers are underwater, they are at the mercy of the ocean currents and surges. The very act of surrendering to this force instantly calms the body and allows it to flow just as the marine life does so naturally. Rather than fighting against the natural flow, this act of surrender induces a calmness and feeling of being at home in the underwater environment.
- Marine Life Encounters: Connecting with marine life takes the health benefits of diving to a whole new level. Just as pet owners feel good when they interact with their household pets, interacting with marine life creates a connection that most divers will never forget. The pure pleasure, wonder and awe of interacting with and being up close to amazing marine creatures produces a feeling of increased well-being. This feeling is heightened when we have an encounter with a species we feel a certain attraction to such as sharks or sea turtles.
- Being Part of a Community: Scuba divers use the “buddy system” when diving, which can be someone they’ve just met. Traveling and experiencing the beauty of the ocean with other similar minded people can lead to both lifelong friendships and a sense of belonging within a community. Being social is a part of overall health.