There are many misconceptions about scuba diving. Some people think that you are starving your brain of oxygen or the pressure is damaging your internal organs. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact there are many health benefits when you scuba dive and just about everyone should be doing it to stay fit. Here are the top 8 health benefits of scuba diving!
1. Increased Fitness Levels
Scuba divers must have a certain level of fitness to be able to dive safely. To be able to deal with situations like strong currents, swimming long distances or having to tread water you must have some strength and stamina. However, diving itself also helps to maintain and increase fitness levels just like any other resistance training would. Moving gear and being generally active is also healthy and increases general endurance.
2. Better Breathing
One of the very best benefits of diving is learning to breathe in a deep, controlled way. From the very first time you start to learn to dive you will be taught how to breathe safely and effectively.
Just like during yoga or meditation, being able to control your breathing while diving brings a sense of calm and focus. This not only readies divers for any troubles they may encounter under the water, but above water as well in everyday life.
Additionally, there are some incredible benefits for the body when you increase lung capacity. It has been proven that increased oxygen intake stimulates circulation, balanced our nervous system, increases energy levels and is beneficial to all of our organs.
3. More Strength and Flexibility
When you’re diving you have the resistance of the water and the currents to contend with. This makes your muscles work harder than they do on land. Diving and swimming regularly is a great way to build muscle and also lengthen them at the same time. When your muscles lengthen they also become more flexible.
4. Lowered Blood Pressure
Diving in the tropics is generally in warmer water but it is still cooler than normal body tempertature. Immersing the body in water cooler than body temp causes blood vessels on the surface of the body to constrict to save warmth for our internal organs. This can cause a spike in blood pressure. However, when you begin to swim and warm up your muscles and also breathe deeply and regularly, your heart rate will slow. This steady breathing is great for lowering blood pressure and calming your nervous system. You may think this is just during diving but it can also have an effect on your blood pressure out of the water as well.
5. Stress Relief
For many divers diving is a source of happiness, relaxation and stress relief. Coupled with the breathing techniques and lowered blood pressure, the meditative state of diving is an excellent way to let worries go. When you are under the water worries about work, family life, and money seem to just drift away. Giving the body and mind a break from the daily grind is proven to have a knock on effect in every day positivity and productiveness.
6. Improved Posture
When you dive you may think you’re just strengthening your arms and legs. This is far from the truth though. When you swim you use all of your core muscles from your transverse abdominus, rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques and erector spinae. Together these muscles create a solid base for holding your spine in an upright position. When you strengthen these muscles you will sit up straighter, have less back pain, and hold your shoulders, neck and head in a more comfortable way.
7. The Theraputic Effect of Water
Have you ever thought of why so many people like to soak in a warm relaxing bath or float around in a swimming pool? Scientists have proven that water can bring you back to the feeling of being in your mother’s womb. As strange as this may seem, floating or being submerged in water promotes a feeling of well-being, safety and happiness.
With the therapeutic effects of water, the calmness of breathing and the beauty of nature surrounding you it’s impossible to be unhappy. There might be nerves or adrenaline rushing around your body but happiness always takes over. And we’ve all read the about the correlation between happiness and health. It’s even thought that happy people live longer!
If these aren’t great reasons to dive I don’t know what else we could do to convince you. If you already dive you surely have seen at least some these health benefits. Do you have anything to add to this list? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below.