What if I told you breathing underwater is one of the healthiest activities you can do? Well, scuba diving that is.
We haven't figured out another way to breathe underwater quite yet besides for submarines, and that doesn't have near the health benefits that scuba diving does.
Not only is diving down in the Ocean with a tank strapped to your back one of the most memorable and breathtaking (no pun intended) experiences a human can have underwater, it is also good for both mind and body.
Before you hop in, you're going to need some solid scuba gear. Luckily, here at Fin Bin we have reviews of the top scuba gear packages on the market so that you don't have to break a sweat on your search.
Here are some of our favorite benefits and some scientifically backed advantages that the wonderful world of scuba diving can have on the human being.
#1 Breathe Control and Breathe Awareness
If you've never been scuba diving before or have a scuba tank sitting in the back of your car most days, the breathe is often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of scuba diving. As soon as you're underneath the surface of the water, Darth Vader like breathing fills your ears as you hear both your inhale and exhale so your focus undoubtedly will drift toward your breathe. A pretty rad fact is that George Lucas used an old scuba regulator to create Darth Vader's sinister sounding breathing. Breath awareness comes through at this point, and if your scuba instructor gave you proper instructions on the surface, you would begin to breath slow and deep. Doing this both calms your heart rate and is essential to conserving the air in your tank. Breathe control and breathe awareness have recently gained popularity due to the biological effects of meditation and yoga, where one breathes slowly and deeply while focusing attention on the breath or another point of focus. Scuba Diving is quite similar to meditation in many ways since it is all about being present in the moment and breathing consciously.
#2 Emotional Wellbeing and Stress Reduction
Statistically, a high number of adults suffer from stress, and I believe most of us would agree we could on some level increase our emotional wellbeing. In my eyes, an enjoyable activity that can provide for an improved quality of life through lowering stress and balancing emotional status is a win-win. In a very simple and straightforward approach to scuba diving let's look at it merely as physical activity. Numerous scientific studies show that practicing / participating in a physical activity directly reduces stress and improves mood. Delving a bit deeper into the science of it all, there are specific studies that pinpoint scuba diving and the results all point positively to the fact diving does indeed lower stress and stabilize emotional wellbeing.
#3 Physical Work Out
Most of us have heard that swimming works most of the muscles in our body, and scuba diving is the same. As you swim through the water with fins your quads, hamstrings, core, hips, calves, and shoulders are all being worked in a variety ways with all of the unique movements that scuba entails. Studies show that a single dive burns on average 500 calories and a more intensive dive, of course, burns more. The most effective way to move your fins through the water is slow, consistent and using the full range of motion that is possible. This is a low impact focus on your muscles that work them over a 30-45 min. range, or as long as the dive lasts. Depending on where you dive, the current could be the main factor and moving against the current whether you are attempting to swim against it or stay still to observe micro life on a rock ledge requires constant movement and the use of all the muscles mentioned above.
Now, this doesn't mean that after diving for your first time that you will have the flexibility of a yogi but scuba diving and flexibility do have a direct correlation. For example, slipping into wetsuits time and time again requires some flexibility and after diving enough those muscles will naturally respond. In addition to that, the limber movements that are made underwater when turning, maneuvering around objects and staying at the desired position are not really noticed during the dive. It is not often noticed immediately since one is often so engaged by the underwater world, but if you pay attention to the changes your body feels on the surface, you will feel your muscles loosen up and become more limber. The scuba community for a whole is quite focused on physical fitness and with that comes the practice of stretching both before and after the dive. Stretching or yoga is the ideal pre-dive warm up and after half an hour spent underwater nothing feels better than lightly stretching on the boat or beach.
#5 Social Interaction
There is no arguing that social interaction is the key to human growth and general happiness. The community that surrounds diving is a real close-knit group of humans and there is a rarely a dive you will go on alone. Personally, this is one of my favorite aspects/benefits of diving. Divers are known to be kind and quite welcoming. Often, people, you meet on your dive trips, whether it be your dive instructor/guide or fellow divers become friends that you will continue to share a special bond within the years that follow. Experiencing scuba diving and being able to share that with others is absolutely beautiful. Every dive is unique and the ability to come together as a group and discuss the intricacies of what you saw, the current, location...etc. It is extraordinary.
#6 Healing Effects of Water
Last and surely not least is the healing properties of water, salt water especially. The Ocean is healing on so many levels; it absorbs toxins on the skin, has various minerals, heals infection and in my personal opinion soothes the soul. Now, most diving happens in general around the equator, and this means sunshine. The health benefits of sunlight are endless since without it we would not exist and a day of salt drenched and sun-filled day is one of the finer things in life.