Living by the ocean has always pushed me to take advantage of what it has to offer.
That’s why I took up snorkeling, and when I first started I was hooked. Having the ocean as my backyard made it irresistible to explore.
I ended up loving it so much that I began working as a tour guide during summertime, and took snorkel tours almost every day.
When the season slowed down I wasn’t getting in the water as much, and when I didn’t snorkel for more than a week or two I noticed a difference in my mood and demeanor.
That’s because I didn’t substitute another healthy practice into my daily routine. Snorkeling almost every other day was so essential to the health of my body and mind. I didn’t realize I was missing out on a variety of health benefits.
Now I make sure to either snorkel or do another form of exercise in my weekly routine so I can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise I’d be missing out on benefits like these listed below.
Once you finish reading this article and the snorkel motivation kicks in, make sure to head on over to our snorkel gear main page to read some reviews on the best snorkel gear around!
Cardio For the Win
Cardio exercise is defined as any exercise that raises your heart rate. When snorkeling, you are using leg muscles to kick and propel yourself through the water. Enough so to raise your heart rate which helps your cardiovascular system bring oxygen to cells in your muscles, which then helps burn fat. Snorkeling is an adventurous way to a cardio workout.
Weight Loss & Muscle Strengthening
Kicking around in swim fins might not feel like much, but you can burn up to 300 calories an hour. There is enough water resistance to create weight loss from this activity. It’s not like your dead lifting weights, but you are toning your muscles by engaging in the sport. You can take the activity up a notch by giving yourself a mile marker to snorkel to and from.
Reduce The Risk Of Chronic Disease
Snorkeling regularly can help improve risk of chronic disease. If one can find themselves in the ocean swimming around more than once a week, signs of cardiovascular fitness and body composition improve. Along with decreasing blood pressure and body fat. Heart diseases and diabetes are two main culprits to chronic disease with lack of exercise. Snorkeling frequently is a fun and proactive way to counteract these diseases.
Low Impact on Joints
We all know that swimming is beneficial exercise to our joints and body because it provides low impact. Well snorkeling is swimming with a pair of fins, snorkel mask and goggles, so it too is friendly to our body. The water is an excellent place to stretch and move muscles you don’t typically use, because water is a supportive element to play in. It keeps us buoyant so we aren’t putting much pressure on our joints and muscles. I’ve even gone as far as stretching and doing yoga while I’m floating around snorkeling because the water is so gentle. Flexibility plays an important part for the longevity of our joints. So by swimming around and snorkeling you can become more flexible while being gentle to your joints.
Helps Stress & Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are almost unavoidable habits we adhere to on a daily basis. We cause ourselves stress as it is our bodies responding to survival habits. Along with surviving the daily hustle and grind comes the anxiety induced by stress. Snorkeling counteracts the two mentalities as it coaxes our over stimulated brains with endorphins. Just like studies explaining how staring at the beach changes our brain frequency, snorkeling at the beach does the same. Snorkeling is a meditative practice because your taking the time to slow down your brain with controlled breathing. I mean it is hard to argue that observing fauna sway back and forth through the oceans blue and teal hues wouldn’t be good for stress or anxiety.
Improves Breath Work
Consciously inhaling and exhaling through your snorkel is similar to the yoga practice Pranayama. Pranayama is a form of meditation by controlled breathing. People have used it to homeopathically cure headaches, migraines and even asthma. Snorkeling is very similar to this practice. You are consistently inhaling through your mouth and exhaling through your mouth in a snorkel which is the same as controlled breathing. Pranayama has also been said to improve blood circulation, help with concentration and gastric problems. Just as pranayama has many health benefits, snorkeling and breathing in and out of your snorkel does too.
Rid Sinus Congestion With The Sea
If it’s that time of year where your sinuses kick up and you are next to an ocean, try grabbing some snorkel gear and getting in. Sometimes our sinuses kick up and leave us feeling stuffy and congested. I’ve always had a holistic approach to dealing with my body and using the ocean to help clear my sinuses has been a go-to for me. If you’ve ever used a Neti Pot to clear your sinuses well you are basically doing what the ocean would do. That’s because it uses a salt water mixture to relieve congestion. This form of clearing sinuses has been implemented for centuries. Snorkeling can provide the same aid if you have access to the ocean and some gear.
Saltwater For Your Skin
Snorkeling in the oceans’ salty seas does wonders for your skin. Sea salt has minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium and we all could use an extra mineral or two . Salt has also been known to absorb toxins in the body, such as acne causing bacterias and who wouldn’t want to get rid of that! Salt is good for your skin but it is also good for your muscles. Have you ever heard of people soaking themselves in salt baths to soothe their muscles? If no then check out Epsom salt, as it is used as a soothing remedy for achy muscles. Just as the ocean is used to soothe our bodies and minds.
I started snorkeling because I fell in love with how beauty and adventure of it. I still snorkel for those reasons but with the understanding of the activities health benefits for the body and mind.
Briana Smith @seawithbri