You may not have thought about much more than having fun underwater when you first got your scuba certification.
In this article, I’ll go over the life-changing benefits you can get from taking the plunge and becoming a diver.
What are the benefits of scuba diving?
In addition to the adventure, you can benefit mentally, physically, and socially from scuba diving. Reducing stress, building muscle, and making lifelong friends are only a few of the unexpected advantages you can enjoy as a diver.
1. Reduced stress
One of the key skills of diving is breath control. Taking slow, deep breaths helps you conserve your air and absorb more oxygen from each breath.
These breathing techniques are also found in the ancient practice of meditation. Focusing on and controlling your breath naturally slows your heart rate, relaxes you, and reduces stress.
Concentrating on the dive increases your awareness of your body and the environment around you, bringing you into the present moment and making the stresses and responsibilities of life seem far away.
The feeling of weightlessness and the sunlight on your skin can boost your endorphins and help you feel an overall improved sense of well-being. After the initial exciting jump into the water, most divers experience a sense of calm and focus while slowly breathing and drifting over the dive site.
2. Increased confidence
For many people, diving is about the adventure of exploring a new environment. Shaking up your routine and doing something exciting can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Many of my first-time students are actually afraid of scuba diving and want to conquer their fears. Some don’t feel safe in the water, some are afraid of sharks, and some are concerned they won’t be able to breathe properly. In every case where I’ve helped a frightened diver complete a dive, they were ecstatic afterward! They were so proud of themselves, excited to talk about the animals they saw, and felt an improved sense of confidence.
Even experienced divers encounter new situations and problems to solve on dives. Maybe they navigate themselves back to the boat for the first time, help a buddy with a cramp, or clean up garbage from the dive site. Every dive is an opportunity to prove your dive skills and become more resilient in the face of a challenge.
Dive training is a fascinating mix of physics, marine science, dive medicine, and more. Of course, diving is fun, but you also learn a great deal about the world around you and your own body in the process.
When you travel, your dive guide will give you a briefing about the unique ecosystems, species, and environmental conditions at the dive site.
The more you dive, the more educated you become about geography, biology, and even the local cultures where you travel. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn all you can when you dive. It’s a sure way to broaden your mind and impress your friends back home with your expertise!
4. Improved health
Getting ready for a dive on the beach or the boat usually means soaking up some sunshine.
Being outdoors in the sunlight leads your body to produce more vitamin D, which your body uses to strengthen your bones with calcium. Strong bones reduce your risk of diseases like osteoporosis.
5. Getting exercise
You probably recall feeling tired after your last dive. The reason diving feels like such a workout is because it really is! Not only do you work your muscles carrying your equipment and jumping in, but the resistance of the water as you swim works your muscles as well.
If there is a current at your dive site, you’re going to have to kick even harder to get where you need to go. Proper finning technique – moving your legs from the hips while keeping knees and ankles straight but flexible – strengthens your leg and core muscles.
6. Burn calories
Water conducts heat away from your body 20 times faster than air does, which is why you eventually get cold at almost any water temperature.
The good news is that your body burns more calories in the water to generate heat and regulate your body temperature. The physical activity and thermoregulation of diving boost your metabolism and help you burn fat.
7. Recover from injury
Scuba diving is a low-impact exercise, which makes it a great option for people with weak or injured joints.
Being neutrally buoyant in the water takes the weight off your knees, hips, and back. Diving could even help wounds heal faster since your tissues absorb more oxygen at depth from the compressed air you breathe.
8. Meet new and interesting people
Scuba divers are part of a global community of adventurous people. Whether you’re diving at your local lake or traveling to tropical resorts, you’re bound to interact with other divers and connect over your interests.
Diving is inherently a social activity because even if you arrive alone, you’ll be paired up with a buddy to explore the dive site.
Not only are you sharing an exciting experience with new people, you’re trusting them with your safety as a part of your underwater dive group, creating an immediate bond.
Because diving is such a global sport, you’re likely to meet people from unfamiliar countries and cultures on your dive trips. Your divemaster and the other divers in your group are sure to have some amazing stories from their dives all over the world.
Divers you meet can become lifelong friends, pen-pals, or even travel partners on future adventures. You’ll leave with an expanded sense of community and cultural awareness.
Diving can also be romantic – I know quite a few divers who met their partner, husband, or wife on a dive trip!
Scuba diving is just a fun vacation activity for many people. But once you jump in and start diving regularly, diving is so much more than that.
It’s a hobby that can improve your mood, health, and help you make deep personal connections.
Is there another way scuba benefits you? If you have a question or something to add to the list, leave a comment below!