There are a wide variety of reasons to take up diving. However, health benefits isn’t the first thing that usually comes to mind. Davy Jones Locker diving instructor Dani has written an article highlighting how diving can improve your health of your body and mind.
“We all have our own reasons as to why we love diving, but not only can you see the wonders of the underwater world you can also improve you health and fitness, both mentally and physically.
Here are some of the top reasons why Diving gives us such benefits.
• Flexibility and strength
As you move against the natural underwater currents you will find your body works harder. As a result this will start to build some of the muscles in your body that you aren’t necessarily used to using. For example your thighs are shoulders will start to develop strength and flexibility similar to swimming. This in turn will help create a stronger posture.
• Physical fitness
As we move against the natural pressures of the water our bodies will start to become fitter. Diving and swimming are a great provider of exercise, giving us both cardio and muscular workouts. On a regular 60 min dive in warm water the average diver can burn roughly 300 calories which is one of the reasons we feel the need to eat so much after a dive!
• Healing effects of water
I know this one sounds strange but research was undertaken that showed us a human that lived in an underwater habitat for several weeks. It showed that being at depth provided little known healing factors. The body uses oxygen to repair cuts and tears we get in different tissues which is a good reason to want to increase your dive time and stay down longer.
I often encourage my students to breath how they would during a relaxing yoga session. Slow, deep breathing is important in diving to increase air consumption and maximise bottom time. Getting the hang of this breathing can help you create a calm and relaxed attitude.
• Stress reliever
Diving for me is one of the biggest stress relievers out there. Breathing slowly and deeply helps create an almost meditative state whilst underwater. It allows you to forget all the worries of day to day life and bring you back down to earth. Another advantage is that you can’t take your mobile phone with you!
• Social health benefit
There is no community quite like the dive community. No matter where you dive in the world, you will be surrounded by like minded people all interested in one thing… diving. It’s a wonderful social way to meet people and share experiences. Its a great feeling surfacing from a dive and sharing what delights you have seen and how comfortable you felt.
• Travel to warm climates
I know I plan most of my holidays around where I can dive! Before we book a new destination my partner and I always check to see what the diving is like there and if we can do something new! It’s a great way to travel and see some of the more unseen parts of the world!
The good old Vitamin D! I’m not promoting splaying yourself like a starfish on the beach for hours on end but a little sunshine goes a long way. Benefits include helping promote the absorption of calcium in the body and is also responsible for the transference of calcium within the cells. This provides strength to the bones and increases endorphin production in the brain, which contributes to a healthy nervous system. Plus don’t we all feel better after a little dose of sunshine?
• Improve blood circulation
Whilst all your muscles are working simultaneously, you are also giving yourself a cardiovascular workout. Furthermore, this gets the blood pumping all around your body and helps your blood vessels open. Significantly this will improve oxygen supply to your body
• Reduce blood pressure
Relating to exercise, diving can help make you fitter and stronger. Consequently, when combined with the calming effects of diving this has been shown to reduce the risk of things like strokes and heart attacks.
So guys… get diving!