Scuba diving is both sport and adventure and gives us the chance to explore the exciting world of underwater life. Directly, without filters. Beyond the spirits and the “fun” side, scuba diving has positive effects on the physical, emotional, psychological and even social levels.
We all know that scuba diving is a very enjoyable and relaxing sport, but did you know that it is truly good for your health…mind, body and soul? Whether you are a beginner recreational diver interested in seeing the beautiful reefs of the sea, or an experienced deep sea diver who travels to depths seldom seen by the human eye, scuba diving can provide numerous benefits.
All scuba diving students must answer a scuba diving medical questionnaire before beginning a diving course.
As a general rule, children aged 8 and above may scuba dive, depending upon their maturity level. Most diving organizations offer special children’s courses in shallow, controlled conditions for kids aged 8 and above, and allow children 10 and older to enroll in scuba certification courses.
Do I Need to Know How to Swim Before Learning to Scuba Dive?
Not exactly. Before enrolling in a scuba course, prospective divers should be relatively comfortable in the water.
Physical fitness: Swimming is one of the best modes of aerobic and anaerobic work we can do. It provides both a cardiovascular workout and a muscular workout as we move against the natural pressure of the water on our bodies with little to no strain on our joints.
Flexibility and strength: Your muscles also work harder underwater as you move against the resistance of the current and the water itself. With this, you strengthen your muscles as well as develop your flexibility and endurance. Like swimming, which builds up the muscles in your thighs and shoulders, diving can help tone your different muscle areas, consequently giving you better posture.
Healing effects of water: One other little known benefit to being at depth is a healing factor. This was demonstrated and experienced by researchers that remained in an underwater habitat for several weeks. The human body uses oxygen to repair cuts and tears that we may get in different tissues within our body.
Breathing: Slow, deep breathing is important in scuba diving to optimize air consumption and bottom time. An added bonus is that deep, steady breathing promotes a calm attitude and reduces the risk of a lung-expansion injury.
Stress reliever: Similar to breathing during meditation, breathing slowly and deeply while diving induces a calm, relaxed state while the diver focuses on the underwater environment rather than thinking about problems they may be experiencing in daily life. This helps to reduce stress and balance the nervous system. A relaxed, calm state of mind has been proven to promote a positive attitude and prevent depression.
Social health benefit: When you dive, you meet other like-minded people that share that common interest. It’s easy to make friends among divers as you will find a sense of community among them. It’s an exhilarating feeling to surface from a dive full of wonderful memories of your experience and then to be able to talk about and share them with good companions who are just as excited as you are!
Travel to warm climates: They say that travel is the best form of education and most people relish in the experience of visiting new places, experiencing a different culture, and all the new sights and smells and tastes that go with it. Dive travel abroad also means you are likely to meet fun people from all over the world with whom you have a common interest.
Sunlight: One of the most important benefits of sunlight is that it supplies the body with vitamin D, which promotes 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.
Improve blood circulation: While working all your body muscles simultaneously during a dive, you also give yourself a full cardiovascular workout. The muscles used require oxygen, so your blood vessels open for improved circulation to supply the needed oxygen.
Reduce blood pressure: Related to exercising your circulatory system, diving can also help lower blood pressure. There are studies reporting that those who dive on a regular basis are less likely to be prone to strokes and heart attacks.