Benefits of Scuba Diving
One of the films that almost everyone has watched is Finding Nemo, and while watching the film, there must surely have been atleast one instance when you wished to experience the beautiful and vibrant marine life. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can experience the ethereal underwater world, and it’s a lot more easy and accessible than you think too. I’m of course talking about one of the most sought after Adventure Sports cum Activity in the world, Scuba Diving. Although considered an extreme sport, Scuba Diving is a far-cry from the adrenaline-inducing experience of say, skydiving or bungee jumping. In fact, it is one of the most tranquil and calming extreme sports in the world, considering how relaxed a person feels after a dive.
SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus and allows people of all age groups to enjoy the breathtaking underwater wonderland. To enjoy scuba diving, all you have to do is to put on a wetsuit that will keep your body warm under the water and wear the scuba gear that comprises of oxygen cylinders, mask for eyes and nose and weights around the waist that will keep you down the water. If you’re contemplating whether investing your time and money is worth the experience, here are some (compelling) reasons why you should Scuba Dive atleast once in your lifetime.
Benefit 1: It improves your respiratory health
When you’re underwater, you’re instructed to take in slow and deep breaths, which is essential for conserving and optimizing your air consumption. Breathing slowly and deeply instills calmness in us, which is similar to the breathing we do whilst meditating. Steady breathing also reduces the risk of a lung-expansion injury as well as reduces mucus build up and has actually been known to help with existing conditions such as asthma. Having this ‘time out’ gives the body a chance to rest and bring their body and nervous system back to a natural balance. A fun fact: Freedivers (freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on breath-holding until resurfacing rather than the use of breathing apparatus such as scuba gear) unlock a hidden superpower of the human body – the Mammalian Diving Reflex. When your face touches the water, your body redirects blood to your vital organs and slows your heart rate. The human body also automatically creates a constant pressure in your chest cavity so your organs aren’t crushed.
Apart from enhanced breathing, scuba diving has other health benefits too. As you move throughout the water during the course of a dive, your muscles tend to work harder due to the resistance of the water and the current. The more you dive and swim, the more your muscles lengthen, build strength and develop endurance as well as flexibility. So you’ll actually be working out without even realizing it.
Benefit 2: It has a therapeutic effect on your mental health
A recent study led by Alice Morgan and published in the Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation has confirmed that scuba diving has therapeutic benefits, especially for military veterans with physical and psychological injuries. The purpose of the study was to explore the effectiveness of scuba diving in providing therapeutic and rehabilitative benefits to ex-service personnel who have experienced traumatic physical and/or psychological injuries resulting from combat.
The study took the form of a service evaluation of Depth therapy, which provides scuba diving qualifications, consisting of theory and practical diving experience. Participants reported an improvement in levels of anxiety, depression and social functioning and a reduction in insomnia, following their involvement in organized scuba diving activities. The study’s conclusion was that scuba diving can offer significant therapeutic benefits for people experiencing anxiety and/or chronic psychological adjustment disorder. So now you know what to do when you’re feeling mentally exhausted and feel the need for a break.
Benefit 3: It’s one of the safest extreme adventure sports out there
It’s understandable if you’re paranoid about drowning and assume that being underwater for an extended period of time will be risky but there are a number of safety protocols that are followed when it comes to scuba diving, and since it’s done under the constant supervision of the guide diver who is trained and certified, one doesn’t have to be much concerned about the safety. The diver will ensure that you are ALWAYS safe and don’t go in great depths or harsh currents that may pose any kind of threat. Generally, the tourists doing scuba diving are not taken to very great depths; hence, the odds of dying are negligible. Even if a person gets tense or drops the oxygen pipe, the diver will bring you to the surface in a few seconds and ensure that you are safe in all situations.
Benefit 4: It’s a great stress-buster
Imagine this: You’re underwater, surrounded by the deep, blue water of the ocean. You see all kinds of colourful aquatic animals scurrying past you and you’re gently bobbing from one coral reef to another, as if in outer space. Just thinking about this scenario fills you with a sense of calm and serenity. Scuba diving is good for reducing stress as it allows you to take your mind off work or other niggling distractions. Every dive offers the opportunity to disengage from everyday problems and simply be present in the activity. You’re transported to another world altogether where everything you were worrying about a few hours earlier seems small and insignificant, and you convince yourself that you can do this for the rest of your life if you had the option.
Another fascinating thing is that there is no religion, caste, race or gender underwater. There’s just one universal sign language that bonds you with your dive buddy. Discrimination is non-existent and you realize how powerful body language is and learn to appreciate all your other senses.
It takes no more than four days to get a Scuba diving certification from PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) or SSI (Scuba Schools International), with which you’ll be qualified to dive anywhere in the world! So now that you know how cool scuba diving is, plan your next holiday, weekend getaway or sabbatical to be an adventurous one! Click here to book your Scuba Diving Experience or Certification!