The most fun you’ll have while getting fit
Young or old, male or female, we all know that staying fit is important for our overall health and wellbeing. And if you’ve ever lugged your gear up and down those stairs at the aptly-named dive site The Steps, it will come as no surprise that carrying scuba gear is a great workout in itself! With a 13-18kg tank on your back, plus at least another eight kilograms of equipment and weights, donning your gear (including struggling to pull up a wetsuit) and making your way into the water makes for fantastic strength training.
But the workout doesn’t stop there! Once you’ve descended into the water, the muscles in your body experience continuous resistance because water is denser than air. But the low-impact nature of diving means that your joints don’t suffer the jarring effects that usually result from activities like running, and is great for people who might suffer from knee issues. The best part is, you don’t feel the physical exertion underwater that you would while pounding the pavement or hitting the gym. Your body is streamlined and you kick from the hip, which works your core, glutes and back muscles. In fact, it’s been shown that in a typical dive, you can burn up to around 2000 kilojoules!
Of course, mental health is just as important as physical fitness. The deep breathing required for diving can lower blood pressure and, in combination with endorphins, peacefulness and beautiful underwater scenery, can contribute to a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression. It’s also thought to boost self-esteem, with the sport taking you out of your comfort zone and requiring a level of physical and mental skill, resulting in increased confidence on land as well as under the sea.
Plus let’s not forget about how great our skin feels after a dive (and a shower)! While it may not have the same effects on everyone, many people are convinced that sea water is a bit of an elixir when it comes to combatting things like acne and eczema. And you sure can’t beat the price!
But the best reason to incorporate scuba diving into your health and fitness regime is that it’s never going to be one of those activities with which you get bored. Ever heard a diver complain that they “have to go for a dive”? You don’t need to make a motivating playlist to get you through a gruelling session. There’ll be no texts to a personal trainer saying that you’re stuck in traffic when you’re really snug in bed. No whinging about the end of daylight saving ruining your exercise schedule. You can even consider purchasing your own dive gear to make it more cost effective. Then rain or shine, hot or cold, day or night – there are no limitations and, best of all, no excuses!