At first glance, Scuba Diving is the kind of adventure sport reserved for the exceptionally fit. Indeed, this underwater activity is not recommended for individuals with respiratory diseases or major health issues. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) recommends talking with your doctor before getting started, and for a good reason. Proper training is essential to avoid risks such as decompression sickness (commonly referred to as “the bends”).
That said, if you can swim 200 yards without stopping, you can train to become a PADI-certified scuba diver. And if your goal is to maintain and protect healthy lungs, Scuba Diving offers a number of benefits for your respiratory system and overall health.
Slow and controlled breathing is essential to maintain oxygen in the diving cylinder longer and a great practice to get into for overall lung health. Deep, slow breaths save air by promoting a complete exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Your tank then lasts longer because you need fewer breaths.
Breathing exercises can also be practiced on land. Here are a few we recommend to help strengthen and support lung health!
Strength and Stamina
Swimming is both an aerobic and an anaerobic workout that engages your whole body. When you dive below the surface, you experience the resistance of water and current on every motion. This strengthens muscles, increases endurance, and can even help you develop flexibility.
While a low impact on your joints, scuba diving can significantly impact weight loss goals. A recreational dive can burn an estimated 300 to 600 calories per hour, depending on the environment. For context, a walk typically burns 150 to 400 calories per hour, depending on your pace and body weight.
Getting away from it all
Whether you’re in the deep blue sea experiencing a whole new environment or practicing in a familiar body of water, scuba diving is a chance to unwind. Recent research confirms that scuba diving can have positive effects on human mental health.
Want to give scuba diving a try? You can use this PADI tool to find a training location near you.