Let’s face it. During the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s all too easy to be affected by emotional and psychological stress.
All the more reason to strap on your gear and jump in the water, wherever and whenever you can. In this article, we examine the benefits of scuba diving, and how it can help during these difficult times.
1. INCREASES EMOTIONAL WELL BEING
Arguably the most important benefit of scuba diving during a worldwide pandemic. Have you ever heard the theory that watching fish in an aquarium is incredibly relaxing? So imagine how calming it would be to actively observe the underwater environment while being in it physically from inside!
There is also evidence that the type of marine life observed can make a difference. Authors of the study suggest that we were more affected by images of colorful, tropical fish and higher levels of biodiversity.
Being underwater brings you back to feeling like you are in your mother’s womb, which increases the feelings of security, happiness and well-being. Moreover, having a calm mind helps achieving a positive mental attitude and reduces the feelings of depression.
2. IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION
While being underwater, your body is exposed to a pressure gradient. All your body muscles are working simultaneously and require oxygen to do so, so your blood vessels open in order to bring that oxygen to the muscles.
3. HELPS TO RELIEVE STRESS
The breathing techniques we use while diving are similar to the ones we use whilst meditating.
Focusing on watching the underwater life distracts your mind from ‘day to day’ issues, so allowing your brain to forget about everything else for the duration of the dive.
This helps to enable our body and central nervous system to restore its natural balance.
4. IMPROVES CONCENTRATION CAPACITY
Being stuck in lock down and/or working from home, day in day out, can affect our concentration. One of the benefits of scuba diving can help us to really focus on our day to day tasks.
When diving, you have to simultaneously keep your balance while swimming and also pay close attention to your environment. As a result, your brain improves its concentration and awareness.
5. REDUCES BLOOD PRESSURE
The warming up of our body plus the slow and deep breaths used whilst diving, help to reduce our blood pressure. Many studies show that those who dive regularly are less likely to be prone to strokes and heart attacks.
6. INCREASES STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY OF YOUR MUSCLES
There’s been a lot of press lately about people working in home office spending longer at their desk than normal. Many are not taking regular breaks and stretching their legs.
Diving is a real physical fitness work out! All your different muscle areas tend to work more underwater due to the resistance of the water. So there’s no better time to shake of the shackles of your desk, jump in the water and give your tired body a good relaxed workout.
7. VISIT PARADISIACAL PLACES
Okay… so this one is difficult right now, but it’s still vitally important for us to keep our future perspectives and dreams on the horizon.
The thought of visiting far away tropical shores gives us hope and something to plan for. And as 2021 goes on, more and more destinations will be opening their doors once again. (By the way, the Galapagos Islands and Thailand are running trips as normal)
When we can travel, most of the time we choose warm destinations for our diving holiday trips. With this come great new experiences and positive things for our body and mind!
8. HEALING EFFECTS OF SALTY WATER AND SUN ON SKIN AND BONES
Seawater is particularly beneficial to the skin, increasing its elasticity and improving its outer appearance. At the same time, sunlight gives a boost to your vitamin D levels that are essential for the absorption of calcium in the bones to make them healthier and stronger.
Vitamin D does not only increase the rate of absorption of calcium, it also helps the cells pass calcium to each other. This higher absorption rate of calcium helps to keep the bones healthy and strong.
Exposure to sunlight also helps to increase endorphin production within our brains, which generates feelings of joy and happiness.
9. CONNECTION WITH NATURE
Diving brings you closer to nature, literally and figuratively speaking. Divers tend to appreciate nature more than non-divers would and are most excited to feel part of the underwater world.
Feeling this connection brings is back to our basic primal roots and helps us to forget what currently happening in the world around us.
10. BUILDS LONG LASTING FRIENDSHIPS
When you go diving, you will meet like-minded individuals who share a common passion and this make you feel being part of a community.
Whenever you are on a liveaboard or diving from shore, it is always easy to make friends and meet new people. With strict COVID-19 tests and regulations already in place, this is even possible during a global pandemic.
Moreover, diving promotes camaraderie, equality and empowerment.
11. FEELING OF FREEDOM
The feeling of being weightless and free from any physical or emotional impairment.
12. INCREASES YOUR CONFIDENCE AND SELF ESTEEM
Diving also improves our self-perception due to the fact that scuba diving happens in an environment that is different from ours – the sea – and being able to handle it makes you feel confident and fulfilled!