Is Snorkeling Good Exercise?
Apart from letting you explore the ocean, snorkeling is also great for your body and mind. It’s something you can do even if you have stiff joints or have other problems that restrict your exercise options. Here’s everything snorkeling can do for your body.
Is Snorkeling Good Exercise? Surprisingly, yes it is. You burn several hundred calories per hour and use a lot of body parts to stay in the water and propel yourself through the water. The surrounding water forces your body to produce heat to stay warm which burns additional calories.
It Strengthens Your Muscles
When you’re snorkeling, fins are optional. They help you move with greater speed in the water. Regardless of whether you’re snorkeling with or without fins, your entire body must put in the effort to help you move through the water.
Your legs, back and arms exert a great amount of force to help your body push against the water pressure. If you snorkel with fins, they add some resistance which your legs have to work against. This entire process is an excellent way to strengthen your muscles.
The type of water you’re snorkeling in will also affect how much it impacts your muscles. Rough water with more waves will require you to make a greater effort to move, which will strengthen your muscles even more. Similarly, it takes more force to move through colder water, and the more you exert your body, the stronger your muscles will become.
Snorkeling will also help you burn fat. Generally, it’s possible to burn around 200-300 calories for every sixty minutes spent in the water. This may vary based on your body weight and how fast you move through the water.
It’s a Great Form of Cardio
Forget about hitting the gym, snorkeling is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. The adrenalin rush in the water increases your heart rate causing it to pump blood faster.
Maintaining cardio fitness can help you avoid heart-related problems like high cholesterol, heart failure, high blood pressure and even coronary heart diseases.
A healthy heart keeps your body fit and strong and it seems like just the right kind of motivation for you to start snorkeling.
It Prevents Your Joints from Becoming Stiff
People with joint pain and weight problems sometimes find it difficult to perform regular cardiovascular exercises. Snorkeling doesn’t put too much pressure on your joints and is a great way to loosen your body up.
Over time once your body feels less stiff. You can snorkel for a longer time period or even take up other forms of exercise.
It Helps You Relax Your Mind
As with any form of exercise, snorkeling relieves your mind and body of stress. Snorkeling is even better than other exercises on land because your breathing technique in the water has a calming effect on your body.
It’s a great way of relaxing your mind and letting go of everyday troubles. The release of endorphins also improves your mood.
Unlike scuba diving where you’re submerged deep in the water, snorkeling is done close to the water surface. Therefore, even someone who is claustrophobic won’t feel suffocated and anxious. In fact, it’s a great way of helping people get over water-related phobias.
If you’re someone who is afraid of drowning or being unable to breathe water, start out with the basics. Snorkel close to the shore so that if you start feeling suffocated, you can just lift your head out of the water.
Make sure you have a snorkeling buddy with you in case of emergencies and just as a form of moral support. Once you start looking at the turtles, fish and underwater plants, your mind will get distracted from the fact that you’re underwater and you’ll start feeling more relaxed and comfortable.
It Improves Your Breathing Ability
When you’re snorkeling, you breathe through a tube and you need to regulate the rate at which you breathe in and out. This is inadvertently a breathing exercise, which improves your oxygen intake. The more you snorkel, the longer you can hold your breath for.
Improved lung capacity reduces your chances of getting heart diseases and facing other respiratory problems. This is particularly important once you enter your late twenties and up.
It Makes You More Flexible
Even though your body is dealing with water pressure when you’re snorkeling, it also eases the tension from your body. If you’re dealing with muscle or joint pains, even slowly wading through the water can loosen your body.
Snorkeling strengthens your core and improves your body’s stamina and strength. It also improves your general motor skills such as hand-eye coordination.
It Doesn’t Discriminate Against Anyone
With most forms of exercise, there is always a fine print which states that you need to be of a certain age and free from certain physical conditions in order to exercise.
For instance, children can’t engage in cardio routines and gym workouts. Snorkeling isn’t restricted to a certain age group. Whether you’re 7 or 57, you can jump right into the water.
Even if you’re elderly or don’t know how to swim, you can snorkel. Initially, you’ll need the help of a snorkeling guide to help you figure out your way around the water. If you’re old he or she can also help you figure out how frequently you need to resurface to regain your breath. Once you’ve gained some confidence, you can snorkel on your own.
For people who suffer from neck problems or inflammations on any part of the body, many forms of exercising such as HIIT are entirely off the table. However, these people can opt for snorkeling since it doesn’t exert too much pressure on the body. The same is the case for people who want to become more agile and mobile, either because of medical concerns or a desire to be more active.
You don’t need to be a sporting buff or a pro swimmer to snorkel; you just need a little enthusiasm!
It Helps You Reconnect With Nature
With technology taking over every moment of our lives, we never really find the time to engage in outdoor activities. Getting to see sea creatures and plants is a great way to spend time outdoors because it frees the mind and the body.
Note: Whenever you’re snorkeling, just make sure that you don’t try and touch the animals or pull at the plants. Such actions can be detrimental to the ocean’s ecosystem.
Ready, Set, Dive!
It’s surprising that snorkeling is not a more popular form of exercise. Most people only see it as a recreational activity and something that you do if you go on a tropical vacation. But if you live near the coast and have snorkeling facilities and equipment available, snorkeling can become your new favorite form of exercise.
The equipment required to snorkel is not too expensive: all you need is a snorkel mask, a bathing suit and flippers (these are optional). And you’ll never get bored!
Most forms of exercise tend to become repetitive and boring because you’re performing a similar routine every time. When you’re snorkeling, you will always see something different in the water.
Sea creatures are constantly on the move, so you’ll never encounter the same fish and turtles. It’s always a unique, exhilarating experience.
When you’re snorkeling, you can have a great time and become physically fit, so it’s a win-win! It’s time to get in the water because snorkeling is a great form of exercise.