Have you ever wondered what are the health benefits of snorkeling?
While most of the watersports involve a certain level of exercise and therefore a good effect on your body, we believe snorkeling is one of the best in improving your physical condition.
Why? Keep on reading to find out the exact reasons. Chances are, by the end of this article you’ll be packing your things for a snorkeling trip.
Table of Contents
- Stress relief
- Improves lung function
- Strengthens the heart
- Gentle on your joints and body
- Qualities To Look For In Snorkeling Gear
- Snorkeling Tips When Using Snorkeling Gear
It’s been proven in several studies that spending time in and around water contributes to stress release.
Wallace Nichols, a marine biologist, believes that being near the water gives a person a “blue mind.” Nichols feels that you feel calm, peaceful, and have a sense of general happiness when near water.
Water seems to give your brain a rest. The world is always bombarding you with so many stressful situations, and snorkeling allows your mind to take a break from all those stressors.
Also, the breathing techniques that snorkelers use when under the water are the same as those used in meditation that keeps the mind focused and relaxed and relieves the body of tension.
Improves lung function
Snorkeling requires precise breathing techniques. Breaths need to be consistent to provide the snorkeler with enough oxygen. They should be taken at just the right speed and drawn from deep down within the chest.
This type of breathing is called Deep Breathing. This technique works for stress management or relaxation, but it is fundamentally the type of breathing you do when snorkeling.
The added effort it takes to draw a deep breath when using the snorkeling tube gives the lungs a good workout.
For snorkeling, you must learn how to breathe deep so that you are getting adequate oxygen. The deep breathing technique ensures that all of the air in your snorkel tube exchanges each time you breathe.
This technique is essential so that you are getting clean air each time you breathe, and not stale air that is high in carbon dioxide from your exhales that might accumulate in the tube.
Strengthens the heart
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
There are ways that you can strengthen your heart, and the first thing is to get moving. The heart is a muscle, and exercise strengthens it.
As with any workout, snorkeling gets the heart pumping. It increases the heart rate and blood circulation through the cardiovascular system.
When snorkeling, you are using your legs, muscles, and your core strength to move yourself through the water, increasing blood flow.
This increased blood flow means more oxygen into the body, which is essential for everyday functions.
Snorkeling strengthens the heart muscles, as well, aiding in keeping the heart strong and healthy.
This also prevents heart muscle-related illnesses and issues and decreases the chances of heart attack by keeping the heart in good shape.
Gentle on your joints and body
As you probably know, swimming is beneficial for people suffering from joint conditions or arthritis. In the same way, snorkeling underwater helps to soothe stiffness or pain in your joints, thanks to water buoyancy.
If you have joint pain, not using those joints can, over time, cause a person to lose range of motion, and muscles and ligaments can weaken.
The buoyancy of water supports joints and lessens the stress on them. It can help a person to regain mobility and can even help to build muscle strength back.
Qualities To Look For In Snorkeling Gear
Before you go snorkeling, it’s a good idea to have the right equipment. How do you decide what qualifies as good equipment?
Here are a few standards and qualities that you should look for in your gear.
Package or component set up
Whether you want to opt for a package or purchase each component separately depends on your preferences.
A snorkeling package will contain all of the necessary equipment, while a component set up requires you, as the snorkeler, to gather each piece of equipment needed to make a full set.
While packages tend to be cheaper, buying individual pieces gives you more freedom to choose the components that suit your needs the best, as you can mix and match brands and styles.
However, package sets are generally recommended for beginners as they take the difficulty out of putting the equipment together.
The budget is a significant consideration. The prices of packages and component snorkeling sets tend to differ significantly.
Generally, packages are the cheapest option. However, if they come with a set of fins, their prices can go up dramatically.
You’ll pay more for both packages and component-style setups made in Europe and less for those manufactured in China.
This might make the cheaper models seem favorable, but it’s important to remember that more expensive models tend to have better snorkels that feature high-functioning dry valves.
More expensive sets also come equipped with comfortable, durable fins. Open or semi-dry snorkels are cheaper because they allow water to filter through the snorkeling tube if you go underwater.
If you prefer to stay close to the surface, these kinds of snorkels might be a good and affordable option for you, but if you like to dive deep, you may want to spring for a more expensive model.
Snorkeling Gear Fit
Snorkels, much like any other accessory, have different fits. You’ll need to find one that fits your head and mouth correctly.
You’ll want to have a good idea of your jaw size – that is, whether your jaw is on the larger or smaller side.
Snorkels that are too small can cause the jaw to be constricted or narrow the windpipe. If necessary, you can always purchase a traditional snorkel and do some mouthpiece swapping.
When buying a package, be sure that every part of the package fits you. Otherwise, it’s better to go with component-style.
To make the most of a package, ensure that your fins and mask both fit you well.
Quality of Snorkeling Gear
The quality of snorkel gear should always be an essential factor in making a decision. Often the cheapest pieces of equipment are the lowest in terms of quality as well.
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A high-quality piece of gear should be made of sturdy materials. It should not appear flimsy, weak, or be damaged.
It should also be able to be safely washed or otherwise clean without the risk of it falling apart. The seams ( if applicable) should be firm and sewn with care.
This video will give you some tips on how to fit a mask.
Snorkeling Tips When Using Snorkeling Gear
Slow and steady
When we get excited, we tend to move quickly. Since snorkeling is an exciting experience, this can happen often.
When you have fins on, you can go even faster, which is why most inexperienced snorkelers zoom past all of the fascinating sights.
With that in mind, when you’re snorkeling, remember not to go too fast. Not only does going too fast make you prone to missing out, but it also tires your body out more quickly.
Let your fins do the work.
Traditionally, when you swim, you use your arms to propel yourself forward. When using a snorkel and other snorkeling gear like fins, this should be reversed.
Why? Because when you have fins on, your legs can easily outdo your arms, and the fins will propel you through the water with little effort.
To make the most of snorkeling fins, try to let the fins do the brunt of the work.
If you are interested in finding the best fins for you, check out this article dedicated to this subject.
Breathing is critical to your snorkeling success. This is for obvious reasons, but it’s also because there are specific breathing techniques and patterns that are more beneficial and more detrimental to your experience than others.
Relax before you descend. Relaxing will ensure that your breathing stays even and measured, giving you the most oxygen possible, extending the length of your experience, and making for an overall more enjoyable time.
Relaxing also reduces the risk of muscle cramps and body fatigue.
A clean snorkeling mask is an unfogged mask.
Glass tends to fog up. Plastic does this too, which means that snorkeling goggles are prone to fogging up from your breath.
As annoying as this, the fix is as simple as cleaning your goggles. Clean goggles are less likely to attract moisture and fog up because there is nothing for moisture to stick to when the surface is clean and smooth.
The right snorkel gear for adults can make or break your snorkeling experience.
Use the tips and tricks we have shared in this guide and check out our snorkel gear recommendations so you can get started on your dream snorkeling experience.
Bonus: for the best snorkeling spots around the world, we recommend www.snorkeling-report.com