Scuba diving appears to be so relaxing because of the slow motion style of finning and the perfect buoyancy control used by the diver. With a Gentle kick of the fins it takes very little effort to propel yourself through the water and hover over a beautiful coral reef. So, why do we feel so tired after a day of scuba diving?
Many divers do not feel the exertion whilst they are underwater, but similar to a swimmer, they are using several muscle groups all at once to move along. A scuba dive can last between 30 minutes to more than one hour and depending on your weight and level of fitness etc. it is possible to burn off more than 500 calories in just one dive. For a holiday maker going out for a regular two dive day trip, this does seem like a lot, right?
So what are the main reasons for burning so many calories during a dive?
Heat loss is one of the main reasons why you burn so many calories during a scuba dive. As you submerge into the cooler water your body has to work harder to warm itself up. Water conducts heat away from your body more than 20 times faster than air so the human body is working much harder underwater to maintain its temperature. As the body tries to regulate its temperature it will start to burn calories and even in a tropical location with the diver wearing an exposure suit there will still be some heat loss. During a scuba dive you will lose heat much quicker than if you were on land and will therefore burn more calories in the process.
Complete body workout
Because of the resistance of the water against your body, scuba diving becomes a full body workout, but unless you are swimming against a strong current, you might not feel the tiredness until you have exited the water. When we scuba dive the water resistance is all around us, so some of the body’s important muscle groups such as the hamstrings, calves, hips and quads will all be working extra hard. After burning all of those calories and toning your muscles, do you ever wonder why you are so hungry after a day of diving?
During your Open water diver course you will learn to breathe slowly and deeply which can help with conserving your air supply. Scuba divers usually breathe out very slowly which can reduce the heart rate, The slow breathing helps you remain calm and totally relaxed so that any worries from your daily routine can quickly disappear. As divers gain more experience underwater they begin to conserve energy by perfecting their buoyancy and not making unnecessary movements. This relaxed state reduces the breathing rate and can increase the duration of the dive.