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Another reason to start diving…

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

There are SO many reasons to start diving; the adventure, the thrill, the community, the beauty of the natural world… the list goes on and on. There’s one reason I don’t think we talk about enough as a motivating factor to don a wetsuit and dive in: it’s a fantastic workout. I always come away from a diving holiday in incredible shape and the cherry on top is that you’re getting strong without really noticing it. No counting crunches or struggling through your next rep of push-ups here!

For those of us who never took to organized sports, like myself, finding ways to stay in shape isn’t always all that much fun. Diving was an eye-opener in this respect.

Firstly, diving is not a competitive sport. Sure, some folks out there try to turn it into one, but generally speaking, diving is about what you see, not how far or extreme you push your body. Nevertheless, while you may not always feel like you have pushed yourself much, your body certainly is working extremely hard before, during, and after a dive.

Let’s face it, just getting into a wetsuit at times can feel like a full-blown workout by itself. The wetsuit dance is not to be scoffed at. Then you have to lug a tank to your dress-up point, get it dressed, get your gear on, and enter the water. Shore dives go one step further and work in a few extra calorie burning steps as you balance all that extra weight while getting to the entry point, but boat diving comes with its own strength-building exercises as well!

Once you’re in the water, you’re then swimming in blissful neutral buoyancy. Here’s the best part if you ask me, you are then actively encouraged to take it slow for the rest of the dive. Swimming off like a rocket means you miss things, you tire yourself out, and you use up your air that much faster. While you’re distracted by a beautiful shoal of fish, your body is working hard to keep itself warm, cope with the change in pressure, and power the occasional kick to keep propelling yourself forward.

From what I’ve read, there are many different estimates of how many calories are burned on a dive. The numbers suggest anywhere between 400 and 800 calories per dive (depending on time spent under water, currents, water temperature, shore vs. boat dive). It’s no wonder you’re knackered after that dive! I’ll take that over a run any day of the week…


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