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By Ninja Shark’s founder (and water enthusiast), Andrew Porter
You already know that snorkelling is a heck of a lot of fun, but you know what makes fun things even funner? Knowing that they’re good for you as well. Wouldn’t cake taste that much better if we knew it had some health benefits as well? Isn’t that why people eat carrot cake?
If you’re not already enlightened to the fact, we’re gonna share 8 benefits of snorkelling that’ll make the next time you hit the sea feel even better. You’re not just going snorkelling now, you’re looking out for your health. Mmmm doesn’t that feel good!
1. It’s good for your heart
Supposing that you don’t spend your snorkel sessions stressed out in a fit of anxiety and panic, snorkelling is actually beneficial for cardiovascular health (that’s a fancy word that means heart). Snorkelling increases your heart rate, strengthening your heart muscle and lowering the risk of diseases like heart failure, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It’s basically like doing cardio, but less tiring and more visually thrilling. Yep, that sounds like the kind of exercise we’re into!
2. It’s good for your lungs
Ah, the old lungs. We’re so busy focusing on keeping our heart going that we forget how important our breathing is, too. In yoga, pranayama or breathing exercises are one of the most important components of living a long and healthy life. Snorkelling is like a form of pranayama, giving you control over the breath and helping you to exercise it.
How so, you ask? Using a snorkel increases your maximum oxygen uptake, as it requires greater exertion than breathing normally. When you snorkel, you inhale and exhale evenly, regulating your breath and ‘exercising’ it. As we all know, exercise is great.
3. It’s good for your joints
Whether you’re a star athlete or a couch potato, snorkelling has been shown to aid with joint mobility, decreasing pain, stiffness, and even obesity problems. Why’s that? Well, it’s thanks to water’s handy little forces of gravity. Moving our bodies around in water reduces impact on our joints, making it a lot gentler than running or walking.
If you’re prone to exercise on land a lot, snorkelling will give your joints a rest while also helping to increase mobility. If you haven’t said the word exercise in years, snorkelling is the perfect way to get your body moving without giving it a shock. After snorkelling for a while, you’ll be ready for more strenuous exercise.
4. It’s good for your mental health
We’re not ones to downplay the importance of mental health, here at Ninja Shark. Just as important as a healthy body, a healthy mind makes life more beautiful and easy to live in. And like a good old meditation session, snorkelling can help to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, inducing a state of blissful relaxation that extends beyond the ocean and on land as well. A lot of this is to do with the regulated breathing, which can bring on a state of calm relaxation much like meditation. Most of us feel great after a snorkel session, and there’s a reason for that.
5. It’s good for your body
Let’s not forget that snorkelling is an activity that involves constant motion of the body. Snorkel often and you’ll find that your body has gotten a lot more toned and trim (hello, good looking!) That’s because snorkelling will work out everything from your hamstrings, quads, and calves to your core, hip flexors, and ankles. You’ll feel stronger, you’ll have more stamina and endurance, and you’ll have done it in a way that’s less strenuous on the body. On top of all that, the buoyancy of water will also make you a little more flexible, too.
6. It’s also good in the pool
If you don’t live near an ocean, that doesn’t mean you can’t get your snorkel out and use it in the pool. In fact, snorkels can be extremely beneficial to lane swimmers as they can help ease back and neck problems, while also facilitating breathing so you can work on your perfecting your posture and movement.
Wearing a snorkel mask in the pool means you can gaze at the floor of the pool while swimming, rather than looking forward at the opposite pool wall as most swimmers do. It’s this looking forward motion that’s not so great for our neck and back, and wearing a snorkel can alleviate this dramatically. At the same time, if your movement itself isn’t perfect due to the fact that you’re trying to breathe, wearing a snorkel mask will help you focus on getting those moves right so you prevent further injury.
7. It’s good for creativity
We’ve all experienced those brilliant waves of creativity and clarity in the shower. There’s something about being surrounded by water, being alone, and having the time to think which brings out the best in us. Snorkelling is just like taking a biiiiig, long shower, without having to worry about wasting water. According to the Huffington Post, “We don’t give our minds much of a chance to rest and wander freely. But when we do, the mind switches into a different mode of engagement… associated with daydreaming, imagination, insight, and introspection”. What adds to this creativity bubble is the lack of external noise – things are calm, quiet, serene, and you’re free to focus on your thoughts with no distractions.
8. It’s good for nature
We’re beings of this Earth. We’re made to be out and about, exploring its stunning scenery and pockets of life. Snorkelling – much like trekking or hiking – throws you deep into the realms of nature. There’s nothing manmade down there, you’re connecting with your roots as a natural being and it’s beautiful. Floating amongst the fish, marvelling at the coral life, and realising that you’re all one and the same in this beautiful planet. We also reckon that coral life is meant to be seen, it’s that beautiful. It’d be a crime to leave marine life unobserved, and snorkelling gives that coral life the attention it deserves.
Loved the complete set. I even used the waterproof phone pouch to take photos and videos underwater. It made my Fiji experience so much better than using the free snorkel set that hurt your face after 2hours and leaving a sun/mask mark. The ninja leaves no marks and gives great vision under water in comparison. It did take some getting used to but it definitely paid off! Only frustration is that the tightening straps are quite basic; they should be much simpler to loosen and tighten both in and out of water.” – Jock