All over the world, people go freediving for a host of reasons. While it represents a way of providing food for some, it’s a challenging sport or a fun vacation pastime for others. However, many people are unaware that freediving also brings many different health benefits. They can make a big difference in other areas of a freediver’s life.
Effective Stress Relief
An interesting health benefit that comes with the incorporation of freediving into your life is that you learn excellent relaxation skills
.0. To freedive safely, you need to be entirely relaxed before, after, and during your dive. This is important to keep your oxygen consumption rate low, protect your body from injuries, and make your dive longer and more enjoyable.
When you train for freediving, a lot of your time will be spent learning relaxation techniques and meditation exercises. You’ll discover how you can separate your stress in your everyday life from your water training.
A study from 2013 revealed that freedivers got lower scores when it came to anxiety, negative affectivity, and stress symptoms compared with non-freedivers. Of course, good stress relief offers health benefits in the long term. Issues like heart problems, hypertension, and even obesity are associated with chronic stress. So knowing how to reduce it in your everyday life is highly beneficial.
Benefits For The Joints
Although land-based sports can cause stress to the joints, activities taking place in water are good for joint pressure. Freediving can reduce joint swelling and boost the range of motion thanks to hydrostatic pressure. This is exerted over the entire body due to being under the water. And this counteracts the typical pressures the body faces when undergoing high-impact sporting activities.
As you learn to dive more deeply in freediving, you need to develop greater diaphragm and rib cage flexibility. This is so you can take large enough breaths and prevent injury at depth.
Suppose you undertake an intermediate or advanced freediving course. In that case, you’ll usually learn stretches designed to improve your thoracic flexibility. You’ll also learn how to do full-body stretches effectively before you begin an open water freediving session to reduce the risks of injury.
Many freedivers also learn yoga to keep in good shape and improve flexibility. Obviously, being more flexible comes with a host of long-term benefits, especially as you get older, since it enables you to remain mobile and active well into old age.
A surprising health benefit that comes with freediving is increased self-confidence. Being confident in your abilities before, after, and during your freedives is essential for your relaxation, safety, and enjoyment.
Freedivers have been shown to have a greater belief in their abilities to control the situations and experiences that influence their lives than those who don’t practice freediving. As a result, they feel in greater control of their own lives and feel more self-assured of their capabilities in different life situations.
Improved Water Safety
As you might imagine, if you learn freediving, water safety will always be a top priority. You need to know how to be safe while training and how to cope with different emergencies in the water.
With added water confidence, you’ll be better prepared for different eventualities when around water, and you’ll have a greater chance of spotting a risky situation before it arises. You’ll also be less likely to panic if an emergency arises, and you’ll be better able to help another person who is in trouble in the water.
If you work toward a specific goal, you need to concentrate and focus. Freedivers are always working towards their goals.
Whether you’re practicing diving to a greater depth, traveling a greater distance, or learning how to equalize more efficiently, there is always something to work towards, and finding ways to improve on the targets that freedivers set themselves is standard practice. For example, many divers use a dive smartwatch to help them achieve those targets, thanks to their ability to show key statistics such as depth and length of time they’ve held their breath for. This enables them to define the next target and make constant progress towards hitting it and improving their overall skills.
Freediving is one sport that requires ongoing determination and effort and sets freedivers in good stead for improved focus in other areas of their lives.
Better Oxygen Efficiency
If freedivers want to prolong their dives, they must learn to improve their oxygen efficiency. The mammalian dive reflex is constantly being activated, triggering the body to use its oxygen more effectively.
Freedivers who undergo extensive training have a blood composition similar to that found in people living in the highest altitudes.
When you freedive, you are moving all the time. Not only are you swimming to your chosen dive site, but you’re also carrying out safety checks, setting your line, and performing dynamic disciplines.
On top of that physical movement, you’ll probably also be training out of the water to boost your cardiovascular fitness and strength. Many freedivers regularly go to the gym or practice yoga for this purpose.
Greater Lung Function
When you freedive, you have to fill up your lungs to their greatest capacity, which most non-divers are unable to achieve. It takes a lot of practice and many different exercises and stretches. However, eventually, you’ll learn how to boost your lung strength and lung capacity.
The foods you consume, particularly before a freediving training session, are essential. If you eat large portions before you get into the water, you’ll find freediving is very difficult. You’ll also find that if you consume dairy products, you’ll produce more mucus, which will negatively affect equalization.
If you drink too much caffeine, your heart will start racing, and thus your body will consume oxygen more quickly. Serious freedivers ensure they eat a good, balanced diet to boost their performance.
Did you know just how many health benefits of freediving there were? Let us know in the comments.
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