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It’s no secret that 71 percent of the Earth is covered by water. As such, there are any number of activities people enjoy involving water. One of the most popular activities involving water is scuba diving.

Scuba, an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, has proven to be very popular indeed. In the United States, there are 2.7 to 3.5 million scuba divers with as many as six million active divers around the world. In addition, recreational diving and snorkeling bring in around $11 billion to the U.S. GDP.

Aside from being a fun activity, there are plenty of benefits to scuba diving:

  • It increases emotional well-being. Something about visit aquariums and watching them can be therapeutic. Imagine doing that underwater while getting to see a ton of colorful fish up close and personal. Studies have shown that being underwater can have a very calming effect and depending on what type of fish you’re looking at, you can be affected in a positive way. Being calm improves attitude and helps reduce depression.
  • It reduces blood pressure. When you scuba dive your body warms up and the deep, slow breaths required while diving help bring blood pressure down. Studies have shown that those who dive regularly can reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • It increases strength and flexibility. Scuba diving is plenty of fun, but it’s also a workout. Due to the resistance of the water, many different muscle areas are put to work while you’re diving.
  • It allows you to connect with nature. On both literal and figurative levels, scuba diving is a recreational activity that puts you in touch with nature around you. Diving is exciting because there’s so much to explore underwater and whether you’re looking at schools of fish, colorful reefs or looking over the remains of a shipwreck, there’s plenty to enjoy about nature when you go for a dive.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or scuba diving and snorkeling or a novice, here are some things to keep in mind to improve your diving:

  • Pay Attention: As fun as a diving sport like scuba can be, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings. If you’re diving around a coral reef, keep a reasonable distance. If you’re diving in an area with a lot of other divers, be respectful and make sure to give them room to explore. It’s especially important to be aware if you’re diving in a potentially dangerous area such as one with sharks or other predatory animals.
  • Be respectful: If you’re going to enjoy a diving sport like scuba, you want to be respectful of any animals you come across while underwater. Simply put, you’re a guest in their natural habitat and you don’t want to go overboard as far as interactions are concerned. Don’t try to touch or chase animals or try to interfere with their natural behavior.
  • Expand your knowledge: If you’re really experienced in a diving sport like scuba, you can take your diving to the next level by taking a rescue diver class. In a class like this, you’ll become more confident in your abilities because you’ll know how to identify problems, prevent problems and what to do in the case of diving emergencies.
  • Pass on knowledge: If you’re a fan of a diving sport like scuba and you’ve been doing it for a long time, one of the best things you can do is to pass on your knowledge. For novices who are new to a diving sport, you may see them being careless in the water. One of the best things you can do is show newbies the right way to do things when diving.

A diving sport like scuba diving offers plenty of health benefits and tons of enjoyment. It’s a great way to stay physically active and to get in touch with nature. The key to getting the most out of it is to be mindful of your surroundings and respectful to the environment and to fellow divers. So grab your snorkeling mask and other snorkeling gear and hit the water!

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