Health

Why you should try free diving

You must have heard of scuba diving and how exciting it is to swim among the fishes, but may not have tried it because of the cost, or fear that come with an underwater adventure.

Snorkelling is another option, but it offers only a view from above.

Combining the best of the two, free diving allows you to explore the depths without any equipment. You will be able to go as shallow or as deep as you want, allowing you to have control. It is a great way to experience the ocean without having to commit to anything too expensive.

Besides the fun, there are also many health benefits that come along with free diving.

Your mind will be calm

Free diving focuses mainly on your breathing. Unlike scuba diving, you will have no oxygen tank attached to you. Unless you want to keep coming up to the water's surface every few seconds, you will have to learn how to hold your breath for extended periods of time.

That will only be possible by taking slower and deeper breaths.

Whether this results in a calm mind or vice versa, your mind will definitely be free of unnecessary thoughts as you focus on your inhalations and exhalations.

You will learn how to relax your body

Your mind isn't the only thing that will relax - your body will too. Thrashing around in the water will cause you to panic and take short, quick breaths. To prolong your time underwater, you will learn to relax your body along with your brain.

You become part of the ocean

When you snorkel, the fish avoid you because they know you are not part of their ecosystem. Free diving, however, allows you to be at their level and in their environment, giving you a closer look at them.

Scuba divers will notice that it is even easier to get close to the marine life when you free dive because you will be free of bulky equipment and big scuba bubbles.

It's a tough workout

Swimming is a full-body workout because all your muscles have to be activated in order to stay straight or afloat.

Often, free divers have to use weight belts in order to descend quickly and deep enough. The extra 2kg or so will feel a lot heavier when you are pulling it through the water for many minutes.

You will gain more confidence

With free diving, it is just you and the water. Although this sounds scary, it actually provides a lot of freedom. Slowly, you will become more familiar with taking charge of everything when you are free diving.

This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)

MEDICAL & HEALTH