How Many Calories Do You Burn Scuba Diving?
It is highly recommended that you have good physical fitness so that your safety during a dive is always guaranteed. Being overweight is also considered a fundamental cause of decompression sickness among the diver community.
And if you are bored of gym classes, scuba diving can become a fantastic choice. It not only works well for all ages but also offers them incredible diving experiences. This aquatic sport lets you marvel at underwater beauty while burning your calories through movements.
For that reason, scuba diving is not a leisure activity in summer but an effective workout for anyone who wants to lose weight. This article will provide you with detailed information about the number of calories you can burn after a dive.
Besides, I also explained in detail how the calories would be consumed during scuba diving so that you can make your own diet plan.
Table of Contents
How Many Calories Can You Burn While Scuba Diving?
On average, scuba diving will burn about 300 to 700 calories per hour, which is equivalent to an hour of jogging. However, the number of calories consumed in reality can change significantly depending on other factors such as water temperature, gender, and physical fitness.
Scuba diving is a great activity to enjoy while still allowing you to burn calories and keep your body shape. For that reason, it is not uncommon to explain why people dive more instead of spending hours on treadmills or doing cardio workouts and strength training ineffectively.
In addition to an average of 400-700 calories burned according to PADI estimates, divers can calculate their own energy expenditure based on the formula below:
Total energy expenditure in calories = MET value x Body Weight in kilograms
One MET lets you know how much your actual energy is used for resting or sitting still in one hour. Medical experts have agreed with each other that scuba diving has a value of 7 METs. (1 MET equals to 1 Kcal/ kg/ hour)
For instance, a person who weighs 70 kg will burn 490 calories if he or she dives for one hour. The calculation can be done as follows:
7 METs X 70 kg Body Weight = 490 calories per hour
The above formula is the most accessible way for every diver to calculate calories burned during a dive. Although the calculation can be slightly miscalculated because it ignores such an important environmental factor as water temperature, its high accuracy is still acceptable.
How Does Scuba Diving Burn Calories?
There are a lot of factors determining how many calories will be burned during a dive. However, the most popular reason is that the water drag combined with the high pressure requires divers to burn their calories for moving effortlessly.
In addition, other factors, including heat loss, physical fitness, and environmental conditions, contribute to burning calories as well.
I have listed some of the most outstanding factors affecting the number of calorie consumption. Let’s get started.
1. Pre- And Post-dive
Before any dive, you will have to make a few necessary preparations. For example, you may walk hours to far-off diving destinations, carry your heavy gear on the back to an entry point, or just simply check whether the equipment operates properly or not.
All of these activities will burn calories. The more bulky your dive equipment is, the more calories will be consumed. You will burn lots of energy at the end of your dive as well. That’s because you need to come back to the boat’s deck by climbing a ladder.
Most scuba divers wear BCDs or wetsuits to keep themselves warm. And thereby, the weight of these gear will require you to consume more calories for supporting effortless movements both on land and underwater.
2. Dealing With the Unexpected
Once you enter the water, you may face powerful currents that can threaten your life. No matter how carefully you plan prior to any dive, the sea is always dangerous and unforeseen.
The weather conditions can be more severe, waves will be stronger, and surges may be higher. Hence, scuba divers can encounter more difficulties finding an exit point, or their fins are likely to need more energy to create a powerful kick against strong currents.
Under such challenging circumstances, decent physical fitness is another crucial factor that profoundly affects a diver’s safety. Of course, seasoned divers with good health will have a higher survival rate than people with only experience.
Besides, if your buddy suddenly becomes tired, you may have to help them carry the gear and quickly pull them ashore. You cannot exactly know about the physical health condition of all dive buddies; thus, always remember to handle this situation.
These out-of-plan activities illustrate life-threatening risks that every diver may confront, and all of them burn countless calories.
3. Internal Thermostat
The thermal conductivity of water is 25 times greater than that of air, which means that your body heat will be lost significantly faster while scuba diving. This enhances the danger of hypothermia if you stay underwater too long, even scuba diving in warm waters like Hawaii.
Therefore, to protect itself, your body automatically activates burning calories so that its internal temperature is always maintained at 37 degrees Celsius. This process of calorie consumption is a part of the body’s thermoregulation and plays a vital role in compensating for heat loss.
In addition, you should keep in mind that a high-quality wetsuit is required regardless of diving on tropical or icy beaches. The main reason is that sufficient thermal protection can help delay getting cold and slow down calorie burning to avoid being exhausted during a dive.
Read my article on What to Wear Scuba Diving to know which type of clothes you must buy for scuba diving.
This Youtube video gives thorough instructions for anyone who plans to dive in cold waters:
4. Fuel Consumption
The number of calories burned for a dive also relies on how much effort you put into it. The more challenging the dive type you do, the more attempts it requires to make. This leads to you needing an equivalent amount of calories burned.
According to PADI statistics, shore dives consume about 600 calories per hour, while boat diving uses just 300 calories at the same rate. This means that a shore dive is similar to a one-hour jog and boat dives seem to be a brisk walk on land.
However, the water temperature decides how many calories are burned as well. Shore diving in temperate destinations will be considerably different from in tropical waters.
The water pressure will be higher when you dive deeper. This explains why your body needs more energy plus a pair of scuba fins to generate stronger kicks to propel yourself forward.
In addition, you will burn more calories during the ascending process since you may have to swim against the water flow.
PADI estimates indicate that deep-diving will make you consume calories much more than shallow dives. Meanwhile, a boat dive requires higher energy consumption than a shore dive if both are taken on a beach with the same climate.
As I said before, water has a considerable influence on your body’s thermoregulation; hence, there is no doubt that water temperature affects you significantly as well. The cooler the underwater environment is, the quicker your body loses heat.
This can be explained by the fact that your body must work harder to keep you warm in icy waters, forcing it to burn many calories to prevent thermal loss. Besides, even when you dive into extremely hot destinations, a remarkable number of calories will be burned.
That’s because your body must adjust its internal temperature to adapt well to the water one. For example, the metabolic system increasingly operates to burn calories. This will help your body radiate heat, ensuring the temperature inside is not too different from outside.
Men often intake 2500 calories every day, which is 500 calories more than women (source nhs.uk). The lean muscle mass of a man is also higher than that of his counterpart.
For these two primary reasons above, men tend to burn at least 40% more calories than women in the same diving conditions.
8. Physical Fitness
As far as I am concerned above, physical fitness is one of the essential factors in deciding whether a diver can survive in emergencies. Entry-level divers often burn more calories compared to seasoned ones since they exert more effort to breathe comfortably underwater.
Additionally, beginners need more calories when diving against a strong current, resulting in exhaustion or, worse, death.
Meanwhile, advanced people are usually more experienced as well as they know how to control the air consumption to prevent their scuba tanks from suddenly running out of oxygen.
Out-of-air situations highly result in drowning and many other dangers of scuba diving. Let’s see my article about How Dangerous Is Scuba Diving and get some tips about avoiding it.
Besides, the number of calories burned is also decided by the bodyweight of a diver. On average, a person weighing 150 pounds will use around 475 calories per hour while diving. Furthermore, people with higher lean muscles will burn more energy than those with lower ones.
Staying too long underwater is extremely dangerous since it can lead to dehydration. Learn some tips to avoid this danger regardless of how excellent your physical fitness is.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there any problem related to the number of calories burned while scuba diving still confuses you? The answers to the most frequently asked questions below may clear your thoughts.
Does Scuba Diving Make You Lose Weight?
Your dream to be slim and in good shape without strength training can come true just by scuba diving. This fascinating sport is a low-impact exercise activity that enables everyone to consume redundant calories. You will lose weight after a few months of diving as a result.
Scuba diving functions as a full-body workout, and it is light enough so that you will not feel fatigued after any practice. When submerged, your entire body must be active to resist high pressure and facilitate moving around in the water.
This process will burn a large number of calories, ranging from 400 to 700, as PADI estimates. If you do repetitive diving daily for 30 minutes, 1.96 pounds of fat in the body can be lost every month. Frequently note the calories burned in your dive computer’s logbook for an easy diet.
Some other alternatives in a weightless environment can be helpful for weight loss; check it out here Scuba Diving Exercises!
Why Am I So Hungry After Scuba Diving?
Scuba diving makes scuba divers burn calories, which is the primary reason why they often feel hungry after a long dive. Their bodies at this time need an amount of energy to compensate for calorie loss. This gives divers an appetite for something.
Another cause is dehydration which occurs when moisture inside your body saturates the air in your lungs. This situation makes you feel hungry but thirsty, in fact.
Scuba diving provides you with the chance to explore what underwater life is. Besides, it is regarded as a form of exercise that allows for keeping fit and maintaining weight. Depending on different factors, the number of calories burned is distinct.
However, a diver will consume 400-700 calories at an average level. If you dive into icy destinations or go deeper, the actual number may be more considerable. Although scuba diving is funny and fabulous, you should not stay underwater too long to avoid hypothermia and dehydration.
Do you have any suggestions and remarks to make? Kindly send them to me through the comment section below. Do not forget to share this article with your friends and relatives as an effective way to motivate me to write more in the future.
About Scott Maldonado
Hi, I am Scott Maldonado, the founder of diveaeris.com. You are welcome to this website. Diving is so much fun, and I’ve got a flair for it. With many diving sessions under my belt, I have transformed from just an experienced diver to a professional instructor.
I will love to contribute to your development as a diver. Therefore, I will be engaging my years of experience by discussing anything related to diving on this website.
Read more about me.
How many calories does scuba diving burn?
The answer to the question of how many calories does scuba diving burn depends on.
The answer to the question of how many calories does scuba diving burn depends on a lot of factors. For example: How much heavy gear are you wearing? How long do you spend diving? Do you maintain a neutral buoyancy or swim with fins? If these variables change, the number of calories burned during scuba diving can increase dramatically!
The answer depends on a lot of factors
There is no set value for how many calories you will burn while scuba diving. A few factors determine how much energy your body uses while diving, and they include:
- Your weight
- Your fitness level (how often you work out)
- The amount of heavy gear that you wear during the dive and how long it takes to put on or take off
- The length of your dive, including surface interval time spent preparing for and recovering from the dive
- How often/frequently you dive in total (even with breaks between dives)
Your weight will affect how many calories are burned
Your weight will affect how many calories you burn while scuba diving. The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn. This is because when you go on a dive, your body has to work harder to stay submerged in water and keep its position stable. The less you weigh, the less energy your body uses up staying at that depth. When we consider how much caloric energy (or “calories”) we use when doing something like scuba diving or swimming, it’s important to know how much extra effort is being exerted by our bodies just to exist at a certain depth or under different conditions such as colder temperatures.
Your physical fitness will make a difference in how many calories you burn
When considering how many calories you burn in scuba diving, it’s important to remember that your physical fitness will make a difference. In other words, if you’re more fit than someone else, they may burn fewer calories than you while doing the same activity.
This is especially true for divers who are also swimmers or runners and have developed their endurance through regular exercise. For example, a person who regularly practices swimming may be prepared to work harder underwater than someone who has never even been in a pool before going scuba diving and thus burns more calories during each dive.
However, even if you’re not an avid swimmer or runner, it’s still possible for anyone to improve their fitness level with regular exercise and healthy dieting choices like eating healthier foods and drinking plenty of water throughout the day (which can reduce bloating).
How much heavy gear you are wearing will influence the calories burned
It makes sense that the more weight you carry, the more calories you will burn. But it’s not just the extra weight that matters—it’s also how much time you spend wearing heavy gear. If your diving is short and sweet, like a surface interval between dives or technical dive training exercises where you don’t carry any tanks or other equipment, then this doesn’t matter as much because it won’t affect your total calorie burn for the day by as much. In contrast, if you’re going on an extended dive trip where every day of diving involves carrying heavy tanks around on your back (or in another configuration), then these activities will add up quickly!
The more time you spend diving, the more calories you’ll burn
The longer you’re underwater, the more calories you’ll burn. Diving for five minutes will burn about 60 calories; 10 minutes yields about 120.
One way to increase your calorie burn is to go deeper into the water. The deeper you dive, the more pressure compresses your body and the harder it is for your lungs and heart to function properly—but they still have to do their jobs! This means that more energy is needed just to stay alive under these conditions. So if you plan on taking longer dives (and thus burning more calories), make sure that there are no issues with diving at a shallower depth first before attempting longer ones.
Maintaining a neutral buoyancy is an exercise in itself
When you’re in the water, gravity is working against you—you’ve got to fight against it or you’ll sink. But if you’re properly trained and experienced, maintaining neutral buoyancy is an exercise in itself.
- Maintaining a neutral buoyancy is an exercise in itself.
- You have to know how much air is inside your regulator and how much weight (if any) is on your dive belt.
- If there’s not enough air inside the regulator, it’ll be harder for you to breath at depth because there will be less pressure pushing on your body from above to keep it compressed; this makes for an uncomfortable experience both underwater and on land when trying to breathe normally again after ascending from depth.
Swimming with fins can burn a lot of calories
Swimming with fins can burn a lot of calories. While swimming is already a great exercise, adding flippers to the mix increases the energy cost of swimming by about 25 percent. That’s because they increase drag and make your body have to work harder against it, which means you burn more calories. Swimming with fins is good for your health as well; studies show that using them for aerobic training can help strengthen muscles in the lower body and improve coordination.
Fins can also be used to increase speed or distance if you practice enough—but don’t expect miracles from one session!
Scuba diving does take a lot of energy and it does burn calories but not as much as you might hope
- How many calories does scuba diving burn?
- How many calories does scuba diving burn for a beginner?
- How many calories does scuba diving burn for a professional?
- How many calories does scuba diving burn for a novice?
Conclusion: How many calories does scuba diving burn?
Scuba diving is a great way to stay in shape, but it is not the most efficient at burning calories. If you want to burn as many calories as possible when scuba diving, make sure you are doing the exercises above and wearing heavy gear!
How Many Calories Do You Burn Scuba Diving?
Scuba diving is a great water activity. Aside from the relaxation it can provide, it can also be a form of physical activity that can help you lose weight. But, how many calories do you burn scuba diving?
Generally, a scuba diver burns 300 to 600 calories per hour. However, the amount of calories you burn depends on the water temperature, your equipment weight, your gender and age, the difficulty of the dive, and other environmental influences like currents.
If you’re wondering why scuba diving can be a great choice for weight loss, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the factors that can affect the number of calories you can burn while scuba diving.
What Are the Factors That Can Affect the Amount of Calories You Burn Scuba Diving?
Scuba diving is beneficial for people who want to stay fit and active, even more so to those wanting to lose a few pounds. Here are the factors that can determine how many calories you burn scuba diving:
1. Water Temperature
One of the major factors that can affect the calories you can lose is the temperature. Normally, our body temperature when we’re on land is 98 degrees Fahrenheit. But, if our bodies are submerged in water, we’re exposed to lower temperatures.
As a result, our bodies go through a process called thermogenesis or thermoregulation. This is a function of our metabolism, where it produces heat within the body by burning calories and using energy.
Therefore, the colder the water temperature, the more our metabolism speeds up to maintain correct core temperatures. On average, scuba diving for 15 minutes can have a similar Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR of an hour spent exercising at the gym.
However, our metabolic rate doesn’t only increase during our exposure to cold waters. Even tropical waters ranging from 77 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit can contribute to our BMR because our metabolism seeks to let our bodies adapt to these temperatures.
For instance, an hour spent scuba diving in tropical waters can burn 300 calories, which is equivalent to the calories shed during hiking.
2. Water Depth
Aside from the temperature, the depth of water can also promote a higher Basal Metabolic Rate. Scuba divers can choose between a deep dive and shallow dive.
As the name suggests, a deep dive or boat dive is diving in higher depths, averaging between around 190 to 420 feet. Whereas, surface depth ranges between 30 to 40 feet.
In exchange for vibrant coral reefs and a better view of beautiful marine life, deep diving means you’ll have to deal with more water pressure.
Compared to surface diving, deep diving requires your lungs to work harder to breathe against the water pressure during descent and ascent. Hence, your caloric consumption can increase significantly, which can lead to burning more calories than other cardio exercises like running or jogging.
Typically, deep diving can burn up to 400 to 700 calories, while jogging sheds up to 500 calories per hour.
3. Gender and Age
Another factor that can affect the number of calories you burn is gender and age. For example, younger divers have a higher metabolic rate than older divers, so they burn more calories while scuba diving.
Moreover, gender plays a role in determining the number of calories you lose. Men tend to burn 40% more calories than women because they have higher muscle mass. These lean muscle masses require more energy, therefore increasing their metabolic rate.
4. Fin Kicking and Underwater Currents
Diving fins or flippers aid movement while scuba diving. But to move efficiently underwater, you need to use several muscle groups like your legs, glute, and back muscles. This not only improves your strength muscles but can also engage your core.
In addition, core engagement can lead to improved torso strength, the flexibility of your lower body, and better posture.
Most beginners tend to use up more energy and breathe more air than professional divers because they kick their diving fins more and flap their arms to seek comfort. That’s even more pronounced when divers are swimming against underwater currents.
Typically, divers can burn up to 600 calories per hour if they use their arms and legs so much.
5. Weight of Your Scuba Gear
The weight of your scuba gear can also contribute to the calories you shed scuba diving.
An average aluminum 80 scuba tank can weigh about 35 pounds, a wetsuit weighs eight pounds. Other equipment like the regulator, mask, and flippers can have a total weight of 15 pounds.
Carrying all your dive equipment before and after diving can add physical exertion to the activity. So, it can contribute to your calorie burn.
Why Is Scuba Diving a Good Exercise?
Studies show that scuba diving can relieve stress and improve mental health. It can even serve as a form of rehabilitation for people with physical disabilities like weak or injured joints.
For healthy people, scuba diving is a combination of physical and recreational activity, where they can enjoy the panoramic view of the ocean and exercise at the same time.
Here are a few reasons why scuba diving is a good exercise:
1. Increases Production of Happy Hormones
Like most physical activities, scuba diving can help your body release feel-good neurotransmitters or ‘happy hormones’ called serotonin and dopamine.
These hormones are associated with feelings of happiness and motivation, which can improve your mental health and well-being.
2. A Low-Impact Exercise
Scuba diving can help you burn calories without straining your muscles. Since your body is submerged in water, you aren’t required to support the weight of your upper body.
This makes the activity easier on your joints and ligaments.
For older people with weakened bones or sport-induced joint injuries, scuba diving can be an ideal exercise!
3. Helps Improve Quality of Sleep
A day of scuba diving usually concludes with a good night’s sleep.
Plus, retiring for the night with all those feel-good hormones can leave you rejuvenated and refreshed for the next day.
4. Can Lower Blood Pressure
Diving in water with a lower temperature encourages your body to stay warm throughout the activity. During this warm-up process, your body reduces your heart rate and blood pressure.
While the initial response to diving is adrenaline rush and excitement, your blood pressure lowers once your body has adapted to the temperature.
5. A Great Breathing Exercise
Divers are taught breathing techniques to allow them to breathe safely underwater. These breathing techniques can help calm your nervous system by letting you focus on your breathing alone.
This way, you can soothe your nerves, optimize your air consumption, and increase your lung capacity.
Like meditation or yoga, these breathing techniques can also promote self-awareness and good mental health.
So, how many calories do you burn scuba diving? Ultimately, it comes down to different factors like temperature, depth, age and gender, the underwater current, and your dive equipment.
Not only is scuba diving a fun and calming activity, but it can also serve as cardio and muscle-toning exercise.
Although it might look like simply floating around in the water, keep in mind that it also requires physical exertion. While this sounds great for people who want to lose some weight, it isn’t ideal for people with medical problems like obesity.