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Snorkeling and Fitness

Snorkeling and Fitness Guide

It’s widely known that swimming for fitness is the best full-body, low-impact workout for all body shapes and sizes.  There is no stress on the joints like there is with running.  Swimming uses practically every muscle group in your body.  It’s great for both a cardio workout and strength training.  Cardio exercise supports heart health and the healthier your heart the better.

Guess what? Snorkeling is also a great exercise and it’s one of those activities that doesn’t seem like a workout because it’s so fun.  It’s a win-win!

I’m Virginia owner of Kona Snorkel Trips. We are Hawaii’s top rated and most reviewed snorkel tour company. We take thousands of guests on Kona snorkel tours every year and we take pride in sharing the beauty of our ocean home with people from around the world. In these guides we share our knowledge and passion for snorkeling in Hawaii and anywhere it’s wet!




Improves your breathing ability

When you snorkel you’ll experience improved lung function and capacity because you need to regulate the rate at which you breathe in and out of the snorkel.  So effectively the more you snorkel the longer you’ll be able to hold your breath.  Having good lung capacity reduces the chances of getting heart disease.

a man with a flock of seagulls in a pool of water


Heart Healthy

Snorkeling can give you an adrenaline rush which causes your heart rate to increase and in turn pumps that blood faster!  Adding cardio to your lifestyle can decrease your chances of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart failure.


Strengthens Muscles

The effort your muscles must exert against the water pressure provides some resistance which your legs must work against.  It’s quite possible that you can burn 200+ calories in just one hour of snorkeling.  Now, that depends on a number of factors like how rough the water is, how fast you move through the water, and your body weight.  Snorkeling in Kona is often snorkeling in calm waters so you’ll likely be on the lower end of calorie burn.  


Joint Mobility & Flexibility

Those that have a tough time doing exercises that put pressure on their joints will love snorkeling.  Being in the water alleviates pressure on the joints – unlike running.  Those that are overweight may particularly enjoy the activity and over time may even take up other forms of exercise.   Being in the water releases tension from your body for increased flexibility and can help with muscle and joint pains.  


Mental Health

There is just something about being in the ocean that relaxes you.  We call it ocean therapy.  The weightlessness of floating in the ocean, concentrating on your breathing, and enjoying nature all lead to an improved mood by releasing endorphins.


How do you know if snorkeling is for you?

Unlike other exercises, the barrier to entry is small for giving snorkeling a go.  All that is needed are basic swimming skills (for safety) and a sense of adventure.  If you’re new to snorkeling it’s best to start out snorkeling with a professional so they can guide you in the proper technique of the mask, snorkel, and fins.  They’ll also provide you with some tips and tricks for best practices for interacting with nature and point out interesting things along the way.  Join us on one of our daytime snorkel tours like our Captain Cook Snorkeling Tour in Kealakekua Bay, Deluxe Kailua-Kona Morning Snorkel Tour & Marine Life Encounter, or our Discover Pawai Afternoon Reef Snorkel.  These three tours are perfect for beginners and you’ll get some exercise too.

a woman snorkels on the reef underwater

After joining us on a daytime snorkeling tour we suggest our night Manta Ray Snorkel.  While you won’t get as much exercise on this tour, because your professional snorkel guide will do all the leg work, you will get to witness one of the most magical underwater ballets.  

manta ray eyeball with snorkelers overhead looking down at night