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Tips for Snorkeling 101: How to Prepare to Snorkel

A young couple watches Kai Kanani come to the beach on Molokini Express Snorkel TourAre you worried about the physical demands of snorkeling for the first time? If you’ve never snorkeled before, it can certainly be hard to properly prepare. While just about anyone can snorkel even if you don’t know how to swim, taking the time to physically prepare your body for snorkeling will do you a great benefit when you get in the water! Keep on reading to learn some of the best tips for getting ready for your first snorkel excursion!

What is Snorkeling?

You may have heard of a snorkel or snorkeling before, but do you really know what it means/entails? Think about skydiving – you’ve surely heard of it, but do you have any idea what it is actually like? While snorkeling isn’t that extreme, you’re still going to be in the ocean, which always carries a constant underlying risk.

Despite being in the ocean, snorkeling is actually pretty tame. Most snorkel action occurs in calm, protected waters that are separate from the harsher ocean currents. To snorkel, you’ll need some specialized equipment. The most important items include a mask, snorkel, and fins. The snorkel is a breathing tube that allows you to float belly-down while in the water. You’ll use the mask to keep water out of your eyes and to actually see all the stunning aquatic life. Fins complete the set by allowing you to propel yourself around the water. 

Is Snorkeling Physically Demanding?

When you combine the purpose of the snorkel, mask, and fins, you end up floating and swimming on the ocean surface, face down, looking at the creatures below. In theory, that doesn’t sound very difficult or demanding, but there is more to it than you think! Snorkeling certainly isn’t as taxing on your body as scuba diving, but it will still wear you out eventually.

Is snorkeling physically demanding? The short answer is no, but the longer answer is that it depends. If you try to swim too much or push yourself, you’ll tire very quickly. If you spend a long time during a single snorkeling session you can also exhaust yourself. When done in the right conditions, you can snorkel for hours without needing a break! This requires you to take a slow and steady pace, but you’ll also prosper if you physically prepare your body!  

How to Prepare Your Body

If you’re getting worried when you hear about physically preparing for a snorkel trip, then here’s some good news for you: it is extremely simple! You don’t need to go to the gym for months beforehand (although that would certainly help) or swim laps in preparation. Instead, you just need to take good care of your body the night before and morning of your snorkel adventure! This includes staying hydrated, maintaining a (relatively) healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, stretching, and applying sunscreen!

The Night Before

While you won’t be snorkeling for several hours, the night before you snorkel is actually quite influential in how you’ll feel the next day. If you decide to gorge on the delicious local cuisine (and hey who could blame you), you might feel full and bloated the next day, which certainly won’t make for a fun time. Likewise, staying up until 4:00 a.m. when you have an 8:00 a.m. snorkel tour planned is a recipe for disaster!

Here are some great tips for snorkeling the night before:

  • Sleep – You’ll want to get plenty of sleep! You certainly aren’t running a marathon, but you’ll want to have plenty of rest or else you’ll tire quite fast. Seven to eight hours is ideal, but if you can get eight to ten, then you’ll be extra rested the next morning! Plus, if you just got off the plane on a night flight, you’ll likely already feel quite drowsy.
  • Diet – You’re also going to want to make sure you eat a good dinner the night before. Don’t stuff yourself and try to avoid a mountain of sweets, but don’t think you need to over-restrict yourself. As long as you get some good protein and carbs, you’ll have done your job when it comes to diet.
  • Hydrate – It might seem silly to need hydration when you’re literally surrounded by water, but you absolutely need to stay on top of drinking water. If you’ve never been in a tropical environment like Hawaii, the warmer temperature will naturally cause you to dehydrate. You should aim to try and drink about a half-gallon of water the day before you snorkel, but make sure to spread it out throughout the day!

The Morning Of

The most exciting time is finally here! Now you get to put on all your fun snorkeling equipment and hit the water! But first, you’ll want to make sure your body is physically prepared. Hopefully you aren’t waking up mere minutes before your snorkeling tour, otherwise you just won’t have time to get ready!

Here are some important tips for snorkeling the morning of:

  • Fuel – People always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for good reason! Breakfast is crucial for fueling your body and giving you energy to push through the morning! Try to eat a healthy breakfast, something like eggs and sausage. Try to avoid sugary temptations like doughnuts and pastries as those can actually make you tired when you’re in the water.
  • Hydrate – Once again, you’ll need to hydrate! In addition to the warm climate, you’re now adding in salty seawater. The salt in the ocean naturally dries out your skin, which promotes dehydration. Furthermore, you’ll now actually be exerting your body, whether it be quickly or gradually. All of these mean that your body will need much more water! Don’t be afraid to take breaks while snorkeling to go drink some water. As a general rule, drink water anytime you feel thirsty and don’t let yourself reach the point of feeling parched.
  • Sunscreen – Before you get in the water, you’ll want to apply some sunscreen. Despite being in the water, it won’t protect you from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Make sure to apply some ocean-friendly sunscreen (which doesn’t contain any chemicals damaging to coral reefs) to keep your skin safe. Consider wearing a wetsuit or rashguard for better coverage.
  • Stretch – It may seem silly, but think about having at least a quick stretch before getting in the water. Many people overlook stretching, but you can definitely feel the difference. When you take the time to stretch your muscles out, you can use them more effectively without pain or strain. You’ll have more mobility too! Taking time for some deep breaths is also helpful, considering your breathing will be restricted to a narrow tube!

Put Your Skills to the Test in Sunny Maui!

Now you have a better idea of how to physically prepare for your Maui snorkeling trip! It certainly isn’t anything extreme, just some good basic care for your body. Taking time the night before and morning of your snorkel trip to care for your body will make your adventure much more enjoyable! Make sure to eat well, drink plenty of water, protect your skin, give your muscles a good stretch, and get as much rest as you can!

The best way to enjoy a snorkeling trip in Maui is on a tour with Kai Kanani! Hydration and food are no problem on a snorkeling tour, with delicious snacks and refreshing beverages conveniently available aboard the Kai Kanani II! Spend longer in the water and take your snorkel trip to the next level by scheduling a luxury tour today!

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