Great Ideas for Snorkeling Exercises and Fitness


Last Updated on July 1, 2023 by Snorkel Ken

Snorkeling for fitness

We’ve talked about fitness and snorkeling before but all we really did was tell you how great of an exercise snorkeling can actually be.  Let’s rehash that for a moment:

Here’s a quick look at the calories burned in relation to time spent snorkeling and weight according to

  • 150 lb person for 1 hour burns 340 calories while snorkeling
  • 200 lb person for 45 minutes will burn 255 calories
  • For 75 minutes of snorkeling the average person can burn up to 425 calories.

Note:  Please read our Snorkeling Age Guidelines and always consult a physician prior to beginning any new exercise program.  Always snorkel safely.

However, keep in mind that a normal “float, drift and look” snorkeling excursion probably won’t burn calories at the levels we noted above.  For that to happen, you actually have to do some vigorous snorkeling.  As someone who snorkels all the time, I can definitely tell when I’m working hard and getting a good work out from my snorkeling and when I’m just lazing through it and taking video of dolphins or turtles.

Let’s take a look at how to get the most out of your snorkeling time in relation to actually getting some exercise in at the same time.

Best Snorkeling for Fitness Tips

Multiple Muscles

Something discussed in the fitness world is “compound exercises”, or exercises that use multiple muscles at the same time.  Snorkeling is one big compound exercise.  By diving underwater, changing directions in the water, and treading water you’re using many, many different muscles in your body.  Compound exercises are great for burning the max calories and getting the “most bang for your buck” in regards to muscle usage.

If you were to concentrate on this while actually snorkeling and looking around then you could greatly increase your effort and thus get a better workout from snorkeling.

Great Beginner Exercise Routine

While you should have some basic skill at swimming and floating AND while we always promote safety and physical ability, snorkeling is a great way to actually get started in the water.  Have you ever seen an out of shape competitive swimmer?  Me either.  Snorkeling is a great starter exercise program because the old, young, and not-so-fit can do it…as long as they stay within their abilities.  Just like any other exercise or movement, the more you do it then the more your body will adjust and become better prepared to accomplish the same movement next time…this is how you build strength and endurance.

Love Snorkeling?  That’s Good News for Your Fitness

Most people who are out there snorkeling are there because they really enjoy it.  Some of us are obsessed with it and would rather be in the water with snorkel, mask and fins than be laying on the beach chilling out.  (That’s me…)  This is a HUGE advantage for you.  The more you enjoy the snorkeling then the more time you’ll spend in the water doing it and the better chance you have at actually increasing your fitness level.  Not only that, it’s a win-win situation because as you snorkel  more and get in better shape, that will results in the longer and longer you’ll be able to snorkel. Holy Sea Horse, that’s an awesome situation!

5 Quick Ideas for Snorkeling Excercises

1.  Tread water vigorously for a minute or two and then rest while floating.

2.  Dive down and back up in an arcing direction, kicking and using your hands the entire way and then burst through the surface when you come back up.  This builds cardiovascular endurance and will work your muscles at the same time.


3.  Use snorkel fins whenever possible.  This gives more resistance and will work a larger muscle group which results in toned legs muscles, glutes, and abs.

White with Purple

4.  Use different strokes while snorkeling and in the water.  Each movement uses a different set of muscles or puts different levels of stress on particular muscles.  Mix it up by using the over-hand crawl, the breast stroke, flutter kicks, frog kicks, and the side-stroke.


5.  Exercise your mind and emotional systems at the same time.  Snorkeling is an activity and an exercise that really puts in touch with nature at the same time.  So, when you’re in the water spend some time just floating and watch the fish interact with coral and each other, sometimes just being in the water with your face down and the rest of the world blocked out is great therapy for a rough week and a troubled, busy mind.

Snorkel Ken in Zen from Kenny Muise on Vimeo.

As always, snorkel safe!  And have a great weekend.

Snorkel Ken



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