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It’s not a thrill ride, and it’s not just a bucket-list item. Those of us who proudly tote our USPA solo licenses around are happy to tell you that sport skydiving is a very worthy supplement to a healthy lifestyle–and that its benefits go well beyond the yeehaw grins and high-fives of a happy landing. Here we discuss the top three health benefits of skydiving.
We use our powers of proprioception every minute of every day, but we only notice it when we’re not using them well. When our proprioceptive abilities are on the fritz, we’re “clumsy;” we’re “all over the shop;” we’re “klutzy.” That’s because proper proprioception moves us as far as possible from klutziness, into grace. Proprioceptive sense is the neuromuscular phenomenon that allows you to know where all the parts of your body are in space. It gives you the ability to safely maneuver your body around your environment. It gets your parts working as a whole, strengthens those parts in the most integrated way, and keeps your whole from bumping into everything in the immediate vicinity. Proprioception, then, is grace.
There are lots of activities that dial in proprioception, of course. Any sport requiring precision works out that proprioceptive capacity. So does yoga; dance; Crossfit; navigating the metro station every day at rush hour.
Skydiving, however, is extra-specially good at training proprioception. It’s superpower lies in the fact that the body is removed from the standard feet-on-the-ground orientation and held there by the airflow, with those air molecules exerting force on the limbs and directing the position of the body. It’s a workout to move the body around up there, and excellent physical awareness is necessary to move through the progression of the skydive.
It’s tricky! But heck, y’awl, is it fun.
Skydiving in and of itself is not a treadmill-running kind of workout. If you’re working hard on a routine, you’ll be putting yourself through the paces of a hard sprint on every jump, but if you’re a casual skydiver, you won’t be doing a lot of heavy lifting.
That said: A day of skydiving is going to leave you worked out. Carrying heavy gear around, packing your parachute, pacing through jumps with your buddies, running back and forth to fetch bits and bobs from the sidelines, striding back from your landings…it adds up. A day at the dropzone will require about as much nutritious fuel as a day of light-to-moderate hiking–and don’t forget the water. Lots of skydivers integrate a yoga or stretching practice into their dropzone day, knowing that they’ll tie themselves in knots if they don’t.
A skydive delivers meditative focus. It brings you into a state of clarity, unlike anything you’ve experienced before. It douses your brain with natural feel-good chemicals. It strengthens confidence to wrestle with any challenge that pops up in your life. It provides a context for addressing challenge and stress healthfully. It brings fulfilling friendships into your life. It’s a powerful change agent in the personal life of the skydiver, and its benefits spill far beyond the borders of the dropzone.
Ready to experience all the health benefits skydiving has to offer? Come up to our gym. We’ll give you the tour!