best sky diving tips for seniors
Parachuting Age 50-plus
What's the latest news in sky diving? Once considered an extreme sport, sky diving is on the way to becoming mainstream now that more and more senior citizens are deciding to fulfill a lifelong dream of adventure.
When even an ex-President of the United States has put a new spin on the phrase "leap year" by doing a tandem jump, it seems the over-50 crowd has come to embrace the joy of defying gravity.
Age Isn't a Barrier
It seems more and more 50+ year olds are taking to the skies these days. Advances in medicine means people are living longer and staying healthier, and they want to live life to the fullest. Modern grandmothers and grandfathers are an adventurous bunch!
A 94-year old woman recently completed her very first tandem sky dive in Britain. Ex-U.S. President George W. Bush, Sr. has done it, too (June 2009). Frank Moody of Australia, 101-years old, became the oldest man to sky dive in 2004. In 2007, 83-year old New Yorker Leo Dean completed his 100th jump. With other senior citizens wanting to strap on a parachute and take the leap, what are some of the issues they face?
GOOD HEALTH IS A MUST
Sky diving isn't strenuous, but generally, sky diving schools require participants over the age of 55 to have a note from their doctor certifying they are healthy enough to participate. In addition, you must weigh less than 220 pounds (100 kilograms) due to equipment restrictions. Obviously, if you're in poor physical condition, or you suffer certain medical conditions like heart problems or epilepsy, you shouldn't even attempt sky diving.
A DISABILITY MIGHT NOT END YOUR DREAM
Most sky diving schools have restrictions on the type of disabilities they can accommodate. Be honest. They will let you know whether you can or cannot safely sky dive.
DON'T WORRY ABOUT YOUR EYEGLASSES (BUT DENTURES ARE ANOTHER STORY)
The safety goggles you'll be issued by the sky diving school will fit over your glasses. If you don't want to lose your teeth while hurtling at speed towards the ground, however, make sure they're secure. The last thing you want is to accidentally swallow your dentures or get them lodged in your esophagus.
LANDING IS LIGHT ON YOUR FEET
If you follow the basic safety rules and your tandem partner's instructions, your landing should be safe and gentle as stepping off a curb. But if you are prone to brittle bones or osteoporosis, sky diving is definitely not for you.
Any sky diving school will answer your questions and give you all the information you need to help you make a decision as to whether or not you can (or should) go sky diving. Just remember, you're never too old to go parachuting, so go for it - and give your grandkids something to envy.
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