There were over three million skydives in the US last year, and interest in this adventure sport is soaring. You may have seen photos or videos of skydiving on your social media, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to roll from the belly of an airplane. Contrary to popular belief, skydiving is actually safer than driving a car, and there’s only a 0.0007% chance of having a skydiving fatality. If you still need some prodding to make the jump, here are three reasons to give skydiving a try this year.

It’s Good Exercise

Studies show that the average person weighing around 150 pounds burns about 230 calories per hour while skydiving. That’s not all: while you’re in a freefall, your core muscles flex in order to stabilize the body and protect the spine. Skydivers also develop You can build up to your first jumps by doing planks, stretching your hip flexors and glutes, and doing stretches on a balance beam.

You Don’t Need to Go It Alone

If you’re a first time jumper, it’s normal to have jitters before you make your first dive. However, beginners will often start with a tandem jump. Tandem jumpers are harnessed to an instructor with a drogue chute, which regulates the speed of the fall. Tandem skydiving is an excellent way to get acquainted with the sport and can give you the introduction and resources you need to pursue it further.

Safety is the Number One Priority

Whether you’re doing your first tandem jump or preparing to drop on your own, you’ll always go through training to make sure you’re prepared to fall safely. Your first tandem jump should only require about 30 minutes of instruction; solo jumps will require several hours of training on body positioning and canopy control. You’ll also do a routine parachute and equipment check before every dive. In addition, every drop zone has safety and training advisors appointed by the US Parachute Association to ensure that divers are safe and secure. As long as you follow your instructor’s guidelines, follow safety protocols, and use common sense, you should have nothing to worry about.

Most people list skydiving on their bucket list, but very few people actually get the chance to try it. Tandem jumps are relatively inexpensive and take one afternoon, and they can be your once-in-a-lifetime thrill or the gateway to a new passion. Why deny yourself that chance?

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