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Long Island Skydiving Center Posted by: Long Island Skydiving Center 2 months ago

What’s in a hormone? The universe, as a matter of fact! We’d like to give a special shout-out to one of our favorites for skydiving: a magical little beast called … you guessed it … adrenaline. But what you might not have expected is that there is something called the adrenaline rush benefit. Or, to be more accurate, benefits.

Anyone who has jumped out of an airplane before knows that there are many skydiving benefits that come with participating in the sport, and if we’re talking specifically about seeking adrenaline, skydiving is at the top of the list of activities.

Here’s all you ever wanted to know about the benefits of adrenaline rushes and how your desire to embark on that tandem skydive relates to brain and body chemistry.

What is Adrenaline, Anyway?

Freefall skydive above New York

Once thought to only be a neurotransmitter, adrenaline is now known to neuroscience to be both a neurotransmitter and a hormone. Simply put: Hormones are molecules the body releases into the bloodstream to use for signaling. Neurotransmitters are molecules the body uses for direct signaling between neurons — usually, through contact at a synapse. Adrenaline is so powerful that it does both. Well, sort of.

Technically speaking, “regular old” adrenaline is not both things at once. Its “sister molecule,” noradrenaline (also called norepinephrine), is the actual neurotransmitter — but the two molecules are almost exactly identical.

Adrenaline is released by the adrenal gland into the bloodstream as the hormone and noradrenaline is released and used by neurons in the brain as the neurotransmitter. Confusing? Yes — because both sister molecules are actually detected by the same receptors – a bit like the same lock on a bunch of different doors.

It’s okay if science isn’t exactly your thing. All you need to know is this: Adrenaline is fun, powerful, and good for your body and mind!

What are the Benefits of Adrenaline?

Skydiving in New York by the ocean

We humans straight-up need adrenaline. It’s there for us in every stressful situation (yup – that includes skydiving!), driving our decision-making with the “fight-or-flight” response and preparing our bodies to act. It’s only through evolution and progress in how we live that we’ve been able to harness the power of adrenaline for fun and not just survival. 

But that doesn’t mean that we don’t experience the benefits of adrenaline just because we are purposely using it for a recreational high. No matter the reason behind the rush, our brains and bodies still benefit from the following adrenaline-induced super powers:

Cardiovascular Benefits of Adrenaline

An adrenaline surge causes your air passages to dilate, infusing your blood with higher levels of oxygen. It also triggers your blood vessels to contract, redirecting blood toward the major muscle groups that you’ll need to either fight or fly, depending on what you decide in the moment. And don’t forget about the heart thumping that comes with a rush – your ticker gets a nice little impromptu workout when you give it a shot of good old adrenaline.

Pain Resistance Benefits of Adrenaline

Adrenaline gets between your brain and an injury in the critical early moments, preventing your ability to sense the true extent of your physical pain and allowing you to function well enough to react to the source of your injury. Cool (and useful) trick, huh? Thanks, Nature!

Strength Benefits of Adrenaline

Need to lift a sedan to rescue your trapped baby? Adrenaline to the rescue! Even about half an hour after the initial stress has abated, you’ll still have extra lifting power. Your eyes will be stronger, too: your pupils dilate when they get a boost of adrenaline, so your vision improves (because you’ve allowed in more light by which to see).

Cognitive Benefits of Adrenaline

When your bloodstream is pumping with adrenaline, your brain is gonna get extra-oxygenated. You’ll feel fully engaged, laser-focused, and prepared to slay any beast wandering your way. You’ll be making decisions for the absolute immediate future, sure – but you’ll be making those decisions SO FAST. In fact, your brain will process the world around you so quickly that everything will appear to happen in slow motion! 

If you think this sounds like something out of a Marvel movie, you’re not wrong! The benefits of adrenaline are incredible, and one of the main reasons humans have survived this long. It’s also why it’s so easy to find so many thrill seekers walking among us, like some kind of adrenaline addicted X-Men!

Adrenaline and Skydiving 

experienced skydiving instructor

If there’s one thing people know about skydiving, it’s that it comes with a heavy shot of adrenaline. Picture this: you’re in an airplane thousands of feet in the air, moving toward the open door. You peek your head out into the sky to see the ground miles below. Then, you jump. 

Jumping out of an airplane is probably one of the most adrenaline-inducing activities you can do. After all, it’s not natural – it goes against every single thing our primal instinct to survive tells us. And that’s why we love it so much. In a world of uncertainties, some people avoid risk. Others thrive on it, and those people are often on great terms with their adrenaline response systems.

There are so many benefits to going skydiving, and many of those center on adrenaline:

  • Processing the pre-jump jitters teaches your brain to self regulate and overcome natural fears that will help you with anxiety management in a variety of stressful situations. 
  • The exhilaration of freefall causes your brain to slow down and become hyper focused on the moment. You’ll notice that your reactions are different after your jump!
  • You’ve heard of beer muscles, but what about adrenaline muscles? Overcoming the fear associated with skydiving (and how adrenaline helps you with that) will give you newfound self confidence that you won’t soon forget!

Keep this in mind, too: A thrill seeker personality is not necessarily a crazy risk-taker. While most skydivers are thrill seekers, most of us pride ourselves on our mindful, thoughtful, measured assumption of risk. In fact, learning how to manage adrenaline allows us to approach skydiving in a way that actually reduces risk. 

We’d love for you to experience the benefits of adrenaline for yourself! The positive effects of adrenaline are right there on the other side of a tandem skydiving reservation, so come and get ’em! Or give the gift of adrenaline to someone you love! Blue skies!

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