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Whether we’re about to walk down the aisle, touch an “unsavory” animal, resign from a job or put all your chips on black, for some reason humans tend to hold their breath when the stakes feel high. That’s why, so often, people offer the advice: “Don’t forget to breathe.” And just before you can thank Captain Obvious for the tip, you realise it’s actually well-timed advice.
So is the case with skydiving. Often, right before exiting the plane, people hold their breath in anticipation of what’s to come. Not an awesome idea. What’s more, there’s a misconception that it’s hard to breathe when you’re in freefall. It’s not. Here’s the score:
Scream Like No One Is Watching
There’s a lot to take in as you board the plane, ascend to altitude, approach the door and JUMP!
The engines are loud and everyone’s got the jitters. Let out a hearty “Woohooo!” on the flight up to release some of the energy, and allow yourself to release a soul-nourishing howl when you exit. You can’t yell without taking a big ol’ breath. Ask a newborn, they’ll tell you – nothing helps you quickly acclimate to new surroundings like a gorgeous primal scream.
Take In A Little Extra
At Skydive Ramblers, we jump from 14,000 feet (12K for night jumps). At that altitude, oxygen registers about 40% less than what’s available to us on the ground.
While this is no cause for concern, skydivers are wise to take steady breaths in order to keep the oxygen free flowing and the good vibes ongoing. Focused breathing helps you stay calm, be in the moment, and take it all in. To compensate the change in oxygen rate, try to imagine breathing 40% deeper.
Hold It In A Little Longer
In addition to taking deep breaths throughout the plane ride up, consider holding your air a little longer as you climb higher. As the air thins and our bodies flood with adrenaline, there’s an inclination to breathe more rapidly which can trick your brain into a panic. What you’re about to do is amazzzing – tell your brain to cool it!
Consider inhaling to the count of six, and exhaling to the count of four; repeating all the way up to altitude. As you breathe, try to consciously relax the muscles in your face, shoulders and hands.
And smile! It won’t necessarily help you in the breathing department, but it’ll help you keep perspective as you prepare to embark on one of the most incredible experiences of your life.
We can’t wait to get sky high with you! Join us!