Bungee jumping has become extremely popular over the last couple of decades, but it’s very rare that anybody will actually take a step back to think about the mental and health benefits that it could provide. Sounds weird doesn’t it?
But there is research to suggest that extreme sports such as bungee jumping can in fact change your mood and heighten your focus. I will go into those a little later on as they aren’t the only advantages or benefits you can get from bungee jumping… there’s so much more to it.
What are the benefits of bungee jumping?
If you want to know how this extreme sport could be to your advantage, then read on. I’ve listed the benefits of bungee jumping below, with some interesting quotes interspersed from experts in their field.
1. You can overcome your fears
One of the biggest benefits of bunging jumping is giving you the platform to overcome your fears. I was scared of heights before my first time (I still am) but managed to get the courage together to make the leap.
By facing your fears head on in the scenario of a bungee jump or similar, you can then take that experience into other aspects of your life.
I genuinely believe that since I started bungee jumping, I am now a more confident and bold decision maker in all aspects of my life.
If you can face your fears and jump from that platform, you will be able to turn that fear into courage, becoming more confident and empowered.
2. You can reach greater levels of emotional intelligence
And there is actually some science to suggest that facing fears can improve your emotional intelligence and mental well-being.
By taking on challenges that put you outside of your comfort zone, you could reap the benefits. This is exactly what extreme athletes are able to do. They become successful by harnessing the fear they feel and turning that into better performance.
For example, a pharmacologist at Edinburgh University told the Independent Travel section that bungee jumping could benefit you. This is what he said:
“The process of successfully conquering our terrors is accompanied by numerous chemical processes in the body. The rush you get from surviving, say, a bungee-jump will dramatically change your mood. It will also make you temporarily immune to pain. Substances released into the bloodstream will include not only adrenaline but also 5HT, (the substance which Prozac stimulates in the body), as well as morphine-like substances.”
3. You can release stress and worry
Imagine standing on top of a platform, 130 meters in the air. What will you be thinking about at this point?
Like most people it’s going to be the survival instincts and fear that naturally kick-in. You won’t be thinking about your mortgage payments, or the daily grind of your nine to five job.
All your external worries and stresses will disappear as your make your jump. After my jump it’s all I can think about, with a buzz that can last for days.
Handy Hint: Want to know what a bungee jump really feels like? Read about my own experience plus stories from other first-timers.
A little bit of adrenaline can be a good thing. As long as it’s not a long-lasting rush of adrenalin, it can heighten your body’s senses and is similar to a shot of human jet fuel.
4. You can make amazing memories
I would rather have memories than possessions. I recall every single bungee jump I have made with almost laser like precision. Don’t ask me what I had for breakfast this morning; I couldn’t tell you – but that jump of the Macau Tower… it’s burned into my memory.
You won’t forget what will be one of the most amazing and enjoyable experiences of your lifetime… even more so if you buy the photos and video of the day.
In fact, every time you watch the video footage or photos back, the memories of your bungee jump and the way it made you feel will come flooding back.
5. You can accomplish a huge achievement
What things in life are you truly proud about? What things have you achieved that provide a conversation point over dinner? Jumping off a bridge or crane will certainly be up there!
Bungee jumping isn’t for everyone, and it’s only something that the truly brave will ever try to attempt. You should be proud of your accomplishment.
It will give you bragging rights for years to come over your friends, family, people you work with and more. Who wouldn’t want that?
6. You can feel truly alive
When was the last time you felt alive? I know that sounds a bit twee, but it’s true. The exhilaration, adrenalin, and endorphins that get released during a bungee jump will electrify you – in a good way!
If you’re bored with the daily grind and want to release some feel good endorphins, try a bungee jump – you can read more about how there is a science behind why this makes you happy in this UK newspaper.
Handy Hint: Check out this guide I created for first-time bungee jumpers. It explains how you can be best prepared both mentally and physically to truly enjoy the benefits this extreme sport can offer.
7. You can strengthen your muscles
But what about the health benefits of bungee jumping? Are there any?
I believe that some of the benefits I have already raised will have a knock-on effect, after all, healthy mind, healthy body springs to mind. And there’s some degree of truth in all of this.
By bungee jumping you can stretch your muscles, improve your reflexes and stamina and have a short cardio workout that’s unrivalled in the view you get! There’s also the walking up all those steps to get to the platform too…
There’s even a Bungee Workout program available now. The brains behind it say it offers a 360-degree dynamic workout involving squats, lunges and press-ups.
8. You can explore the world
Why bungee jump over a boring industrial landscape when you could take in jungle views, valleys, mountains, over a fast-flowing river and other stunning vistas?
Bungee jumping gives you the opportunity to visit far flung locations. Some of the best jumps in the world are in areas that you probably would never visit unless you had good reason too… and what better reason than a bungee?
Handy Hint: Check out some photos of the most stunning bungee locations in the world in this article about how much a jump costs in different countries.
9. You can make it a romantic event
My first ever bungee jump was on a vacation with my wife. We went to Thailand on our honeymoon and decided we both wanted to take the plunge. We went separately at first, and then after that made it a tandem jump (here’s how tandem bungee works).
We were strapped together, facing each other. We then jumped as a pair.
The experience definitely brought us closer together and has to be one of the most romantic things we have ever done together.
10. You can make friends for life
Almost 99% of everyone else at the bungee operation will be jumping for the first time. It’s a great place to meet people and enjoy the camaraderie and encouragement that you will all offer each other.
Once your first jump is complete, you will almost certainly want to do it again. We did this and met another couple who we’ve actually now bungeed with on a few more occasions since.
Bungee jumping puts you in a small and exclusive club, where only the members can identify and relate to each other about how awesome this is.
11. You will quite simply have…. FUN!
And last but not least, it’s just fun. There is no other way to explain it!
Benefits and risks of bungee jumping
I’m a huge fan of bungee jumping. The benefits to me have been out of this world. But I need to temper that with bringing up what the benefits and risks can be. It would be remiss of me not to.
Whilst it is relatively safe (see the statistics), it can be dangerous.
Operators will not let people jump with certain medical conditions including (but not limited to):
- If you have an ankle or leg injury.
- If you have back, neck, or spinal injury injuries.
- If you have any recent bone breaks, dislocations, or fractures.
- If you have epilepsy.
- If you have a heart problem or conditions.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you are pregnant.
During a bungee jump, your heart rate can reach as high as 160 beats per minute. You can burst blood vessels in your eyes, could experience whiplash, possible fractures, strains, and ligament damage – and in worst case scenarios, it could be fatal.
But I don’t want to put you off.
If you worry about things like this, you will never make your first jump. Just please do your research into the operator you are using and check their reviews and safety record.
Jumping off a platform attached to a bungee cord is crazy when you think about it. You will need to plumb the depths of your inner psyche to overcome the fear to make that step off.
But once you have managed to do it, any other challenges you face will seem like small fry in comparison.
For me, that’s the biggest benefits of bungee jumping… it completely changes your outlook on life.
Whilst there are also health benefits of bungee jumping, you need to do a lot of jumps to get any real impact from it – unless you are doing bungee workouts indoors (which aren’t quite the same).