Skydiving gives you the thrill of a lifetime, but that thrill shouldn’t come at the cost of safety. If you have a heart condition, you know it’s important to put your health before things like alcohol or smoking. It’s also important to ask if it is safe to take part in the activities you always wanted to do. 

Don’t stress; we did the research for you to know about how safe skydiving is for your heart.

Is skydiving bad for your heart?

a man skydiving
Photo by Filipe Dos Santos Mendes on Unsplash

If your heart is healthy, skydiving is completely safe for your heart. 

While it depends on a body’s health conditions, skydiving isn’t bad for your heart if you have a healthy heart. 

Skydiving is like any activity which gets your heart rate high really quickly. It is risky for those with heart conditions like a heart murmur or potentially diabetes. 

While you might have never gone skydiving before, you probably have done something that gets your heart pumping. 

Think of going on a roller coaster: how does your heart feel going up? Going down? 

There’s probably a moment where your heart gets pumping so fast it feels like it will fall out, but after that, you get this amazing moment of euphoria. Your heart isn’t pumping so much. Your head isn’t thinking about anything. You’re just happy going along with the ride. 

Going skydiving gives you that adrenaline rush and that feeling of euphoria.

If you have occasional panic attacks, you should consult with your doctor or psychologist before skydiving. However, there have been case studies of people with panic attacks loving their skydives.

Is skydiving safe for heart problems?

Skydiving unfortunately is not safe when you have heart problems. Skydiving puts quite a bit of stress on your heart. A person with a heart murmur or with a history of heart attacks should think twice before trying to jump out of a plane.

If you have a heart condition, you may still be able to skydive, but there’s one thing you must do first: speak with your GP/doctor.

Your doctor will assess you and your medical history. They will be able to see if an activity like skydiving is safe for you. 

One factor which may allow you to continue to skydive is if you have been skydiving regularly for years. This is good news for skydiving veterans. 

However, if you’re new to skydiving, it’s probably a bad idea to try it with a heart condition.

For more about health restrictions for skydivers, check out this site.

two hands
Photo credit: Leon Brocard via Wiki Commons

Has anyone had a heart attack from skydiving?

Unfortunately, people have had heart attacks during skydiving.

A skydiving teacher in America died of heart disease after a jump at the age of 58

A Briton died in 2011 of a heart attack during a skydive. He was completing an Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) course when around 1,000 feet from the ground, he lost consciousness. It’s unknown if he had any prior health conditions that may have had a negative influence on his body.

Once again, skydiving is an intense activity. While healthy hearts have no trouble handling the stress of a jump, people with heart conditions can have complications from getting their heart rate up so high.

Can I skydive after a heart attack?

Most skydiving schools and locations won’t let you skydive when you have a history of heart attacks.

Before doing a course like AFF, you need to fill out a form which stipulates you don’t have prior heart conditions. You must also have a health certificate from your doctor showing that you are healthy enough to skydive.

Veteran skydivers might be able to continue skydiving provided they’ve been continually skydiving for years. 

You may be interested in this post where one man writes that he will start skydiving despite his doctor telling him not to. He gives his background: 64 years old man having completed 403 jumps but none recently. A comment pointed out that this man would be lying on his contract for the AFF course. The original poster said he would rather die in the sky than in a hospital bed. 

All this is to say, there may be a way for someone to skydive after having heart surgery, a heart attack, or any number of heart conditions. However, there is a much greater risk of death. Of course, you can decide whether or not it’s worth the risk. 

Just remember the risk of death doesn’t just affect you; it also affects the skydiving company you’re flying with, skydivers around the world and most importantly, your family. 

Can I indoor skydive with a heart condition?

No, you can’t indoor skydive with a heart condition. 

Indoor skydiving might be safer than skydiving from a plane, but it also accelerates your heart rate high above its normal rhythm. 

Indoor skydiving companies also don’t want to have the liability of someone dying in their tunnels due to heart attacks or strokes. The bad publicity could put off thousands of potential customers from jumping. 

man parachuting
Photo credit: Ekologistudenter via Wiki Commons

Conclusion

Skydiving is intense for your body. That’s part of what makes it so great. There really isn’t any thrill like it out there. But most skydiving institutions agree health should come before thrills. 

Healthy hearts have nothing to worry about. If you eat spinach every now again, exercise once a week and haven’t had any heart troubles in the past, your heart should be just fine to skydive.

If you have health issues with your heart, go to your doctor. If they say no, it just simply isn’t safe for you to skydive. 

There are however other ways to be involved with this beautiful activity without actually skydiving. You can volunteer at a local skydiving company or potentially go up in the plane with skydivers. You can try to become a pilot, although that is a whole other rigorous activity in and of itself.

Even if you can’t skydive safely, there are many other good fun ways to spend your time.