Adrenaline rush: Adventure sports for the young at heart (skydiving, whitewater rafting, bungee)

Oct 11, 2011, 4:56 p.m.

Adrenaline rush: Adventure sports for the young at heart

Whoever said that adventure sports were for kids under 50 wasn’t just mistaken, he was dead wrong. As most people who have blown through the 55 barrier can tell you, there’s an awful lot of spit ‘n' vinegar still left in the tank when you hit your mid-50s—and not everyone who gets there is anywhere near eager to trade in their hiking boots for a pair of house slippers. If this describes you and you’re steadfast in your determination not to let age dictate what you can do, consider any one of these top four adventure sports for the eternally young at heart.

Skydiving: The sport of the fearless

Not everyone thinks that jumping out of a perfectly good plane is the smartest idea in the world, but we’re not talking about smarts here—we’re talking about fun. Besides, skydiving isn’t as dangerous as you might think it is. Statistically speaking, you stand a much bigger chance of getting into an accident on the way to the air field than you do rapidly descending from the sky above it. Add to this the various options of tandem jumping with a qualified and experienced instructor, and you’re practically guaranteed a safe yet incredibly exhilarating ride.

Bungee jumping: Like skydiving, only without the parachute

Just as the idea of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane strikes some as a bit crazy, so might the idea of leaping off the edge of a structurally sound bridge without a parachute strapped to our backs. But who needs a parachute when you’re secured in place with a bungee cord? But be warned: Bungee jumping can be a truly life-altering experience, just as skydiving. Once you’re back on terra firma with your feet planted firmly on the ground, you may just feel so reinvigorated that you’ll feel there’s nothing you can’t do. And you know what? You’d be absolutely right.

Whitewater rafting: A relaxing yet tumultuous joyride

Take the image of an idyllic ride through some of the most beautiful natural surroundings you can imagine, throw in some rushing rapids and waterfalls, and you’ve got a good idea of what whitewater rafting is like. If you’ve never been and are looking for something new and exciting to add to your ever expanding repertoire of age-defying adventure activities, it may be high time to test your mettle against the rapids. Just remember, participants have to have a love for getting wet from head to toe and the ability to paddle, paddle, and paddle even more.

Scuba diving: An immersive adventure

The perfect activity that mixes adventure with relaxation, scuba diving undoubtedly ranks far lower on the adrenaline scale than some of the other activities we’ve talked about. But that doesn’t make it any less adventurous. And the best thing about taking a scuba diving trip is that you’ll very likely be “forced” to spend the rest of your time taking in beautiful coastline scenery and having some of the best seafood you’ve ever had. Ah, the things we’ll suffer to appease our adventurous whims!

Taking part in adventure sports when you’re over the age of 55 isn’t difficult at all, especially if there’s nothing preventing you from doing so. Want to jump out of a plane? Thinking about giving those whitewater rapids what-for? Don’t wait any longer. Start your search today for some of the most exciting, adrenaline-pumping adventures of your life.

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