Feb 14

Guess what – first dates are as thrilling as sky diving – oh yeah?

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Really, it is apparently so.

A University study proves dating increases heart rate to the same level as skydiving.

Well, if we grannies who run our charity: Words for the Wounded had known that, we’d have tried the date, rather than leap out of a plane to raise funds for our veterans…

So, what’s this all about – on Valentine’s Day?

Apparently Lovelorn Brits find the thrill of a first date as adrenaline inducing as jumping out of a plane, according to scientific research.

The Bear Grylls Adventure in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton found that the average heart rate while indoor skydiving was 111 BPM, almost identical to that of a blind date experience, 106 BPM – proving that the excitement of a romantic encounter is the same as freefalling.

The research by the university cardiology department put participants through a number of experiences including indoor skydiving, a zip wire course, and a first date while wearing heart rate monitors to measure pulse fluctuations.

In support, a survey of 2,000 UK adults found more than half (54%) of Brits consider going on a first date a thrilling experience, and 1 in 6 confessed to enjoying the rush of the initial encounter.

The survey of the nation’s daters also found a third of Brits had considered leaving or not turning up to a date due to nerves, and 45% have stuttered and lost their trail of thought. Ooops.

General Manager, James Thomas said: “First dates sure are a thrilling experience, the fear of the unknown in any circumstance gets the heart racing, and the heart rate research we’ve undertaken backs this up. The results of our research proved that the UK is a nation of thrill seekers who want to be pushed to the limit and the attraction is set to test just that.

“The Bear Grylls Adventure has been designed to encourage people to test their boundaries, overcome their fears and experience some of the world’s most thrilling experiences all in one place.”

Bear Grylls said: “Facing our fears is the only way to truly conquer them. Our heart rates fall the more we undertake different challenges, as we know what to expect and we have overcome the initial leap. Avoiding fears only makes them bigger and causes them to root themselves even deeper.’

One of our Words for the Wounded grannies had a total fear of heights, and it changed her to have to actually a) go up in a tiny plane, and b) jump from it. Arghhhh. However, she strode away, looking very much as though she could kick ass, if a future situation ever warranted it.

Dr Martin Khechera, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “…When approaching a nerve-racking experience, our bodies usually experience a ‘fight or flight’ response, whereby we notice a rapid increase in heart rate due to an adrenaline rush. Once the initial thrill has taken place, heart rates start to steady, and this is when we get a chance to enjoy and improve our skydiving and even dating skills. The more we get used to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone the better we get in handling stressful situations. It’s valid to conclude that the more we push ourselves out of our comfort zone by skydiving or taking on heights or even the exhilarating rush of a zip line the better we get in dating.

The adventure park which opens in Birmingham in 2018 will replicate some of Bear Gryll’s most incredible adventures, including skydiving, rock climbing, military ropes course and diving.

I’m beginning to wonder if the grannies should be launching themselves along a zip wire in the autumn, instead of walking Hadrian’s Wall. Much quicker and if it equals the excitement of a first date, bring it on.


For more information please visit www.beargryllsadventure.com

www.wordsforthewounded.co.uk for details of our writing award, LitFest, and in due course, Hadrian’s Wall, or will it be something else… We’ve done a military assault course, sky diving… zip zip perhaps.