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Extreme Sports Demystified: How Adrenaline Affects Your Health

Extreme Sports Demystified: How Adrenaline Affects Your Health

Have you ever tried some extreme sports? Have you ever thought about it?

If your closest experience to extreme is running an extra mile on a treadmill or finally getting the courage to ask that girl from the gym on a date, you can say you’re in a rut. Add a fact that you’re not satisfied with your fitness level or overall health and you’re set to fail. That’s all because of monotony training and lifestyle. No change of program or diet would get your blood flowing, or get you to scream of joy.

You know these guys that you see on a Nike commercial, climbing the insanely steep ledges of some rock, hanging upside down?

I’m talking about Iron Man contenders, mountain bikers, surfers here. All of them can perfectly fit the cover of Men’s Health without a sweat, and they seem to have such an amazing time doing the thing they love (often for money), looking amazing, and enjoying a perfect health. What could be their secret?

The adrenaline.

There is an old but gold saying: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

When it gets to the adrenaline sports, it won’t kill you, but it will definitely make you stronger in many different ways.

There is a proven fact that you can improve your health a lot thanks to adrenaline sports; besides from pure excitement and great times, you can lose some weight, get stronger, more flexible, improve your concentration… The list goes on and on.

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Just imagine, you wake up one day and instead of going to your regular gym or fitness club, you dress up and go for a round of free running (Parkour) with your friends, or maybe go to a mountain biking park and hit some routes designed to get your heart pumping. If you live near the sea, imagine doing jet skiing, kitesurfing, or regular surfing every now and then. Life would be so awesome, huh?

So why not “just do it”?

Today, we are breaking the chains of fear and leap for the perfect adrenaline rush; we’re tackling some things that you see only on television and imagine: “Boy, how awesome it would be to fly like these guys…”

Get informed on a particular sport you find most appealing, gear up, and change your life. I dare you.

1. Sandboarding

One of the best things when it gets to sandboarding is how it can be used for the whole year long. No matter if the snow is gone or skateboarding areas are crowded; you just pick your sandboard and go to the closest sandy area with your friends to enjoy your day. What is even better, if you are a traveler, this is a sport that can take you around the world to find the best places for sandboarding! Also, what’s great about this extreme sport is that it is not dangerous at all.

extreme sports demystified - sandboarding

    If you are interested, all you have to do is to get yourself a board and start practicing on a sand hill with the small drop. Before you go sandboarding, you will need equipment, and if you want to know what kind of equipment you need, check out some sandboarding equipment and tips.

    By making some cool jumps and strong turns on the sand slopes, you will not only become better at sandboarding, but also you will strengthen your legs and joints of the hips, knees, and ankles. The adrenaline can be compared to snowboarding, and the rush of hitting the sand dunes is amazing. Don’t be afraid to try it out!

    2. Sand Kiting

    Let’s turn it up a notch from sandboarding. Sand kiting is becoming more and more popular all around the world, wherever you can find decent sandy areas. For this type of sport, you do not need a lot of equipment, and the best part is, the very same equipment you can use for water kiting. All you need is a kite, a board, and a helmet. There is an option with wheels and option for both water and sand; each with its advantages and downsides. Choose by your preference.

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    extreme sports demystified - sand kiting

      By practicing this type of extreme sport you will also become a bit stronger, you will strengthen your core and arms significantly. Having fun and getting stronger – what else could you wish for? So, if you are lucky enough and going to ride the sand with your friends, make sure to get yourself properly geared.

      Remember, safety first! A strong wind can throw you high in the air, and you may end with only your feet sticking out of the sand.

      3. Scootering

      As a kid, you have probably had a scooter similar like this on the image and chances are that by growing up, you ditched it. Well, extreme scootering is a thing nowadays, and it can be a really exciting extreme sport.

      extreme sports demystified - scootering

        Apart from the fact that you will be having fun while driving your scooter and performing stunts, you will also exercise and lose weight at the same time, without even noticing. By driving the stunt scooter, you can lose six calories per minute! Who would have thought?

        Unlike the regular scooters, all you have to buy to is a stunt scooter, protectors for arms and knees, and a helmet. Gearing up won’t be a big problem, just follow the article on how to choose the perfect scooter.

        4. Snowboarding

        One of the iconic extreme sports, snowboarding never loses its popularity. The benefits of snowboarding are many; this type of extreme sport is awesome and health-beneficial at the same time. The fact about the snowboarding that you probably didn’t know is that by practicing it, you can get a bigger brain, and it can reverse the mental decline of aging.

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        extreme sports demystified - snowboarding

          Snowboarding is demanding for legs, expect to have decent inflammations after a long ride. Furthermore, your joints and lungs will have a proper test as well; snowy slopes have less thick air, which will train your lungs. To start snowboarding, you’ll need a proper board and some protective clothes.

          5. Skateboarding

          skateboarding

            Skateboarding is not just an extreme sport. Skateboard is a lifestyle, a culture. If you are not afraid of getting few bruises now and then, this sport is definitely for you. Not only that this extreme sport is fun, but also it will improve the coordination between your arms, eyes, legs, and feet significantly. Another great thing that you will learn riding a skateboard is how to avoid falling in general, and extraordinary balance. And the thrill of a successful trick or a jump is simply incredible.

            Before you go outside to practice, try to get yourself a proper protective equipment. By being a skateboarder, you’ll get tougher, leaner, and agiler, with the accent on toughness. Skateboarding is like that, if you fail on a trick, you’ll get hurt. Here’s a helpful resource for buying your first skateboard.

            6. Mountain Biking

            One of the most popular ways to spend time in the wild, mountain biking, provides a bunch of health benefits. It builds up your cardiovascular system and leg muscles a lot while strengthening the core and arms as well. Mountain biking is not only excellent and great extreme sport, but it can help you to improve your quadriceps, gluteal and calf muscles and also, it will strengthen your tendons, without any weight bearing.

            extreme sports demystified - mountain biking

              Getting yourself a mountain bike can be a pretty hard thing to manage, especially when you don’t know which type of bike you’ll need, and there are a lot of types of mountain bikes. Get educated and know what type of riding you’ll be concentrated on. We recommend cross-country if you’re a beginner.

              7. Surfing

              Surfing is one of the coolest extreme sports that you can find outside. Ask any surfer, and you’ll see: riding the waves is the one and only, most important thing in the world. Not only it is as exciting extreme sport as possible, surfing provides many health benefits as well. Surfing is awesome cardiovascular exercise that will keep your heart pumping. It will develop your balance, your whole body strength, and dexterity.

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              extreme sports demystified - surfing

                Since a large part of surfing involves moving through the water (after you are done with riding the wave), you will get an excellent core and upper body workout. Not only it will make you physically stronger, but it is proven fact that if you are practicing surfing, you release a lot of endorphins which improves your mood and makes you feel better. Before you start riding waves, you should check the surfing accessories and guides in order to learn more about the waves and what you need to do when you see a wave coming towards you.

                8. Rafting

                Nowadays, rafting is becoming more and more popular as an extreme sport. Wherever you can find fast rivers, you will probably see some rafters too. Rafting is one of the most remarkable adventurous ways to explore the nature and have an adrenaline rush while doing it. Going down on a wild river, you will face a lot of challenges on water while trying to conquer the wild stream.

                Rafting

                  Rafting is not only good if you are looking for the adrenaline rush, but it will also help you clear your mind and strengthen your whole body. Also, a great thing that comes with rafting, believe it or not, it will help you to lower down your level of stress. Rafting is amazing for working groups and teambuilding. Check out the necessary gear before you go book a rafting tour with your friends.

                  9. Paragliding

                  For the final two extreme sports, we hit the air, as the most extreme area. With paragliding, you will not only go for the adrenaline rush and conquer the fear of the heights but also, it provides you with the plenty of health benefits, both physically and mentally. When it gets to the physical health improvement, it will improve your mobility and flexibility. By navigating with your paraglider through the air, your upper muscles will become much stronger.

                  Paragliding

                    For mental enhancements, well, you know the feeling that you get after you have accomplished something big? Well, try to imagine that feeling times 10, that is how you will feel after a good paragliding session. It will help you to gain a life-changing confidence boost, and it will motivate you to try out new extreme and amazing sports. Before you go for a beautiful ride up in the skies, we would advise you to read about the best and safest equipment for paragliding.

                    10. Sky Diving

                    For the last sport on our list, we’re going all-in. Skydiving is an adrenaline junke’s perfect sport. With skydiving, you will forget about your worries and no matter how scary it looks, once you jump off the plane it’s all about the thrill. Skydiving releases you from the stress, which is a good health benefit but also helps you to conquer your fear of heights.

                    Skydiving

                      Skydiving itself involves free-falling from around 15,000 feet at a rate of 120ft/sec (for a minute), and once you pull a parachute out, it takes a peaceful gliding to the ground for the next five minutes. Skydiving is an amazing experience where you literally explore the new depths of yourself and find new and inspiring energy in your life. If you are new to skydiving, it would be smart checking out a guide to buying your first skydiving gear. Be prepared, and step up for the best ride of your life.

                      Being healthy and fit doesn’t have to involve boring gym life.

                      You can try some of the extreme sports on our list and see how will it affect your life. You can pick one sport or all of them.

                      It’s all up to you.

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                      Dejan Kvrgic

                      Blogger, Writer

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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                      One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                      In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                      Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                      1. Cat Camel Stretch

                      Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                      Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                      Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                      Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                      2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                      This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                      Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                      The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                      Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                      Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                      3. Jumping Jacks

                      Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                      Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                      4. Abductor Side Lifts

                      Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                      Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                      5. Balancing Table Pose

                      This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                      Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                      ablab

                        6. Leg Squats

                        Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                        Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                        The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                        7. Push Ups

                        You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                        An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                        Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                        8. Bicycle Crunches

                        There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                        Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                        9. Lunges

                        Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                        Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                        10. Bicep Curls

                        You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                        Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                        Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                        Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                        Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                        These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                        You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                        Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                        More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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