Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

        Advertising

        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.

              Advertising

              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.

                      More by this author

                      Dejan Kvrgic

                      Blogger, Writer

                      30 Excellent Slow Cooker Recipes For Lazy People 5 Things You Must Know to Find the Best Headphones Bedroom Makeover 101: Enhancing The Most Important Place In Your Home 8 Fun Ways to Make Your Wedding Truly Memorable How to Survive Valentine’s Day – A Practical Guide

                      Trending in Fitness

                      113 Pregnancy Yoga Exercises for The Last Trimester 2Yoga Benefits for Men and Women Over 40 (And How to Get Started Now) 3Science Says Screaming Is Good For You 4The Best 10 Types of Exercise for Kids Who Get Too Much Screentime 519 Fun Activities for Seniors to Stay Active Physically and Mentally

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                      He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                      Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                      Advertising

                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                      He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                      He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      His motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                      Advertising

                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • He riles up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                      Advertising

                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                      For example:

                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tension

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                      Advertising

                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      For the Sleep Depriver

                      (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                      • Shut down your thinking.
                      • Calm your feelings.
                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                      Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Read Next