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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 August 13, 2020

                      12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                      12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                      As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

                      1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

                      I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

                      Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

                      Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

                      2. What is the purpose of meditation?

                      The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

                      It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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                      Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

                      In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

                      You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

                      This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

                      The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

                      Less Physical, More Psychological

                      Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

                      This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

                      The First Benefit of Meditation

                      The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

                      1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
                      2. Relaxation of the body

                      Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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                      Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

                      That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

                      When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

                      When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

                      Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

                      Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

                      This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

                      Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

                      Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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                      This benefit takes you to the second one.

                      The Second Benefit of Meditation

                      While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

                      1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
                      2. Observance
                      3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
                      4. Patience

                      Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

                      You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

                      This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

                      1. Energy

                      Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

                      2. Observance

                      The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

                      3. Peacefulness

                      Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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                      4. Patience

                      The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

                      The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

                      Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

                      Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

                      The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

                      • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
                      • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
                      • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
                      • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
                      • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
                      • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

                      These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

                      Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

                      Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

                      More on Meditation

                      Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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