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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 September 20, 2018

                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                      1. Breathe

                      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                      2. Loosen up

                      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                      3. Chew slowly

                      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                      4. Let go

                      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                      It’s not. Promise.

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                      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                      5. Enjoy the journey

                      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                      6. Look at the big picture

                      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                      Will this matter to me…

                      • Next week?
                      • Next month?
                      • Next year?
                      • In 10 years?

                      Hint: No, it won’t.

                      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                      8. Practice patience every day

                      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                      Final thoughts

                      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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