Health Benefits of Extreme Sports

Health Benefits of Extreme Sports

People define extreme sports in a variety of ways. Some say it is extreme because of the high adrenaline and thrill it provides.

Some people say it is because it dives into the unconventional and the rarely taken path of sports. Most people say it is because of the great risks involved in these types of sports. 

“Extreme sport” is “a type of sport where one has to accept the possibility of severe injury or death as an inherent part of the activity.  according to Brevitak (1994).

Then why did the popularity of extreme sports never plummeted, despite the risks? This is because of the physical and mental health benefits that it provides. Extreme sports can reduce pent-up emotions, stress, and work frustrations.

This type of sport can also increase one’s confidence and self-esteem. Some of the examples of extreme sports include skiing, snowboarding, skydiving, mountain biking, indoor rock climbing, jet skiing, and surfing.

Advanced variations of these sports include mountaineering, freeskiing, freeriding, paragliding, and bungee jumping. In teamed sports, the most popular type is ice hockey.

Apart from that, each mentioned sport have their own variety of sub-disciplines that you can choose from as you move forward.

The Health Benefits of Extreme Sports 

Extreme sports allow you to change the chemical makeup of your brain.

Believe it or not, extremists are more likely to stay calm in stressful situations.

Exceed your Physical Limits

Because of the high adrenaline opportunities that extreme sports provide, your body becomes more capable of accepting environmental changes that impact your physical and mental state.

Promote Good Blood Circulation 

Extreme sports include plenty of stretching. Stretching reduces the chances of severe injury, muscle pain, and body resistance.

When you involved in an impactful sport, your body takes a while to exert maximum effort which is why stretching is significant before every extreme activity.

Stretching may be a passive practice but it provides the body with improved blood circulation. Good blood circulation allows the body to heal faster and the brain sharp. This also offers several benefits to the heart. 

Sufficient Caloric Burn

Any exercise can burn calories but not as fast and sufficient as extreme sports can. Surfing, freeskiing, and snowboarding can burn at least 500 calories per hour!

Even more, you don’t realize how much you are burning at the moment because of the thrill and exhilaration that these types of sports provide. Regular caloric burn can reframe the mind’s perspective on diet and a healthy lifestyle as well.

Increased Balance in the Body

Increased balance is a trained skill that goes with any extreme sport. In fact, keeping your balance is one of the main things that will keep you alive while at play.

This is especially true in sports that are more critical in nature such as mountain climbing and bungee jumping.

Nonetheless, your balance improves with practice and experience. People who experience a regular adrenaline rush live happy lives.

When you jump off an assisted aircraft from 4,000 feet above the ground or ride the bike downhill at a great amount of speed, your adrenaline rises to its peak which changes the pace of your heartbeat and increases your dopamine level in the body.

Your dopamine is a hormone responsible for your happiness, excitement, and pleasure. This is one of the biggest reasons why extremists and athletes choose the extreme path despite the risks. 

Maintain Healthy Adrenaline

Are Extreme Sports Good for The Mental Health? 

Deal with fear, become humble, increased mental focus, self-confidence, social interaction 

Apart from the physical benefits that extreme sports provide, there are also a handful of mental benefits that they present. 

Deal with Fear Easier 

Facing grave experiences gives you the ability to deal with fear easier. This is because, as Brevitak mentioned in one of his journals, in extreme sports, one has to accept the possibility of severe injury or death.

This acceptance allows you to manage challenges at work with poise and ease.

Increased Mental Focus

Focusing on one task at hand is significant in extreme sports. It is how you keep your mental balance at play and, like physical balancing, your mental focus is one of the things that can keep you alive.

With that in mind, the focus becomes an instinct for extreme athletes even in mundane tasks. This enables athletes to be the best in what they do, whether it is washing the dishes or competing in the field.

Improved Self-Confidence 

When you experience near-death struggles, you learn to appreciate self-expression.

When you have maintained a certain level of dopamine in your body, your mental state becomes a positive, safe space. This all contributes to improved self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence. 

Common Disadvantages of Extreme Sports

Despite the benefits of extreme sports listed in this article, the severe disadvantages should not be taken out of account. Before diving into any extreme sport, you must learn to accept all possibilities. 

One of the common disadvantages of extreme sports is mental trauma. When you dive into an extreme sport, you must clear your headspace and take calculated risks before making a decision.

Spontaneity is nothing but wishful planning. The second is the amount of financial support that you need. Good quality equipment and protective gear can cost a fortune and it is impractical to start an extreme sport with a frugal mind or financial instability.

In this case, good-quality gears can provide an ideal fraction of safety to avoid severe injuries.

Third, extreme athletes have a greater chance of experiencing severe injuries, concussions, and physical trauma that can disable them from doing any type of sport ever again.

The possibility of fatality and death is also part of any grave activity, especially those that take place in high-altitude areas. So, before you dive into the world of extreme sports, first ask yourself these three questions: 

Am I physically capable?

Am I financially capable? 

Am I brave enough to accept all risks? 

As Allen Lakein said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Only take the step when you are ready. 

About David Miller

Passionnate about extreme sports since a young age, I started my journey with brazilian Jiu Jitsu and skydiving. After 2000 jumps, I’m now a professionnel skydiver focus on wingsuit flying. I’m writing about all kind of extreme sports, trying to find the best spots in the world to do it.

Leave a Comment