If you are a thrill seeker and are looking to try your hand, as well as the rest of your body, at extreme sports, you might want to think about getting fit first. However, if you are a veteran of any of the popular extreme sports but are looking to increase your fitness and endurance, some extreme sports offer greater benefits than others. Some don’t require much else besides overcoming fear while some require you to use muscles you never knew existed.
One major benefit in almost all extreme sports is the cardio workout you will get. Just imagine your heart rate increasing as the adrenaline pumps and you’ll experience much the same as having run a marathon. As one extra bit of advice, for those who are afraid of heights or fear of the unknown, you might want to lighten the tension by reading a few funny quips and memes on examinedexistence.com first. Laughing may not help your fitness levels, but it sure will help to keep you a bit more relaxed when trying an extreme sport for the first time!
1. BMX Bike Racing
Besides being a great cardio workout, BMX bike racing helps you strengthen muscles in your legs. Those that get the greatest workout are the quadriceps and hamstrings, but the lower soleus and gastrocnemius calf muscles do a bit of pumping as well. Just remember to wear the right protective gear because you will be going at tremendously fast speeds and one tumble could set you back months if you should break something in the process.
2. Water Rafting
Water rafting offers a great way to develop upper body strength. There are various levels of rafting, so it is advisable to work your way up from simple kayaking or canoeing on a gentle stream to those with small rapids. As you develop upper body strength, you can try faster and stronger currents, but not until you are fairly confident that you’ve developed the strength and technique you need to keep you safe on those rushing waters.
One step up from rafting is called creeking. This is where you are on creeks with sharp and long downward slopes. Creeking happens to be one of the most popular extreme sports in the world, but it is suggested that you master kayaking and water rafting before attempting this mini-waterfall extreme sport. It does take a great deal of strength, so don’t jump in until you have some experience on level rapids.
4. Tow-in Water Surfing
Surfing has always been a popular water sport, but tow-in surfing is considered the extreme end of the spectrum. Above you flies a helicopter from which a rope is suspended. The chopper flies you into the wave and then the rope is dropped. It’s up to you to surf waves which wouldn’t be possible without being towed into them, but again, this is not for the novice surfer. It’s hard to imagine that there is any muscle in your body not getting a super workout!
5. Rock or Ice Climbing – Not for Beginners!
Here is an extremely challenging extreme sport and one that is definitely not for beginners. There are rock climbing theme parks where you can get in some practice and lessons on technique, so try those out before attempting rock or ice climbing in nature. Climbing also offers a whole-body workout, so it’s wise to gradually work your way up to the extreme end of the sport or you’re likely to tire halfway up and that wouldn’t be good at all.
These extreme sports offer great ways to build up strength and endurance, but as always, start slowly and never begin a new exercise or fitness program without consulting with your doctor first. Safety is always your first concern.