For as long as there have been sports, there have been extreme sports. You can thank the internet and the 24-hour news cycle for making you aware of the most obscure ones. There was no TMZ on TV in 1953 when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay ascended Everest, but those two people still chose to push themselves to the extreme. They weren’t the only ones.
The drive to push yourself to the limit is a part of the human psyche we’re only now coming to understand. You may not be surprised to learn that there are real benefits derived from the extreme sports that are becoming more and more mainstream every day.
1. Extreme Sports Help Define Identity
Sports have long been a creative outlet and means of finding comradery for young people. Extreme sports are no different. They allow people to feel a sense of community with their fellow athletes, share their progress with the world and enjoy exploring new parts of the sport with friends and through mediums like social media.
In a world where it can be challenging for people to understand what tastes and interests they align with, extreme sports offer a healthy and positive community.
2. They Create Social Opportunities
So much of our lives are shaped by the people that we associate with. The extreme sports community is no different in that regard. Someone who can do an outstanding job of tuning your mountain bike’s suspension fork might just be an incredible engineer. Perhaps they can have an impact on your life by getting you a job at the company where they work, or maybe you’ll combine forces to start your own business venture.
It doesn’t have to be about business, either. Forming bonds and having the confidence that you’re supported by a group of quality people is a great value of taking part in extreme sports. For example, the up-and-coming sport of parkour is often practiced in groups because it really requires someone to show you before you can progress. The friendships you form through extreme sports will carry over into other aspects of your life.
Strong social bonds also contribute to those looking to lose weight and keep it off. Research has shown that 66% of participants who completed a weight loss program with a family member or friend were more likely to keep the weight off. If you’re struggling to hit your weight loss or fitness goals, the community extreme sports builds may give you the push you need.
3. Sports Keep you Healthy
Like all athletic activity, extreme sports are a great way to stay fit. In this day and age, more and more people struggle with health problems despite an ever-increasing knowledge of how important it is to take care of our bodies.
Extreme sports build strength, cardiovascular health and often times are much more focused on coordination than some more traditional sports. If you’re a parent, don’t discourage your child from skateboarding or climbing if they’re doing it safely. They’ll benefit in the long run!
4. They Build Confidence
Speaking of looking out for your children, extreme sports are a great way for young people to build confidence. In a world where young people are faced with more pressure than ever from bullying, expectations from social media and an increasingly competitive, global peer group, sports provide kids valuable opportunities to feel accomplished.
It’s no different if your child wins a soccer tournament or a huge race, they’ll still feel like they’re capable of succeeding.
Today, the extreme sports scene is growing rapidly and becoming a part of the mainstream culture, and for good reason. These alternative sports give people options about how to get out, be active, form strong bonds and express themselves. In both physical and social ways, extreme sports are a force for good.