When we think of extreme sports, it is almost inevitable to settle on the part that involves pure adrenaline and life-threatening stunts that do not make the kind of income that justifies the risks taken. The part we more often than not neglect is how much you have to be in tip-top form to perform and keep up with the demands of the discipline.
From a fitness point of view, extreme sports professionals may just be some of the most healthy and fit people on the planet because the nature of their exercise is such that elements like strength, balance, and focus, have to be optimal. Extreme sports and the rush of them is unlike any other, and for some people, it has been likened to a bettor on extreme events like monkey knife fight, or just the thrill from making a big bet on the most uncertain odds. All of these have a way of contributing to the benefits of the extreme.
Burn Lots of Calories
Every sports professional has to maintain their condition and watch their weight (even sumo wrestlers), even if their sport involves burning lots of calories. However, for extreme sports pros, they are always in burn mode, whether it is with their stunts or in preparation for them. For example, skateboarders riding around on their boards will burn 500 calories an hour. Shedding excess body fat and maintaining a lean physique is key to some of the death and gravity-defying moves these pros pull off.
Work Different Muscles
Fitness requires knowledge and targeting of the various muscles and how they work together in groups or individually, or else you expend energy on the wrong workouts and won’t get the right results. The physical demand of extreme sports mean you get to use almost every muscle, whether in tandem or alone. For example, rock climbing requires muscles that reach your fingertips. Therefore, rock climbing is not only a sport but also a great way to reach every muscle in your body, training them in ways that would otherwise be impossible.
Adrenaline is probably the most popular hormone in the human body and is summed up in three words: fight or flight. Competition in any form involves adrenaline, that moment when you gauge your opponent or obstacle and decide to take on the challenge or live to face it another day. That fight or flight response is caused by adrenaline. What is interesting about the setup of adrenaline is that when released in great quantities – as is the case with extreme sports – it brings about a rush that cannot be put into words. The punchline is the release of dopamine, the hormone related to pleasure and excitement.
If you have ever observed parkour pros, the one thing that jumps out of their run is how effortless they make the jumps and landings look. That is because their balance is on a string, with their core well prepared for the exertions of their run. Balance requires serious core work, and for those of us who want to taste the extreme without getting too much into its essence, calisthenics is the answer. Snowboarding, rock climbing, and parkour are just some of the extreme sports that require balance.
Increased Mental Focus
Physical health is a big part of extreme sports, but so too is mental health. Steady hands and balance do not count for much if you do not have tunnel vision focus and a keen sense of awareness. Beyond these, there is also the part where you need above-average resilience and mental strength to fight through pain barriers and stay in the moment of what you are doing.