Studies show that participation in a sport gives us the motivation to get and stay in shape. But what sport? Many of us grew up participating in team sports such as football, basketball, baseball, softball or soccer. Now, as adults, it is hard to get a group together to play these sports so we need to find an activity which we can participate in alone or with our life partner. Running, walking, biking, paddling, swimming and weight lifting are activities that come to mind which can be done solo or with our partner. However, we often become bored with these activities and find ourselves wanting to take a look at elevating them to another, more extreme level.
Running can be taken to what some would consider the extreme level by participating in a marathon which is 26 plus miles, or even to the more extreme level of ultra-marathon which is 50 or even 100 miles. If the individual is prepared, the benefits of long distance running are great for both mental and physical health. That’s not to say you will run fast, but with training and will power you can finish and feel really good about yourself in the process. It is a matter of challenging yourself and taking the time to train.
Swimming can also be taken to the level of endurance swimming for long distances, although most people do this by getting involved in triathlons that involve swimming, running and biking. The ultimate challenge would be the Ironman Triathlon which involves and 2.54 mile swim, 112 mile bike race and finally a marathon. Participation in this event takes a great deal of dedication and training.
Road biking, one of the better know long distance endurance activities is taken to another level when it is taken off the road and turned into mountain biking. Mountain biking involves cycling on hiking trails and couples steep uphill climbs with exhilarating downhill runs. Mountain biking is great exercise and takes as much nerve as it does training.
Paddling is also stepped up when you put your canoe or kayak into rapidly flowing white water. Anyone who has paddled fifteen miles on a section of river with class 3 and class 4 rapids will attest to the fact that this is an extreme workout. However, white water paddling is probably one of the most dangerous of extreme sports so start slow and gain as much experience as you can.
Weight lifting and strength training finds it own extreme in outdoor Rock Climbing. Rock climbing can occur at many levels, from bouldering to multi-pitch/multi-day climbs such as the big wall of Half Dome in Yosemite. A blend a balance, agility, flexibility and strength all come into play. With the fear of falling added in, rock climbing will get you pumped greater than any weight machine.
It is recommended that if you think you might want to take your sport to the extreme, you should first consult your doctor to see that your body is ready to step it up. Next you need to consult an expert, do some research and if possible take a class. In doing so, you will get extreme exercise out of your extreme sport and have an extreme high in the process.