Extreme sports, such as skateboarding and paintball, provide an alternative to conventional or everyday activities. As well as being the perfect fix for adrenaline junkies, they are a brilliant way to stay in shape. They also happen to be 2 of the most favourite activities my teenage boys love, ironically, I don’t think they’d even consider them to be a sport.
Both adventure activities and extreme sports have gone from strength to strength since the late-1990s in regards to exposure and popularity. During that same time, healthy living and fitness have become two of the most popular trends on a worldwide scale. Whether you’re a fitness freak looking for a more exciting way to burn some calories, or an extreme sports enthusiast in need of some exercise, here are four alternative activities that can seriously benefit your own health.
Skateboarding has been around since the 1950’s going through many different changes, trends and levels of popularity. Some people skate on a daily basis, performing various tricks in both street and vert-style skating. Others use it as a mode of transport and nothing more. Either way, the effort and movement involved is a great workout for your body. My eldest is renowned for waking our quiet little village each morning skateboarding to catch his school bus. And when anyone dared grumble to me about it, I defended him explaining it was simply the best way to kick-start his day with a burst of activity
It requires a lot of pushing power from your legs to gather speed, as well as flexibility and stretching while doing tricks — both of which will burn off calories with ease. To become proficient and consistently land tricks, you need to practice a lot, meaning that skateboarding will become a daily workout that’s a lot more fun than the gym.
Most people have ridden a bike at some point in their life and many still do on a daily basis, as a hobby or primary form of transport. Two adaptations of cycling that definitely fit into the extreme sports category are BMX and mountain biking. Both up the ante in regards to excitement and provide the ultimate pedal-powered workout.
A BMX (short for Bicycle Motorcross if you’re wondering, comes in two styles. Firstly, there’s racing, which requires intense bursts of pedalling (cardio) and arm strength to manoeuvre the bike around corners and over jumps. This sport has increased in popularity since it became an official Olympic sport. The second is stunt BMX: although the premise is the same, this style of riding requires more strength and balance to perform tricks, spins and flips.
Although paintball is very different in just about every way when compared to the sports mentioned above, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most unique and engaging adventure activities out there. As you explore expertly designed battlefields and dodge oncoming fire from enemies, it’s safe to say your body will be getting quite the workout.
Paintballing for kids and adults are both a possibility (separately or together), meaning it’s the ideal activity to get out of the house for a whole day of exercise with friends or family. Rapid movement to avoid the paintballs, climbing obstacles, crouching behind cover; it all adds up over the course of a day and creates the ultimate workout. But due to the adrenaline rush and distractions of battle, you’ll barely notice how much exercise you’re doing.
Paintball offers a unique take on what an adventure activity should be, using authentic combat as fuel for the fire. It doesn’t matter if it’s paintballing birthday parties, stag dos, or just a day trip with the family; the excitement and diversity involved make paintball the perfect activity for a variety of occasions.
Much like other extreme sports, surfing is an activity that, over the years, has gained a massive following. The UK has an abundance of beach locations that provide the necessary swells and waves that a surfer’s dreams are made of. But aside from being a fantastic way to spend a few hours, surfing requires a fair amount of effort and determination.
Paddling is an essential part of surfing, therefore giving you an effective core and upper-body workout. Maintaining your balance against the resistance of waves will require strength, while swimming back to your board after taking a tumble is fantastic for cardio. The average person burns around 400 calories an hour while surfing, so even if you only have time to surf for a few hours, you’ll still be doing your body plenty of good.
Although many of these sports have been around for decades, it’s only been in the last ten years of so that they’ve been recognised and embraced for their fitness benefits. A skateboard or bike can be just as effective as a few hours in the gym — and a day spent paintballing? Well, it’s difficult to compare that to anything in the gym. All of the activities above are extremely good for you in a number ways. Whether you’re looking for a way to lose weight, build strength, or just get off the sofa for a few hours, extreme sports offer something to suit the needs of everyone.
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