○ 6 min read
7 Benefits of Action Sports
Are you ready to mix up your workout routine? Try something new, or maybe go back to something you used to enjoy? While consistent, everyday, ordinary exercise is extremely beneficial to health, other activities and action sports have a lot to offer. While some will be more extreme than others, possibly dangerous even, the intensity and fun of it can add a thrill to life, help to conquer fears, and boost self-confidence!
Mountain biking, surfing, snowboarding, rock climbing, skateboarding, rollerblading, parkour, ziplining, bodyboarding, kayaking, cliff jumping, scuba diving, windsurfing, jet-skiing, skydiving, bungee jumping, hang gliding, the crazy and exciting possibilities are endless.
Of course, you want to know what you are doing before participating in any extreme sport or activity. Always pay attention to safety guidelines and get someone to show you the ropes before getting started.
Although they come with their own risks, action sports provide all kinds of physical and mental health benefits and are valuable for keeping your workout from getting stale.
A good skill that many action sports teach is staying centered and being fully in the moment. The more you practice techniques, the better you will become at staying calm and centered during stressful situations. Some of these sports may have a risky side, so hazardous mistakes can follow if you aren’t focused or lose your cool for some reason. This is a good skill to carry over to everyday life and can teach you to stay centered in all kinds of circumstances. Action sports typically push you to your physical and mental limits, and finding that inner endurance and focus can build a new kind of resilience to bring into your daily life.
Learn the Importance of Stretching
Stretching is, of course, important for all sports and exercises, but especially for action sports. Different action sports rely on specific stretches to amplify performance and prepare the body for intense activities. For example, surfers focus on dynamic stretching and relaxing the upper body and tight muscles to specifically enhance their agility. Mountain bikers may focus on stretching the legs but may also focus on the wrists and forearms to avoid injuries or relieve pressure. Adapting stretches precisely for the dexterity your sport demands will set you up to attain your athletic goals and physical aspirations.
If you skip this crucial step, you leave yourself open to injury, and it may impact your agility and overall performance, so don’t skimp on your pregame stretching regardless of what kind of workout you do.
Enhance Fear Management Skills
Action sports tend to be adrenaline-fueled and often have a heightened set of risks involved. You’ve got to learn to keep your cool in very adventurous situations and learn how to tone down feelings of fear and persevere through them to get the results you want. The more you practice and refine your skills, the better you get at reducing the fear response. You can bring this skill along with you to deal with life situations that might be overwhelming or induce feelings of fear. Over time you can learn to turn fear into a positive experience, which is something that can benefit your entire perspective on life.
Work Different Muscles
Regular workouts can target different muscle groups, but action sports have the ability to work your muscles in ways that you just don’t get from typical exercises or other daily activities. For example, rock climbing can engage all the muscles in your hands, arms, upper back, core, inner thighs, calves, feet, and probably more. These kinds of activities activate your muscles in ways that encourage the muscle groups to all work together cohesively, rather than just having a “leg day” or focusing on your arms or upper body. (Even so, don’t skip leg day!) Often there is a mix of cardio and strength training that happens simultaneously. These sports can also push you to your limits, and the thrill of it can keep you going longer or farther than you may have thought you could go.
When you climb that mountain, land that jump, or are on your way to becoming the next American Ninja Warrior, there is just nothing else like that feeling of self-accomplishment. Studies have even found a link between action/extreme sports and higher levels of self-confidence. The excitement can be contagious, and all the good feels can carry over to your daily life. Maybe you finally caught the perfect wave or landed the ultimate kickflip. Whatever it may be, the achievements you make in your performance (no matter how small) can leave you feeling assured of yourself and optimistic about life.
Burn More Calories
Not only are they more fun than more standard exercise routines, but action sports also tend to burn more calories. Usually, these activities take a lot of effort, and there are a lot of coordinated movements happening at once. This uses up more calories, engages multiple muscle groups, and usually, aspects of aerobic exercise are involved. Over time these sports can increase endurance and heighten overall fitness help you meet the different levels of conditioning that need to be accomplished to be able to perform certain movements or develop specific skills related to these high-intensity sports. The degree of effort of particular activities will determine how many calories you burn, so some action sports will have higher energy demands than others.
Many action sports depend on good balance to avoid getting injured or having bad accidents, so you’ll naturally improve your balancing abilities over time. Whether it’s from tottering on a ledge or riding a skateboard, surfboard, or snowboard, these sports enhance your balance and rely on a stabilized equilibrium. Strengthening certain muscle groups, such as your core or leg muscles, can train your body to have better balance. Learning to shift your weight just right on a mountain bike, rollerblades, or any kind of board, demands that you have good balance, and the more you practice, the better it will get.
The Essential Element
Even if you aren’t an adrenaline junkie, action sports can be a great way to turn your workouts into exciting, fulfilling experiences. They can also bring benefits that can trickle into other parts of your life. It’s fun to try new things, and maybe you will love getting back into something you used to do once upon a time, such as skateboarding or snowboarding. Whatever it may be, action sports bring a different approach to working out and can be satisfying on a whole new level. So conquer your fears and let your confidence soar.