#SWAAYthenarrative

6 Fun Outdoor Activities That Will Rush Your Adrenaline

There is nothing better than having an adrenaline buzz, and that's why so many people enjoy going to the gym or boxing. When endorphins and other chemicals are activated in the body, the feeling is similar to taking drugs, but in a healthy way. Some people enjoy extreme sports for the same reason and are often looking for new and exciting things to try. This article looks at just six outdoor activities that are designed to get one's heart racing.


White Water Rafting

Rapids are graded from one to five. The latter is the highest that people can safely raft in. Armed with just a paddle that they mustn't lose, people are propelled down rivers with powerful currents. It's like a fairground ride but much more exciting. When looking to buy a raft, there are many options available, and it's helpful when the experts rate the best ones side by side. Rafting websites are really helpful when they don't just discuss the products, but provide details about everything from capsizing to self-rescuing, from self-bailing to stability. Many countries offer excellent locations for this, including the Colorado River in the USA, the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe, and the Rio Upano in Ecuador.

Skydiving

What could be more exhilarating than jumping from an airplane at a high altitude? Hang gliding and paragliding are great, but when you're at 16,000 feet, there's no comparison! No extra oxygen is provided, and people have up to seventy-five seconds of freefall. That can seem a long time when there's nothing to slow you down! A fun park cannot compete with that experience. There is the opportunity to perform aerial maneuvers before the parachute is engaged. Needless to say, there is a backup one, should it fail.

There are great websites around that show amazing photos and video footage. Some of them feature such things as tandem skydivers. It's worth considering the following for an exciting holiday: the Swiss Alps, Waialua in the USA, the Australian Barrier Reef, and Mount Everest in Nepal.

Storm Chasing

When most people are rushing to get away from a tornado, there may be a small band of people doing the opposite! They follow severe weather of all kinds, even tropical cyclones or water spouts. Imagine houses being torn apart by a tornado, or cars being sucked up into the air - how scary but unforgettable is that! The events are usually filmed, and the media are often interested in the recordings. These chases usually last for up to six days, and they don't always end in success. It's like waiting to see a rare bird or animal, but when one succeeds, the view is priceless. The only difference here is the danger element as people drive into the eye of the storm. There's always the risk of being too close.

The Tornado Alley is a famous area for extreme weather, and many people head over to Kansas or Texas for the experience.

Caving

Some people hate claustrophobic spaces or lack of light. Spelunking (America, Canada) or potholing (UK) takes a person underground to experience wild cave systems rather than just the show caves. Imagine squeezing through dark spaces at steep angles. There's usually water dripping from somewhere, and the risk of getting trapped. For many, it's the views and the adventure that lures them. In the United Kingdom, there are great caving opportunities in Yorkshire and South Wales.

Mountain biking

This exciting outdoor sport takes cycling to the next level. Specially designed and tough bikes take people down mountains, with the chance of free riding and dirt jumping. The extra suspension on the bike protects the rider from some of the bumps as it hurtles over rocks and tree roots. Imagine soaring down steep inclines and enjoying amazing views during the process. It's a real adrenaline sport, hence the saying 'put the pedal to the metal! Some great mountain bike trails exist in the whole Enchilada, Santos, and the Colorado Trail.

Zip Lining

These are aerial rope slides, usually by a steep slope. A free-moving pulley goes downwards with gravity and takes the rider to the ground. Imagine the incredible view on the way down. Some allow the rider to lean forward as if they'd just jumped out of a window headfirst. It's as close to flying as a person can get. For the longest and fastest zip line in the world, the Zip 2000 in South Africa wins the day.

The great thing about these outdoor pursuits is that they involve traveling to amazing places and having incredible views. The added rush of energy makes it a very holistic experience, guaranteed to be etched in one's memory forever. There is always the element of risk, but that's a central part of the experience. It's usually the younger population that craves these activities, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are always stories in the newspapers of elderly people leaping out of airplanes. Sometimes we have to take a risk to gain an unforgettable experience.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.