Extreme sports activities consist of difficult or extreme conditions by specialists with adequate physical and technical preparation. However, they are becoming more practiced by inexperienced as simple pastime or hobby, which represents a real danger to the physical integrity of those who perform it.
This is precisely the most attractive aspect of these extreme sports, the pursuit of adrenaline in situations that can be fatal.
To alleviate this desire to experience new emotions, they have adapted the types of activities to individual athletes and means in which to perform them: land, sea, and air. There are many specialties that have emerged to meet the needs of that impulsive demand.
On land we can find appropriate to each media type exercises: off-piste skiing or heli-skiing with paragliding or snowkiting, skateboarding, caving, canyoning or canyoning, climbing, mountaineering, ice climbing and even the popular parkour. By sea, there are some as diverse as surfing with sharks, practiced in Durban, South Africa, or Australia; water skiing, kite surfing, kayaking, diving in caves and rafting.
And the air is: hang gliding, parachuting from a base point, a building or an airplane, bungee jumping, free flying with wings or wing fly.
Why are so attractive these sports people ‘s eyes? Manuel Villanueva, orthopedic surgeon, medical director of Avanti and sportsman, answers this question: “Behind them, there is a gene that makes us seek our limits or an awkward need to differentiate, self – affirmation. Therefore, the list is endless, because human imagination and every year are a new variant aris “.
Are they suitable for everyone?
Now these sports can not be practiced by anyone, as some technical and physical requirements and years of training are needed in a discipline. In addition to strength, endurance and skill. Villanueva stressed the danger of these activities even complying with these skills.
“Today we know that the OPRL1 gene regulates fear and posttraumatic stress so scientifically could explain why some individuals are more predisposed to finding limits or do not seem to learn from previous traumatic episodes, while others would be likely to develop diseases psychiatric any traumatic event,” explains the expert.
However, performing these extreme exercises is even riskier for those who are overweight, suffering from heart disease or physical problems spine, limbs or hypertension, due to the huge adrenaline rush and stress to which you are exposed to them.
That is why every variation of these sports is guided by professionals who can advise beginners on the activity that meets the needs and physical conditions of each, with particular emphasis on age. This is because some specialties that require almost exclusive control is very young.
The most common among middle – aged people are ultra-resistant sports such as racing ultradistance, UltraTrails, vertical kilometer, triathlon, cruises, Ironman or Ultraman, among others.
The benefits to those who dare to practice them “are a personal reward, we talk about adrenaline, lifting neurotransmitters excitement to the extreme, but also something genetic, probably people with a point of madness or brilliance,” says Villanueva.
Hazards in extreme sports
All extreme sports carry some risk and may even cause an accident, fatal or not. Boxing, free climbing, and mountaineering are among the ten most dangerous risk sports. Mortality rates for each of the disciplines denote their level of hazard. Villanueva highlights some of them:
- Extreme Sports in the air: the delta wing figure one death every 550 flights; the base jumping, one death every 2,300 jumps, representing 200 people in the last 30 years and the parachuting causes one death every 75,000 jumps. “The free climbing or whole has a rate of one death every 27,000 promotions, ” said the expert.
- Extreme sports water: the rafting white water rapids grade 5 or higher is one of the practices with higher mortality rates, says the expert.
The surf and kite led to extreme wind or storm reach higher mortality rates, like cave diving.
- Extreme Sports ground: in the words of the expert, mountains pose the greatest danger of all the other environments for extreme sports. “From every six attempts to climb Everest a person dies from hypothermia, pulmonary edema , corneal blindness burns, frostbite or pneumonia, ” he adds.
It is not the only one, since the top of the mountain Annapurna, the first eight thousand, has a mortality rate of nearly 40 percent, i.e., for every two climbs a death occurs.
These figures include not only beginners athletes, as the expedition in Nepal, called Himalayas climbers, but it is also expected to present a death every 170 increases. In short, mortality rates in mountain sports are one in 1,750, that is, that each year dies in the mountains more than 40 people. Outperform mortality traffic accidents.
Besides the risk of losing their lives, these activities can cause physical injury, as in the case of professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost an arm by a shark bite and mountaineer Juan Oiarzabal, who suffered ampitación of all fingers the feet.
“Many of the risks are for the altitude and extreme conditions. Oxygen depletion due to the lower elevation can be the biggest problem that has to face the body, but the cold or other circumstances may damage the strength of the stronger and more experienced, “explains the expert.
Many consequences result after conducting risk sports without the required preparation from arrhythmias, syncope or cardiovascular disease, to sudden death.
To avoid the recommended gradual progress in the sport of professional hand. “This could give us an opportunity to find our limit or a balance between the need for challenges, adrenaline and restrictions that we check our physical condition,” says Villanueva.