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Today's word on

Monday, January 24, 2005

Tips for disciplined writing:

"Substitute damn every time you're inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."

--Mark Twain, writer (1835-1910)

Extreme sports cure stress for some

By Justin Dunkley

December 23, 2004 |
In today's society stress is becoming a major part of people's lives everywhere. Whether it be at work, in school, or at home, stress is something that must be dealt with. Many people question how this is done and resort to drugs that help them cope with this issue. Is there a better way? Many suggest there is.

Participating in an extreme sport is an excellent way to reduce high levels of stress. What is an extreme sport and how will participating in one reduce stress?

Extreme sports are comprised of dangerous sports that offer adrenaline rushes to the participant. It is in this definition that we find the cure for stress. Adrenaline. The human body has two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. These glands form part of the endocrine system, which works in conjunction with the nervous system and the immune system to help the body cope with different events and stresses. As exercise intensity increases, neural messages are sent to the adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys which in response secrete adrenaline into the bloodstream.

Bryan Miller, a surfer from Logan, has lived in California for the past two years. Here he has been involved with a high stress job in sales that requires strenuous effort day in and day out. When Miller first started this job he had no idea the level of stress it would bring into his carefree life.

Miller says, "At first I thought I could cope with the growing stress by drinking alcohol. I soon found out that this made the situation much worse. I felt trapped and didn't know how to cope with it anymore. I either had to quit and find a new job or find something else to help me deal with the growing stress. I remember talking to a friend who reccomended surfing so I thought I would give it a try. After the first morning I came to a realization that surfing was the answer. I would soon find myself craving at every opportunity to surf. I started waking up at 6:00 a.m. every morning to surf until I absolutely had leave for work. It was a miracle to see how much difference this made in my life. No matter how difficult the day at work was I knew that I had something so much better to look forward to."

When asked what was it that made him crave surfing, Miller said, "Everything about it. It is such an intense sport that makes me feel alive. I get a lot of excercise out of it as well as a huge rush everytime I go." Surfing website.

Rock climbing is another extreme sport that has helped many people deal with the high stress of everyday life. It is well known for being a very intense sport that requires every ounce of physical stregnth and more importantly mental stregnth to be successful.

Jared Peterson, also a local of Cache Valley like Miller, has found a sport that has helped him cope with the pressures of everyday life. "I am a very high stress person in general so I am always looking for ways to combat the stress." Peterson has tried coping with stress in many different ways including alcohol and drugs. This too made things much worse for Peterson.

"Sure it was fun at the time and made me forget all about the stress in my life but when I would wake up the next morning things would be ten times worse. I was going downhill fast and needed to change. I eventually lost my job and was in debt up to my neck." Peterson said that he desperately needed to find an outlet in his life to help cope with stress and make him a better person at the same time. When Peterson overheard a couple guys talking about the intense rush they just had while sending a very difficult climb and how much fun it was he had to see for himself. "I immediately went to the nearest outdoor sporting goods store to find out more. Within a week I was climbing everyday.

"I can't explain to you the feeling of accomplishment after sending a difficult climb. It requires every ounce of energy in me not to mention the adrenaline rush I get each time I climb. I have currently found a new job and when I have problems or stress there I know I can take out all of this frustration on the rock. I have become a better person with daily goals and have certainly found an equilizer to the stress of in my life." Rock Climbing

Recently, under the health section of Yahoo's website, Psychology Today posted an article about the need for play and excercise in adult's lives. "For years, therapists have urged adults to get in touch with their inner child. Now some are taking the suggestion literally. From the growing popularity of 'extreme' sports and wilderness excursions to obsessions with kiddie-toy collectibles, adults these days are ready to have fun. Playing allows us to completely lose ourselves in the moment. A productive distraction from worries about spreading waistlines and mounting bills, true play gives us the opportunity to put aside our egos and focus on pleasure rather than duty. Play does offers some very adult advantages, she adds: people who preserve their sense of fun are better equipped to solve problems, think creatively and manage stress." Healthy Play

It is evident that participating in an extreme sport is an excellent way to reduce high levels of stress while making life in general a lot easier.


Copyright 1997-2004 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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