March 29th 2013
I’ve got a guest post this week that covers some of the risks of what I love, extreme sports… The author, Trevor is listed at the end of the article as well.
An adrenaline junkie is a person that seeks out thrilling activities and the adrenaline rush they produce. Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in the brain. When engaged in a particularly exciting or dangerous activity, these glands dump huge doses of the pleasure-inducing hormones into the bloodstream, which increases the heart rate and ups oxygen levels, creating an overall feeling of euphoria that can last for hours. People who seek out this adrenaline high tend to engage in high-risk activities, such as, but not limited to, skydiving, car racing and mountain climbing.
An Addictive Feeling
It’s no coincidence that people who enjoy activities that produce adrenaline are identified as adrenaline junkies. In fact, engaging in action sports produces neurochemicals in the brain that are more potent than illicit drugs. According to Psychology Today, one way to mimic the effect of an adrenaline-producing activity is by combining deadly amounts of cocaine and heroin. And similar to the action of drugs on the brain, once you grow accustomed to regular doses of adrenaline, you need to take even bigger risks in order to achieve the same level of euphoria — which is one of the main reasons why adrenaline junkies get hurt. When the excitement of, say, snowboarding down a particularly steep hillside no longer produces the desired effect, a true adrenaline junkie will seek out an even steeper mountain, or add tricks to his routine, like jumps and flips.
Without taking some simple steps to prevent injuries, an adrenaline junkie can easily find himself seeking out not the next big wave, but rather, an experienced medical professional. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) understands that as long as there are skis, bikes, boats and skates, people of all ages will speed down hills, careen off ramps and ride huge waves. Fortunately, instead of preaching the importance of couch surfing, the AAOS offers those hooked on adrenaline a variety of tips to avoid getting hurt. For instance, stretching for a few minutes can help minimize muscle and ligament injuries. Always have a partner with you. Avoid overheating and dehydration by taking frequent water breaks. Wear the appropriate footwear and protective gear for your sport, including helmets, padding for knees, elbows and wrists, and goggles.
Understand the Risks
After observing the behavior (and also lifestyle) of some of these so-called adrenaline junkies it would be quite easy to conclude that many of them won’t take a break from danger until they find themselves looking for a long term disability lawyer. However, it’s important to understand that nearly every significant outdoor or physical activity – such as driving, jogging solo, or even walking down the street – carries risk; the critically important thing is to carefully and thoroughly measure the risks involved with each type of activity, and determine whether the potential benefits outweigh the potential costs. For many individuals, adrenaline-filled activities present substantial benefits, such as stress relief and personal enjoyment, and these benefits more than make up for the risk. Whatever your extreme activity may be – race car driving, extreme cycling, mountain climbing, or something else – it’s vital that adrenaline seekers be fully aware of the risks associated with their activity of choice.
Trevor Diamond is a freelance writer who focuses on career development, professional training, disability claims, workplace culture, employment trends and other like subjects.