The Most Extreme Endurance Sports to Try in 2018
Were you the one who made a New Year's resolution to lose weight in 2018? How is that coming along for you so far?
If you are like most other people, the typical "get fit" New Year's goal usually falls apart in the middle of January, and for the same reasons it fell apart the year before. You just can't find the proper amount of motivation to get to your fitness goals. Perhaps you don't know how to go about climbing this mountain of blood, sweat and tears. Where do you start? What do you do? Getting in shape is rarely a fun process.
Endurance sports are an excellent place to turn to if you are looking to get in shape and maybe shed a few inches off the waistline. They involve a high level of cardiovascular activity, which burns a lot of fat and strengthens many of your vital organs. These sports just make you feel good after you have finished a workout, as a sense of accomplishment and a rush of endorphins hit your brain. The "runner's high," as it's referred to, is a big reason why endurance sports are so popular.
Normal endurance sports don't solve the problem of the adrenaline junkie, however. Many people just get bored with the typical workout routines done by millions every year. These people need a little extra jolt to get them motivated to get in shape, and extreme endurance sports are there to provide it for them.
Extreme endurance sports mold a sense of high-speed action with a long-distance grind. They will both exhilarate your senses and challenge your mind, making them great for anyone looking to try out a new sport in 2018. Here are a few solid ones to get into during this calendar year.
On TV, water polo may seem like a slow game. It appears like the players are paddling around the pool with the ball, occasionally rearing back for a shot on goal. You are very, very wrong with this judgment of water polo.
There is a unique feeling of being kicked and drowning at the same time that is unique to the sport of water polo. Knees, thighs, shins and feet go crashing against one another as players jostle for position. This is all happening while you are treading water to stay afloat, which can feel like you're running a marathon by the time the final whistle blows.
Water polo is a full-body workout that is a physical and mental challenge from beginning to end. Plus, it is an easy sport to jump right into as a result of the small amount of gear necessary to play. The water polo body is similar to a swimmer's body, with fit, strong legs and arms, and a large back. This is surely a sport where looks can be deceiving in terms of difficulty level, which you will find out should you decide to jump in the pool for a game. If you are looking for some intensity in your endurance sport, then water polo is the sport for you in 2018.
Few sports can take you to as beautiful of sceneries as long-distance cycling. With many races covering over 50 miles through beautiful regions of the world, your bike can truly lead you to some breathtaking sights and sounds. In what other sport will you find yourself weaving between mountains, or cruising along valleys and rivers? Cycling is great for those of you looking to make some lifelong memories while also working towards your fitness goals for the year.
I'm also leaving out that it happens to be one heck of a workout. Cycling builds up tremendous cardiovascular health, while also trimming fat and toning up your legs, core and arms. It takes a spectacular amount of drive to push through the last half of a race, with your arms shaking and your legs aching. This perseverance, however, is the addicting quality that will help you fly by your fitness goals on your bike this year.
There is something attractive about the water, isn't there? Perhaps it is its fluidity, perhaps it is the tranquility. No matter what it draws its mystique from, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't find water cool.
It turns out, the water can also be the site of an elite endurance workout: rowing. Both as an individual sport and as a team sport, rowing is a unique kind of long-distance grind. You must use your whole body not only to generate enough power to drive your oars through the water, but also stay perfectly in sync. A rower or a rowing team does this for well over a mile, which is the typical distance of a race.
Rowing is attractive to a lot of people because of the kind of body it produces. While many long-distance sports like cycling are great for losing weight, they generally produce very lean, skinny bodies (which are still completely ripped by the way). However, many people looking to pick up a new workout routine are seeking out a sculpted body. They not only want to lose body fat but become a marbled Adonis as well. Rowing is a great way to accomplish both of these things (if you work hard enough). The typical rower is not only lean, but also has thick, strong arms and legs and a wide back, which is the look many people are trying to accomplish. It won't come easy, but rowing is a great endurance sport for achieving this specific look in 2018.
Truly one of the most beautiful sports to watch, speed skating is a great endurance sport for those looking to get in shape while learning a rarely-mastered skill. You will find yourself swiftly and gracefully gliding across the ice, using your legs and arms to propel you towards the body you have been searching for.
Speed skating races sometimes stretch for nearly a mile, which is an incredible distance to be covered at a high rate of speed while on skates. Speed skating involves consistent forceful pushing from the lower half of the body. The arms move in sync with the rhythm of the skates, then help to push a little harder when the final stretch arrives. There is no denying the workout that goes into producing such a beautiful movement.
This is not to mention the fact that you will look really cool in speed skating garb. With a full-body compression outfit and sleekly-designed skates, there is nothing about this sport that is not aesthetically-pleasing, making it an excellent option on your 2018 extreme endurance sports menu.
We all know that hockey is a tough sport. We've all seen the classic images of hockey players with dozens of missing teeth. We all cheer when we watch a game and the gloves come off between two players who are about to slug it out with one another. If you decide to take up this sport, however, you will also learn that it requires just as much endurance as it does toughness.
Similar to speed skating, ice hockey requires constant, rapid movement on the ice. While speed skating is a consistent push, hockey is a collection of sprints spread out throughout the course of a game. Factor in that you are doing this while carrying your stick and wearing around 10 pounds of equipment, and you have one serious leg workout.
Ice hockey also satisfies the cravings of the athlete looking for a little bit of danger. There is really no other sport like hockey when it comes to toughness. What other non-contact sport allows fighting? It is a rough-and-tumble activity that will test your ability to concentrate with so many other factors surrounding you.
It is recommended that you take as many precautions as you can, as one injury can derail all of the workout goals you had in mind. But if you do stay out there on the ice, you will receive a top-flight workout in your lower and upper body. Your arms and torso are what handle the stick and fight off other players. A hockey shot requires a tremendous amount of torque, which strengthens your core and hips as well. Put all of this together and your extreme endurance sport for 2018 might just be a hockey rink away.
Unfortunately, many extreme endurance sports are not available to those who live in colder climates. There sadly is not much rowing for people who live in Colorado. Skiing, though, offers an alternative for athletes looking to pick up an endurance sport this year.
Skiing, both for downhill and long-distance disciplines, is a grueling lower-body workout. What makes it especially difficult is the fact that you need to find a way to push through no matter how tired you are. You need to ski in order to get down the mountain, unless perhaps you want to walk to the bottom? This inevitability gives a skier an extra layer of focus as he or she pushes through the strain being put on the legs, which can be incredibly enticing for people looking for some thrills in their endurance sports.
Skiing is another example of an endurance sport that takes you to places you would otherwise never travel to. After all, you are on top of a mountain. You would be hard-pressed to find another view more mesmerizing than the one that occurs on a snowy peak, and you will have skiing to thank when you finally feast your eyes on the Earth below you.
If you are looking for speed, then downhill skiing is the sport for you. Depending on the difficulty level of the slope you are on, you can find yourself zipping across the snow at 40-50 miles per hour. If you are looking for more of a full-body workout, then you may want to give long-distance skiing a try. Long-distance skiing generally occurs on flat land, though there may be some slight uphill and downhill sections. This sport requires you to not only propel yourself by pumping your legs, but also by pushing off the ground using your poles. This type of skiing is for the ones really looking to get toned from head to toe, as it is an absolute mission from the starting line to the finish line.
Regardless of which you decide to go with, skiing is a good option for extreme endurance seekers in 2018. It may not be the first sport that comes to mind when you think about endurance, but you may just want to turn to the slopes when looking for your 2018 fix.
Adventure Is Waiting
Other than the length of the activity, there is usually nothing "extreme" associated with endurance sports. They are long, they are repetitive, and they are grueling. However, each of these sports satisfies the "extreme" in one way or another.
Just by naming water polo, cycling, rowing, speed skating, ice hockey and skiing, you now have many options to choose from in 2018. Regardless of if you are looking for danger, speed, adventure or difficulty, you will be able to satisfy your needs with at least one new sport this year. What's more, if you dedicate yourself to your new craft, you will find yourself with a leaner, faster, stronger body once 2019 rolls along. So, do your research, choose wisely and get on out there, you thrill-seeker!