Why Do People Participate in Extreme Sports?

People participate in extreme sports because of the adrenaline rush and sense of euphoria generated by intense physical activity as well as the respect they earn by achieving such rare feats. Extreme sports are activities that involve a high level of danger for participants and require intense physical strength, endurance and skill.

When the human body undergoes intense stress, the adrenal gland responds by releasing hormones, such as adrenaline, that increase blood flow and boost the heart rate. This is what extreme sports enthusiasts call an "adrenaline rush," and it can become addictive to certain people.

However, the adrenaline rush cannot be achieved by performing the exact same action over and over again. Extreme athletes pursue the adrenaline rush by continually increasing the challenge and danger presented by their chosen sports. A marathon runner, for example, might not receive the same adrenaline rush after his or her third marathon, so he or she might move on to training for a triathlon to increase the rush and perpetuate the experience. An adrenaline rush is often accompanied by intense euphoria, or excitement.

For many extreme sports enthusiasts, competition is a minor component of the attraction. Instead, they "compete" against themselves because they find fulfillment in reaching the goal of the event rather than "beating" their opponents.