Conquer This Singular Challenge and You Will be Rewarded With Health, Happiness and Longevity
If the first thing that comes to mind when you think about partaking in an extreme physical challenge is “No thanks, that’s not for me!” or “Why would anyone ever want to put themselves through that?” than listen-up. Eating healthy and exercising regularly may enhance your longevity but there is more to life than just staying alive. In order to breed happiness and give your life true meaning, you need to continuously grow — mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As you may have guessed by now, one extremely effective way to do that is to partake in an extreme physical challenge that pushes you beyond your limits.
Growth Through Extreme Physical Challenge
The physical challenge itself can be anything really — a marathon or triathlon, ‘Tough Mudder,’ summiting a mountain, hiking a challenging/lengthy trail, exceeding an athletic record etc. What matters most is that the challenge meets the following criteria: it pushes you to your edge, it makes you want to quit before finishing, and it forces you to overcome your longing to give-up.
Benefits of Intense Physical Challenges
- They increase confidence, self-esteem and self-belief
- They boost physical, emotional and mental strength
- They teach you that you are a lot more strong and powerful than you thought and you can handle a lot more than you ever imagined
- They break down barriers and self-imposed limits, and teach you that you’re only limited by your imagination and your steadfastness in following your dreams
- They foster a can-do, optimistic attitude that spreads to every aspect of your life
- They teach you not to give up in the face of adversity and to take any challenging situation or goal, one step at a time
- They improve focus, planning and concentration – there is a lot of prep that needs to go into meeting an extreme physical challenge
- You learn firsthand the value of perseverance and that – “That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger.”
- They foster a sense of pride and accomplishment that will stick with you for life
- They release endorphins (natural happy chemicals) boosting your sense of wellbeing
- They increase physical and mental stamina
- They boost your motivation to set goals and overcome challenges in other areas of your life
- They put everyday challenges into perspective, and help you develop better coping skills
- They program you for success
The one thing that all of the above benefits have in common, is they increase feelings of positivity and the importance of that cannot be overstated. So, if you’re still not convinced that the benefits of partaking in an extreme physical challenge are worth the efforts, consider the following health rewards associated with positivity.
Health Benefits of Positivity
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Boosts the immune system
- Enhances healing and reduces recovery time from injuries, illnesses and disease
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
- Reduces risk for cardiovascular disease
- Helps prevent and reverse depression
- Lowers the risk for dementia
- Helps you obtain and maintain a healthy body weight
- Reduces inflammation (which is the root cause of most chronic diseases)
- Enhances longevity (most, if not all centenarians have positive, optimistic attitudes)
Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can start today. Choose the extreme physical challenge that appeals to you most and set a timeline to achieve it! Then make sure you tell everyone you know about your plans; this will help to prevent you from giving-up before reaching the finish line.
*The above article is based on a YouTube interview between Dr. Nick Delgado and Dr. Joseph Maroon. To watch the video in its entirety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIVSiFu09e0&list=PLVLgBR3AfFG8lYwHpehFUm1oaACVRLuWS&index=4