The Health Benefits of an Adrenaline Rush

Photo Courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com
Photo Courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com

It’s easy to turn away from adventure; you may like the idea but the actual process of dropping everything and moving across the world, or jumping out of a moving plane, is unrealistic. We’ve written posts about the benefits of trying new things, the importance of spending time outside, even the benefits of living at altitude, but we’ve never explored the many benefits of adventure and adrenaline. So, for the risk takers and the safe goers here’s the truth about adventure and the health benefits of an adrenaline rush.

There are enough quotes about adventure floating around on the Internet from favorite books and movies, to know that the idea has been romanticized. As a collective group we’ve managed to make the unknown appealing, the risk and uncertainty, just added bonuses; but should we really be so enthusiastic about adventure? The short answer is yes.

Over the course of human development we acquired the perception of fear as a way to warn ourselves against a risk. Fear dissipates during certain activities with increased familiarity or proficiency. An adrenaline rush is our bodies’ way of responding to risk. We are offered a sudden burst of energy to respond to the fear-inducing situation. In these moments we get increased alertness, and muscles are primed for immediate action. Which, in so many words, means that after we experience fear and an adrenaline rush we momentarily resemble superman (aside from the cape, unfortunately). Together, this process can actually be addictive.

The power one feels from conquering fear can lead them on a search for new adventures and bigger risks, and this is where the health benefits of an adrenaline rush are actually detrimental. When the outcome of your adventure becomes increasingly uncertain, when the environment is no longer safe or controlled, the risks out way the benefits. That’s not to say you shouldn’t embark on uncertain adventures, say climbing a mountain or moving to a new country, but have an exit strategy and don’t be careless. In fact, this provides a good opportunity for a PSA of our own: when on outdoor adventures and hikes tell someone where you are, take at least one other person with you, and bring sufficient water (that means at least two Nalgenes and perhaps some iodine tablets in case of an emergency). Just remember to explore responsibly.

Now, for controlled situations like snowmobiling or skydiving, the health benefits of an adrenaline rush are much more significant. In recent years a report was conducted on the efficacy of children’s playgrounds. While some parents found them too dangerous, others argued they provide important learning opportunities. It turns out that taking away the playgrounds, and providing a risk-free environment for the children entirely deprived them of the opportunity to engage in motivating and stimulating physical activities. The result was more dropouts and lack of interest in school.

The idea of the playground can be applied to life, while it is important to have elements of risk to challenge ourselves and keep us engaged, it should be proportionate to our age and abilities. If we participate in programs that allow us to learn risk management tactics in a controlled, or semi-controlled, environment we can learn crucial skills that can be applied throughout our lives. In research around the motives of adults who participate in adrenaline sports, it was found that they seek much more than momentary excitement. Rather, these activities provide them with the abilities to achieve goals, overcome fear, escape boredom and expand personal boundaries. It also showed, that adrenaline activities utilize frequently underused muscles, and can reduce the risk of numerous chronic conditions. Perhaps most significant, though, is that if we train ourselves to respond appropriately in adrenaline situations, if we ever are in an authentic situation, in which our adrenaline levels raise to the same or higher amount we previously experienced, our body will have a form of muscle memory and be able to respond in a similar fashion as it did during an adventure. So the more practice you have in an adrenaline situation, the better prepared you will be for the next.

If you’re interested in an adventure of your own be sure to check out our Adrenaline and Adventure Wishlists. As always, stay up to date with all Wishlist news by signing up for our newsletter and following us on every social media platform.

 

 

 

 

 

Experience Fall in Colorado

Photo Courtesy of A&A Stables
Photo Courtesy of A&A Stables

Trees are starting to change color and daylight hours are diminishing. Autumn has arrived, and that means it is time to swap out your sandals for a warm pair of boots. Grab that box from the back of your closet, it is sweater weather!

Experience this fall to the fullest. Utilize all five senses and embrace every moment. Close your eyes and become aware of the chill breeze as the sun hits your face. Listen to the aspen leaves as they shake in the wind. Indulge your taste buds with pumpkin pie and a spiced chai latte. Take notice as our fresh mile high air starts to smell of smoky bonfires and savory spices. Absorb the warm color palate that sweeps across Colorado.

As seasons phase into one another, it is important to pause from our daily routines to take notice of the changes that surround us. It is so easy to get so caught-up in the past, and paths of our future, that we forget to embrace the moments in front of us.  This autumn, take a day to change your perspective. Do something new. Experience life from a different vantage point. Wishlist has made it easy for you explore through the woods or catch an arial view of Colorful Colorado, with a diverse selection of activities across the state.

Experience fall in Colorado with Wishlist:

 Urban Living ($39)

Hiking (Boulder) – Immerse yourself into the change of seasons, that engulf you as you explore the Front Range on foot.

Carriage Rides (Fort Collins) – Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy your own horse drawn carriage as you coast through town.

Adventure ($99)

Horseback Riding (Idaho Springs) – Kick back, experience the Rocky Mountains on Horseback.

Mountain Biking (Colorado Springs) See the Colorado’s versatility in a thrilling 7000 ft coast down Pikes Peak, passing five climactic zones on your way.

Zip Line (Cañon City) – Zip across the Royal Gorge and let Colorado’s expansive plateau take your breath away.

Getaways ($169)

Idaho Springs, Evergreen, Carbondale, Crested Butte, Peyton, Durango, La Veta – Escape to one of our fabulous bed and breakfast resorts. Catch the sunset and sunrise from a new vantage point, and explore new territory.

Adrenaline ($269)

Hot Air Balloon Ride (Boulder) – Glide over Boulder in a hot air balloon, for the best view of the Front Range you may ever get.

Paragliding (Glenwood Springs) – Soar through the sky and over the valley, in an invigorating, and adrenaline pumping paragliding experience.

Jeep Tours (Hayden)Explore the backcountry outside of Steamboat Springs for breathtaking, panoramic backdrops.

Colorado has taken on a new coat as temperatures drop and introduce us to a rapidly approaching winter. The heavy rainfall and disastrous floodwaters that recently ambushed Colorado have left much of our agriculture diminished. While parts of our beautiful landscape have taken a hit, there is extraordinary beauty to be explored. Your favorite fall foliage won’t stick around for long. So, don’t blink. You might miss it.

Keep up with all things Wishlist by signing up for a our newsletter. Connect with us by sharing your favorite fall memories and activities on our Facebook page, or by commenting below.

The Birthday Gift You’ll Want To Keep For Yourself

Photo Courtesy of Fair Winds Inc.
Photo Courtesy of Fair Winds Inc.

Picture for a moment, drifting lazily through a clear, blue sky in the basket of a brightly colored hot air balloon. In your hand rests a champagne flute and you smile wistfully as you peer across a breathtaking Colorado landscape, recognizing for the first time how truly magical flying is. If this scenario is something you are eager to replicate, your patience will certainly pay off. In a few short weeks we will be announcing the addition of our Adrenaline Wishlist, and this majestic scene will be yours for the taking.

Alongside Ultra Light Flyers and Helicopter Rides, which we tempted you with in one of our previous posts, you will also have the opportunity to fly through the Colorado sky in a Hot Air Balloon. With this experience you will not only receive champagne or sparkling cider, but also a deluxe breakfast and the experience of a lifetime.

Hot Air Ballooning will provide you with warm memories, an original experience and even the best birthday present you never thought of. If you have been struggling to find a gift for one of your friends who is a tad tricky to buy for, consider buying them a ride in a Hot Air Balloon. With any of our Adrenaline activities you can pull yourself or a friend away from reality for a day and take a trip through the Colorado skyline.

Learn to Fly in Colorado

There is something mystical about flight. The idea of soaring through the sky, feeling the brisk air rustling your hair and reddening your cheeks- it’s a fantasy I am sure we have all shared at some point. Yet, we have wished in vain for many years. We have hoped and prayed for wings to sprout from our backs lifting us into the air alongside the birds and butterflies… and superman.

And as the years progressed the dream of flight was pushed aside. We settled for planes and roller coasters instead. Planes are neat, you may have convinced yourself, and they are indeed, but they don’t quite quench the fantasy of flight.

We have a surprise for you, though. What if we were to tell you that soon Wishlist will be able to fulfill your deepest fantasy and bring you the power of flight. That’s right… take a moment to really let it sink in. We are going to have not one, but four (what?!) yes, four, options to satisfy your flying desires.

Soon to come is the Adrenaline Wishlist, which will feature Ultralight Flyers, Hot Air Balloons, Hang Gliders and Helicopter Rides. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, we have a few more reasons you’ll want to stay tuned for our newest Wishlist.

Why a Helicopter Ride is the Solution to Literally All of Your Problems:

Have you been feeling a tad down lately? Perhaps you’re in a bit of a shlump, or a workforce grind that leaves you weary and stressed. If so, then a helicopter ride really might be the quick fix to your daily life difficulties. Enjoy a change of scenery and a new perspective (literally) on life. With our soon to arrive helicopter rides, you will hover above some of Colorado’s most breathtaking landscapes and experience Colorado like never before. The proof is in the pictures; so take a look at some of the sweeping sights you will see from the window of a helicopter:

Photo Courtesy of TYJ Global
Photo Courtesy of TYJ Global
Photo Courtesy of TYJ Global
Photo Courtesy of TYJ Global
Photo Courtesy of TYJ Global
Photo Courtesy of TYJ Global

If you’re still not convinced, take a gander at what else we have to offer.

What’s an Ultra Light Flyer and Why You’ll Wish You Knew About it Sooner

An Ultralight Flyer, to answer your first question, is a small, lightweight, fixed-wing aircraft. Here’s a picture so you know what we’re talking about:

Photo Courtesy of Fly Colorado Ultralight
Photo Courtesy of Fly Colorado Ultralight

This tiny titan of man-powered machinery will leave you dumbfounded. It can soar through the air as effortlessly as a winged creature. The Ultralight flyer will carry you to new heights and beyond, letting you peer down at the life you left momentarily behind, so that you could spread your wings and fly. If you’re looking for a life-changing experience, look no further. See why we have always wished for flight, and appease your own inner-child who once looked up to the sky with a sense of longing.

If you’re ready to go on your own flying adventure and want to know the minute we release the Adrenaline Wishlist sign up for our newsletter in the top right corner of our blog home.