Adrenaline is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress. It increases heart rate, opens up air passages, constricts blood vessels and stimulates our fight-or-flight response. In other words, it's a bloody rush. The feeling one gets with a rush of adrenaline just can't be duplicated. When one is near the edge, the mind is focused and clear and you're living in the moment.

Adrenaline or extreme sports and activities give us that primal jolt that reminds us that we are alive. Feeling the g-forces in a turn while driving an exotic car or leaping out of a plane with a bit of cloth to ensure we don't die are moments we don't soon forget. How many utterly forgettable moments did you have today?

Thanks to growing demand, there is a whole industry emerging dedicated to providing experiences to ordinary folks who are yearning to live on the edge. These activities involve danger and risk, generally due to high-speeds, outrageous heights, extreme conditions or most often a combination of all. There are different levels of course and while some activities don't necessarily represent truly dangerous activities, for those not use to activity, the rush is all the same.

Intrigued? If so, it's pretty easy to find an outlet for your need. The Internet is a great place to research what's available. Some of these adventures can get pretty expensive, but there is something to get the heart racing for everyone.

Some lower cost rushes can be had for those on a budget. Mountain biking, rock climbing and surfing have elements of danger and don't cost a lot to get started. The nice thing about these types of extreme sports is that you'll find yourself in better shape. Also, the better you become the more adrenaline-pumping risks you can take.

For those with a bigger wallet, there are a lot of daylong rushes one can get. Skydiving, parasailing, bungee-jumping and hang-gliding are activities that one can do without extensive training or instruction. In most cases you'll go up with an instructor or go through intensive instruction before being thrown over. Most areas have local services. As long as you're in reasonably good shape and have the cash to put down, all these activities can be enjoyed.

Motor sports are also a day or two activities that can get the heart pumping. Some places allow you to drive an exotic car or race car at a track. A few specialize in stunt driving and evasion tactics. If motorcycles are your thing, the same activities can be done on two wheels. Not only can you get an adrenaline rush, but you'll significantly raise your driving skills and maybe learn how to avoid a kidnapping attempt.

Farther up the extreme chain are sports and activities like kite boarding, windsurfing, base jumping and extreme skiing and snowboarding. These require more significant investment in time, money, equipment and effort, but quite a rush can be had. These are the activities that become lifelong passions.

Finally there are those once in a lifetime activities like climbing Everest or other big mountains or running with the bulls in Pamplona. These also require significant investment and involve real risk and danger. But look, there's something to be said about these types of experiences – if you make it you'll have a hell of a story to tell your grandchildren.

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