How old would Brazilian motor racing legend be this year?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010No Comments

Adrenamag has got activity vouchers to the value of hundreds of pounds to be won.  All you have to do is answer this simple question: Had he lived, Brazilian motor racing legend Aryton Senna would have been how old this year: A) A 50? B) 60? C) 55?

Send your correct answer – either A, B or C to: Closing date for entries is August 31 midnight GMT.


The science of adrenalin: why we need it to survive

Tuesday, August 17th, 20101 Comment

saber tooth tiger
Without adrenalin the human race may have died out quicker than the dodo. It was adrenalin that helped our cave-dwelling ancestors to deal with the grisly hazards of daily life. When a sabre-toothed tiger started poking its jaws into an ancestor’s cave, the hormone, also known as epinephrine, kicked in: a neurotransmitter it is released into the blood preparing the body for ‘fight or flight’.

Dane Fletcher is an author and athletic coach, he says: ‘We have all heard the stories about how adrenalin can give the average person freakish strength in emergency situations, such as a small mother being able to lift heavy objects like a car to free a trapped child.’

He explains: ‘When the adrenalin is released into the bloodstream, the body reacts instantly. Your heart starts racing, things that run normally such as your digestive system cease to function, glucose levels increase in the blood stream and the oxygen to the brain and the muscles increases drastically. A lot of people have also reported a heightened sense of awareness of the situation they are in and their surroundings. Life or death decisions are usually made with faster than lightning speed and extreme clarity.’

Epinephrine temporarily goes up when we do extreme sports or intense exercise, giving us a buzz. Of course, some people can become addicted to this – the so-called adrenalin junkie.

Derek, a 43-year-old aero-space engineer, has often been called an adrenalin junkie. ‘I need to do things that put me on the edge in order to feel alive. Friends go to the gym but I prefer to test myself. I sky dive or parachute jump most weekends as well as climb mountains,’ he says.
sky dive
Does he see the tag of adrenalin junkie as a negative or positive? ‘Some people think I am mad. But for me it’s about not taking stupid risks. If we go off on a serious climb we prepare for weeks, even months.  It’s potentially dangerous, so we need to prepare for that and respect it. It’s the same with sky-diving, all my friends are very safety conscious. For most of the people I know it is more about challenging and stretching yourself than anything else. I certainly don’t have a death wish, more of a life wish – to live it to the full,’ he says.

If adrenalin can help lift moods, can it help with depression?  The UK charity the DepressionAlliance states that depression is one of the most common reasons patients end up in the doctor’s waiting room.  Worse still, nearly one in six people will suffer some form of mental problem in their lifetimes. While the DepressionAlliance doesn’t advocate suffers go out and dive into extreme sports, it believes ‘light exercise and outside interests are strategies for coping with depression’.   Last year, the government launched New Horizons – an initiative to promote health care and wellbeing and take a more rounded approach to mental health. Employment is a big factor in mental health but so too is physical exercise.

Paul Farmer chief executive of the mental health charity, Mind , says: ‘Good mental wellbeing isn’t just about treatment, it’s also about prevention and by focusing on the factors that take their toll on our wellbeing in the first place, we have a chance at achieving better mental health for everyone.’

There’s no doubt that adrenalin is at the core of what makes us function as humans. Our ancestors roaming the plains of Africa needed it to survive. And, maybe, we aren’t that much different. If you wish to try an adrenalin activity – both light and more extreme – click here.

Off-limits extreme sports

Monday, August 16th, 20101 Comment

The extreme sports people dream up.  This guy has created his own extreme sport courtesy of the local building site and a parachute. Will it catch on? Perhaps not. For a more conventional range of extreme sports and adrenalin-fuelled activities click here.

Paintball Lego knocks your block off

Thursday, August 12th, 2010No Comments

Put a paintball gun in someone’s hand and the natural urge is to knock an opponent’s block off. Well, a new craze has taken this quite literally. Paintball Lego seems to have inspired a young generation of junior paintball enthusiasts and budding filmmakers.

Shot using a Lego webcam, this new genre of movie is a hit on YouTube as fans create and shoot combat scenes with mini Lego figures.  Who knows, it may produce a new generation of blockbusters.

Many of the filmmakers are ten and under. Too young for paintball, laser combat offers these filmmakers the chance to experience the action first hand. Teenagers and adults can try out the grown-up version by clicking here.

Rain doesn’t stop play. Six of the best things to do when it’s raining

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010No Comments

The Met Office has stopped the long range forecasts, or seasonal forecasting as they call it, because of the criticism it received for not predicting the last three wet UK summers, not to mention the coldest winter for 30 years.

The Met Office says: ‘Because of the chaotic nature of variability and the potential for errors in the starting conditions, long-range forecasts can only be delivered in terms of probabilities.’ So when it comes to knowing what’s in store for the rest of the summer, it’s fingers crossed guys.

splashing in puddles

But fear not. If you’re on holiday or looking for weekend activities, Britain is better equipped than ever before to escape the drizzle. And, although life may be brighter when it’s sunny, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the mud and water. Here are six ideas to ensure you’re upbeat in the downpours.

1. Quad Biking. Quad motorbike enthusiasts often pray for rain – so blame them. They relish the slippery mud and the handling challenges. There are quad biking venues across the country offering different terrain. Sites such as Kingsland Quads in Herefordshire are famous for woodland, while other locations like Findon Quad Biking in West Sussex lay on a series of obstacles. All are much more challenging in the wet. Quad biking start from around £45.Click here for details.

2. Indoor karting. It doesn’t matter what the weather is doing when you’re racing around an indoor karting track. Double level tracks like the one at Coventry Karting, which is 300 metres, put corning skills to the test. Packages start from £30 to £40. Kick-start by clicking here.

3. Rally Driving. Whenever you imagine rally driving, it’s in the rain through forests and narrow dirt tracks, so the wetter the better. Rally Driving, Knighton, Powys, is the authentic experience. Top rally drivers hone their skills on the forests tracks. Not cheap – prices from £265 – but this is proper rally driving.  Start the accelerator by clicking here.

clay shooting

4. Clay Pigeon Shooting. Put the Barber and the green wellies on and get out shooting when the skies cloud over. You’ll be so focused on the target you won’t notice the rain. Prices can start from as low as £31 for two hours’ shooting. Fire here for more details.

5. Zorbing. Instead of the umbrella, cover yourself in a huge plastic bubble and roll downhill. For about £20, you can have a ball. Roll the curser here for more details.

6. 4X4 Off-Roading. Off road wouldn’t really be right without wet and mud, would it?4X4 Off Roading Canterbury, Kent, offers a special mud churner package for those who really like to wallow in it. Prices vary considerably but most venues provide tuition. Click here for more details.