(by Niharika Nigam, Director - Business Development at Jumpin Heights, India’s first Extreme Adventure zone)
The perception of femininity has changed for a progressive turn- with power and equality being the new mantras of the day. The observation of women being the weaker sex has taken a tailspin as an increasing number of women are opting for the unique thrill of adventure sports over the basic shopping and clubbing activities. Moreover, the dynamisms of career and household functionaries have urged women to seek out adventure activities to unwind. Women have savoured the culmination of their identities as gender roles form blurred spectrum, where interchangebility of one’s lifestyle remains at the paramount. Today, women tend to take up more challenges and push oneself at the physical front, to enliven their sense of being. So the demand for adventure sports like treks, rafting and bungee jumping has gone up among women.
Here are 3 reasons why adventure sports is beneficial for women-
1. Enhances Fear Management Skills
Fear is something that everyone struggles with in daily life, but those who participate in extreme sports transform their fear into a liberating experience, especially for women. Fear and subjugation come naturally to the fairer sex, being groomed from a early age to be submissive to familial ties. Indulging in such activities, seeing that one safely complete it helps in reducing fear responses. Further on, the use coping mechanisms such as meditation before any activity, helps gain a greater ally in facing difficult tasks.
2. Boosts Self-Confidence
The reward plays an important role her. One often comes across an intense feeling of achievement while completing a difficult task. Studies have found a strong link between extreme sports and a higher level of self-confidence. The rewards are beyond physical responses, considering the fact that accomplishing a task so physically daunting is something that one should feel proud of. Women suffer from lack of confidence and such activities pose as morale upliftment in accomplishing them. The self-confidence boost can have a positive impact on every aspect of life and hence is advised as a sure shot fillip to self confidence.
3. Helps gain a Sense of Humility
Getting ahead in the business world, and life, in general, comes with its set of ruthless circumstances. Awareness on one’s surroundings, with a touch of humility is actually extremely important. This makes us more relatable to others, as it helps in preventing the developing negative reputation. With extreme sports, we embrace the fact that we are humans, imperfect mortals. To survive the exhilarating experience, one must look reflect upon mortality, learn how to use safety equipment properly and be willing to listen to their instructor’s directions.
India provides a plethora options for almost every major adventure sport, be it trekking or climbing, cycling or biking, water sports like sailing, parasailing and scuba diving, paragliding, bungee jumping, sky diving and others. Many operators provide women-centric services, while there are several dedicated clubs for such activities where one can join to connect with like-minded individuals.
The increasing participation of women reflects in the figures, as per last year it was seen that 41 per cent women travellers partaking in mild adventure activities like kayaking tours, short treks (1-3 days), water sports and so on. In terms of international backpacking tours, women participation is close to 32 per cent, with travels to Norway, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and even South America being most preferred. When it comes to Indian terrain, most popular treks among women are the MarkhaValley trek and the Valley of Flowers. Also, Indian women are growing warm towards activities like Rafting and Bungee Jumping in Rishikesh, Zorbing in Gulmarg, Paragliding in Solan Valley, Hot Air Ballooning in Rajasthan and so on. Although safety is a major concern for women in India, such progressive advancements are cementing the growth of extreme sports and in no time will we see Indian women shining in this field.