5 great sports to get you high & out of your mind in a healthy way

5 great sports to get you high & out of your mind in a healthy way

Words:

Helen Vaughan

Photos:

Ivan Donoghue

Tags:

"a guide to mindfulness", Centra, "how to be mindful", "how to do mindfulness", "how to meditate", "learning to meditate", "live well", meditation, mindfulness, "mindfulness challenge", restart

Mindfulness is the focus of this month’s Centra Restart Challenge series so we’ve come up with five fun sports to keep you firmly in the moment. We’ll give you tips on how to get away from some of the stresses and strains of daily life, to reconnect with your mind and body while getting fit and active at the same time.




As part of the campaign, you can sign up to Centra’s simple 21-day Mindfulness Challenge. Ocean rower Gavan Hennigan has also done this cool video giving some of his favourite tips on how he stayed mindful and used meditation while rowing 5,000kms across the Atlantic Ocean. He finished third overall and first solo rower in the Talisker Whisky Challenge Race on 1 Feb 2017.

 

 

1) Mountain Biking

 

Mountain biking is an incredibly fun sport that can be a hardcore, white-knuckle ride if that’s what you’re looking for, or it can be more relaxed and cruisy on cross country trails. The joy of it is getting lost in nature up the mountains away from technology and work or life stresses, and enjoying the adrenaline rush of cycling around stunning forests, rivers and valleys.

 

The fact that it’s an off-road sport with constantly changing gradients is what makes it great for mindfulness because you have to be truly in the moment and focussed on what you’re doing. Mindfulness is about being in touch with your body and mind in the current moment and mountain biking is great practice for this. Many mountain bike parks also have child-friendly routes so you can bring the whole family!

 

Some places to go include Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Park in Co Limerick, Ballinastoe in Co Wicklow and Rostrevor Mountain Bike Park in Co Down.

 

 



 

Join Centra's Restart 21-day strength challenge here. #LiveWell


2) Coasteering

 

If you haven’t done coasteering yet, give it a go. It’s brilliant fun! There’s no better way of being truly present than plunging feet first into the chilly Atlantic Ocean. The sport involves jumping off rocks, sea stacks and cliffs into the sea with an instructor, who guides you on where is safe to jump and provides training on how best to throw yourself into the water. 

 

As you mingle with seals and seaweed, it will take you far away from the world of work and bills, and you’ll come back to the real world feeling like a new person!

 

Some great places to try coasteering include Clare Island Adventures, Delphi Adventure Resort and at Kinsale Surf School in Cork



 

 

3) Sailing

 

Sailing is another great sport to get you away from it all and become immersed in the wonder of nature far away from the shore. Imagine surfing down the crest of a wave in a boat with your sails up and just the sound of the water splashing around the hull. 

 

It’s a really fun team sport that requires you to focus your mind on the task at hand, whether that’s helming/steering the boat, trimming the sails or hauling them up the mast. To be mindful, you can focus on your hands working on the tiller (it steers the boat) or pulling in the sheets (ropes) to control the sails and really concentrate on being in the current moment. It can be a good tip to also focus on your breathing to help get into a mindful mode.

 

The Irish Sailing Association runs ‘Try Sailing’ events throughout the summer if you want to get into sailing for the first time, so give it a go!

 

 

4) Diving and snorkelling

 

Diving is a magical experience that allows you to explore Ireland’s unique underwater world. Mindfulness is about slowing down and being in the moment and the nature of diving requires you to do just that. It’s a great way to get away from worrying about the future or stressing about the past, requiring you to communicate underwater through hand signals and work closely with the team you’re diving with.

 

diving.ie runs a series of diving and snorkelling courses throughout the year to learn how to dive in pools and outdoors. You’ll be taught the basics in the safety of the pool before heading into the sea.



 

5) Climbing

 

Climbing is a fast-growing sport in Ireland at the moment. It’s great fun and gives you a real workout without even thinking about it. The technical nature of climbing requires a mindful approach to focussing on what your body is doing with each hand and foot hold and really concentrating on the task at hand, blocking out any other stresses.

 

Join Centra's Restart 21-day strength challenge here. #LiveWell
 

There are loads of great new climbing walls popping up around the country, so check out your local area. Some of our favourites include Awesome Walls in Dublin and Cork, The Wall in Dublin, the climbing wall in Limerick by Nevsail Watersports, the Galway Climbing Co-Op and Activate Waterford.

 

Read more about Gavan Hennigan’s use of mindfulness and meditation in his sporting and everyday life, as part of Centra’s Restart 21-day Challenge.


 


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5 great sports to get you high & out of your mind in a healthy way

Mindfulness is the focus of this month’s Centra Restart Challenge series so we’ve come up with five fun sports to keep you firmly in the moment. We’ll give you tips on how to get away from some of the stresses and strains of daily life, to reconnect with your mind and body while getting fit and active at the same time.

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