Updated: Apr 15
Amusement parks are places where we anticipate that we will have lots of thrilling rides, eat a variety of unhealthy junk food, make memories with our friends and family etc. What if we told you that you would be doing your mental and physical health a favour as well by visiting amusement parks? Don't believe it? Then read on.
Most Amusement Parks are built over massive plots of acreage, with rides being spread out all over the park. Unknowingly, you may be walking miles upon miles without realizing as you hop from one ride to another. Researchers estimate that the average person walks almost 8-15 kms during a day at the park.
Apart from the obvious benefits of walking, you even burn calories on all the wild rides. Adrenaline rushes are directly responsible for burning more calories, so all that screaming and thrills on fast roller coasters pay off. Moreover, when you’re anticipating a steep drop, or are physically thrown around repeatedly on rides, you engage your core muscles to maintain your balance, thus leading to increasingly toned muscles.
The relationship between adrenaline and the endorphins released by the brain during exciting moments and high-intensity situations is well studied. Endorphins are the ‘natural high’ that the brain produces, and this same drug is released during strenuous physical exercise as well as when you are taking part in thrill-seeking activities. When the body releases adrenaline and endorphins, the natural reaction of the mind is “again, again!” encouraging us to live our life to the fullest and relive those experiences that led to the mind-rush.
Studies have shown that amusement parks are great for de-stressing and overcoming fears. High tempo rides expose us to ‘good fear’. When we experience plummeting drops, heart-stopping twists and nauseatingly sharp turns, our brains perceive them to be “safe” and “predictable” – so riding them becomes therapeutic, especially as we scream out our anxieties. Similarly, by pushing ourselves to go on that extra tall ride that we are nervous about, we overcome our fears. This leads to increased confidence and better self-esteem.
In conclusion, next time you have an option to go to an amusement park, don't skip out. After all, it's not only fun but good for your health too!