Wednesday, February 12, 2014

5 Winter Olympic Sports Sure to Put you in a Back Brace

This past week the world was introduced to Sochi, Russia, the home of the 2014 Winter Olympics. And for days the best athletes have been flipping, skiing, and sliding their way into our daily entertainment. Performing tricks most of us can only consider in cartoon form, these athletes have proven just how much talent and control it requires to become a contending winter athlete.

For the most part, these athletes are young, and there’s a reason for the age discrepancy. After a certain age, we simply can’t perform acrobatics without causing extreme bodily consequences. For the non-Olympic population, here are the top five injury-inducing winter sports. Avoid them to keep your back and your sanity in working order.

5. The Bobsleigh

Cramming four people into a tiny sled looks less than comfortable. Hunching over to obtain maximum wind resistance sounds even worse. Anyone with a back problem should steer ever clear from bobsledding activities.

4. Hockey

Not only does this sport require quick, sudden movements, it’s likely to land you against the wall multiple times per game. Stay off the ice to avoid these competitive smashing movements.

3. Figure Skating

The jumps these figure skaters make send bodies into constant twirls and turns. Not so bad for those who can land them, but each fall looks like it’s a purple bruise and a back adjustment waiting to happen.

2. Skiing/Snowboarding

Again, the jumps and flips look like your spine’s worst nightmare. Even with protective gear and years of training, nothing saves the back from these epic tricks like not attempting them at all.

1. Curling

A sport that combines target practice with brooms, athletes must bend and frantically sweep for long periods of time. Put on repeat and your lower back is likely to be aching something fierce after a single tournament.

This winter, leave these backbreaking events to the pros. Your body – and your future health – will thank you.