If you’re constantly seeking an adventure more dangerous than the last, no one and nothing is likely to stop you, but a little contemplation won’t hurt. After all, a few minutes of an exhilarating jump or dive isn’t worth a lifetime of broken bones.
While fun and exciting, some sports, physical activities, and recreational activities are undeniably risky, resulting in millions of ER visits in a year. Some people who enjoy them end up getting maimed, or permanently injured. Others who aren’t so lucky are killed.
Of course, every facility for extreme activities provide safety gears for their customers, so you could say that your odds of getting injured are thin. But still, mistakes and accidents can happen, and no matter how minor they are, they can still affect the entire activity and thus, your safety. Just recently, an experienced paraglider who launched off a 200 ft. cliff, geared and all, crashed into the sea and died, because there wasn’t enough wind to keep him in the air.
That said, here are the activities that raise the risks for such a situation:
Certain gym equipment doesn’t just look ominous for no reason; they are indeed dangerous if used improperly. The lat pulldown machine, for one, puts a lot of stress on the anterior joint capsule on the shoulder, causing injuries such as rotator cuff tears. So when you pull the bar and feel your shoulders ache, you may worsen your injury by forcing you to pull the bar behind your head. Hence, if you’re not yet confident of your strength, just pull the bar toward the front of your head.
Weightlifting exercises, such as bent-over rows, deadlifts, overhead squats, and medicine ball rotation tosses, are potentially dangerous for your spine and nervous system. So never lift weights without the guidance of a fitness trainer; the wrong posture alone can hit a nerve or damage your discs.
If you’re working out your legs, think twice before using the leg extension machine. Seated leg extension exercises are more dangerous than beneficial because there is no natural movement where you sit and straighten your knees while there’s a heavy load against them. Moreover, the machine causes you to flex your toes on instinct, and puts undue stress on your knee joints, potentially damaging the delicate cartilage under the patella.
If you still get into a workout accident even with a trainer who guides you, you may sue the establishment or the trainer for negligence, because they might have breached their duty to keep you safe. A spinal cord injury lawyer or any other personal injury lawyer will help you demand compensation, such as payment for your rehabilitation.
2. All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Outdoor enthusiasts surely crave an ATV ride from time to time, but this recreational activity is extremely dangerous, especially for children, who might be taken advantage of by dishonest ATV dealers.
In 2010, 230,666 people were hospitalized due to ATV accidents. But what’s more troubling was that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) also discovered in the majority of the cases, injuries among children resulted from riding adult-sized ATVs. In an undercover operation they organized, they found that seven out of ten dealers were selling adult-sized ATVs to children.
Hence, if you’re going for an ATV ride with your whole family, ensure that your kids will be given an appropriate-sized vehicle. Seek supervision if you are inexperienced, and wear the proper clothing and safety gear.
3. Baseball and Softball
The bat alone already makes these sports nerve-wracking. Sure enough, baseball and softball accounted for 282,008 ER visits in 2010.
But instead of the bat, it was the ball that had caused most of the injuries. The most common body part that was mangled by it was the face, requiring costly plastic surgeries to be treated.
Football, one of the most popular sports in the U.S., resulted in 489,676 ER trips in 2010. Though football gear looks protective enough, it apparently didn’t make injuries impossible at all. In fact, the padding in the helmets causes the players to hit each other harder, and the impact would be extreme enough to cause a concussion.
5. Free Falling
The name alone already suggests the potential danger of this outdoor recreational activity. Though it sounds bucket-list-worthy, free falling is not for inexperienced skydivers. First of all, it’s essentially skydiving without a guide. You’re basically falling from the sky all by yourself, relying on your own control to know when to engage the parachute. You have to make sure that you’d have enough wind to carry you upward so that you won’t suffer the same fate as the paraglider who was killed.
There are a lot more dangerous sports and recreational activities, but these are the top ones you have to practice the most precaution for. Keep in mind that even if it’s good to do crazy things once in a while, they’re not worth your limbs or your life.