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The Best And Worst Sports For Your Health

Sports-related injuries happen all the time. Folks who don’t even play sports for a living often tear their ACLs in skiing accidents, develop back problems through years of pick-up basketball, and suffer from a whole variety of other ailments. Although it is important to stay active in order to maintain your weight and keep your heart healthy, some sports are far more recommended than others. On this list, we tell you which sports are safest for you and which ones can cause health problems down the road.

Avoid this: Boxing/MMA

We get that people enjoy watching other people get punched in the face whether it’s in the MMA octagon or outside of a bar at 3am. It’s just good, wholesome fun. But believe it or not, this is not the most ideal way to stay fit. In fact, studies have found that a full 90% of boxers have suffered from a traumatic brain injury at least once in their career, which includes a majority who are never actually diagnosed. According to Dr. Obvious, blows to the head also increase the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. Imagine that!

Do this instead: Running

Some folks will warn you that running isn’t the best idea, noting that shin splints and knee problems can arise. However, the real key is to not overdo things. Running gets your heart pumping and keeps the weight off. Plus you don’t need any fancy equipment; just a serviceable pair of running shoes. Studies have found that a mere five to 10 minutes of running can cut down the risk of developing heart problems. However, after about 4.5 hours of running per week, there doesn’t seem to be any additional benefit.

Avoid this: Luge

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a sport that you’ll be able to play at your local YMCA. But still, it is a sport that people do participate in, and the consequences can be deadly. Indeed, during an Olympic training run in Whistler, Canada, Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili tragically lost his life when his luge crashed. Given that you’re traveling at 90mph with merely a helmet to protect you, it’s a surprise that this sport doesn’t kill more people. Even if you don’t die, making it through with fractured necks and broken backs isn’t much of a consolation.

Do this instead: Rock climbing

You might be asking yourself, What? How? Rock climbing sounds super dangerous, right? Of course, it has its risks, but the reality is, as long as you do it properly and gain experience with the assistance of a trainer, it’s a really beneficial sport both for your physical and mental health. You aren’t only boosting your strength, flexibility and endurance, you also have to think like a puzzle-solver as you attempt to complete each crux. It’s also a great way to make new friends as the rock climbing community is close-knit.