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Slippery Slopes

Filed Under: Men's Health at 9:14 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
SnowboardingThe first covering of snow, real or otherwise, brings the skis and snowboards out of the closet. Boots are laced up, clothing is layered, gloves are strapped on and the mountains are met with adrenaline-fueled determination.

Millions of people throughout the world take to the slopes every year. Some are skilled; some are not. With that type of mix, injuries are bound to happen.  Fortunately, minor ones such as bumps, bruises and broken bones are less likely to occur than they were 40 years ago. Unfortunately, the more severe ones are not.

In a review of 24 studies from 10 countries, researchers found that the incidence of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries has risen rapidly in the past several years.  The tendency for extreme speed and acrobatic-like tricks is sending thousands of skiers and snowboarders to the hospital. The most likely sufferers are young men under the age of 35 on boards rather than skis, but all are susceptible to a head-rattling tumble. If they’re lucky, they’ll walk away with a concussion. If they aren’t, they won’t walk away at all. They will have died or will be permanently paralyzed all because of the drive to conquer an unmovable force – a mountain.

If you are a winter sportsman, take to the slopes with care. Seek expert advice, particularly if you are a beginner, and select trails that are on par with your skill level. Never ski alone, on unmarked paths or when overly fatigued. Regularly inspect your equipment and, above all, wear a helmet. It’s estimated that 50 percent of head injuries could be prevented by a helmet. They may not be fashionable but neither is death. There’s no need to turn an exhilarating exercise into a trip to the emergency room. Ski/board with care.

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One Response to “Slippery Slopes”

  1. Melissa Carson says:

    I’m super excited since it just began snowing here and that translates to snowboarding at the local mountains! And also I got my hands on a discount lift tickets pass for a crazy amount of mountain resorts!

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