Sports are a great way to get exercise, but they are not without risk. In the search of thrills and physical excellence, some athletes put themselves in harms way. They climb mountains, speed down steep hills, tackle, hit, punch, and kick. The sports on this list can cause practitioners serious injury and even death if any accident should occur. That’s why extra caution, proper training, and safety equipment are required before these dangerous sports are attempted.
- We first researched all the available data on many different sports and narrowed it down to 50, 20 and finally 10. We used a combination of internet, library, industry literature and Samir Becic knowledge as one of the leading health and fitness experts in U.S.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
- Bull Riding Just as a f1 driver risks his neck every time he straps up, a bull-rider exposes him or herself to danger every rodeo. Riders attempt to tame a 1,800-pound animal that has been prodded into seething anger. With no safety equipment and only a rodeo clown to draw away the sharp horns, bull riding is the most dangerous 8 seconds in sports.
- MMA MMA advertises itself as a less-dangerous alternative to boxing, because of the emphasis on grapples and take-downs, as opposed to pure face blows. The evidence corroborates that theory, but warns MMA fighters are more vulnerable than boxers to minor injuries and disfigurements, making the sport dangerous.
- Boxing An obvious inclusion on the list, practitioners of this martial art risk decreased brain function, particularly if they start boxing at an early age and have a long career. One study found that boxing caused “volume reduction in certain areas of the brain and reduced connectivity between the basal ganglia and other regions of the brain.”
- Free-climbing The invention of portable GoPro cameras has helped the world appreciate just how crazy this adrenaline-pumping sport is. Climbers scale vertical rock cliffs with nothing but their forearm strength and some chalk to keep them alive. Just one wrong move, one momentary lapse of judgement, can send a free-climber tumbling to their death. And, unfortunately, many high-profile climbers have been lost to the void.
- Hang Gliding Hang gliding, although exhilarating and freeing, is actually one of the most dangerous in-air sports possible. According to HSE, a U.K.-based watchdog group, the risk of death in a hang-gliding accident is 1 out of every 116,000 flights. Even the most experienced hang gliders are not immune to random gusts of wind which can easily force them to collide with mountains, causing them to free fall from high altitudes.
- Football American football has come under intense scrutiny in recent years for putting its players at risk for serious brain damage and head trauma. We’ve know about the risk for broken bones and bruised bodies since the earliest days of the sport, and in 2012 there were 394,350 football injuries in the US. But the emergence of information that football causes a risk for CTE, a degenerative brain disease similar to Alzheimer’s, is alarming.
- Rugby Some reports indicate that rugby has less risk for catastrophic injury than other full contact sports like hockey and American football, but it still exposes its players to a whole host of serious injuries and concussions.
- Auto Racing Breakneck speeds, sharp turns, and large masses of metal can equal tragedy for practitioners of this sport. While car safety has improved dramatically in recent decades, auto racing can still be a very dangerous sport and needs to be approached with caution.
- Skateboarding Favorite of adrenaline junkies, rebels, and some of the best athletes in the world, this high-flying sport blends athletic prowess and aesthetic finesse for jaw-dropping stunts. As skateboarders defy gravity and travel at high speeds, they risk bone fractures and concussions. We recommend safety equipment be worn at all times!
- Skiing This alpine sport puts skiers at risk of mountain or trees as they hurtle down at fast speeds. More dangerous courses require impossibly quick reaction times that, sadly, not everyone can make. That’s why one report called it the most dangerous sport in the world.