(edit – by the way, for those waiting for video 3 in our free snowboard freestyle trick tips, it’s coming, I had to make some adjustments and re-do some bits that I wasn’t happy with, but you’ll have by tomorrow :))
Last year I was hanging with my brother-in-law and we came up on the topic of surgery and knee replacements. He’s a surgeon, so it’s interesting to see his take on sport injuries and the effects of them, especially in a sport like snowboarding where big injuries are common.
One of his statements caught my attention:
Pretty much everyone in active sports, including me (he plays football), will probably have issues with arthritis and be candidates for knee or hip replacements when we’re older.
Now I don’t know about you, but that sucks. He’s not just talking about people who have had knee injuries like me, but instead he’s saying the entire population of snowboarders is at risk of having their snowboard years cut short.
As someone who has had knee injuries and is at high risk of knee issues in the future, I do my best to slow the decline of my knee, so I can snowboard as long as possible.
If any of you are interested in doing the same for yourself, here are a few things you can do as well:
1) Stay slim
The more weight your carry, the harder it is on your body and knees. Every pound of weight is adding to the amount of impact pounding down on those knees and hips every day that you snowboard.
So keeping slim isn’t just good for picking up girls (or guys), but it’s great for your joints as well because you aren’t putting extra stress on your body.
I don’t mean you have to become some Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie look-a-like, but not letting yourself put on too many pounds is very good for your joints and longevity in snowboarding.
Honestly a lot of it is just eating right and avoiding fast food. Easier said than done I know, but one thing that’s worked for me in the past is setting one day every week or two to go crazy and eat whatever you want, while staying healthy the rest of the time.
2) Strength and conditioning
The gym sucks. I hate the gym. You hate the gym. Pain is not fun. Life gets busy and it’s easy to make excuses to not work out – especially when you hate working out.
I know we’re not all like my friend JP who runs 20 km’s on a saturday (hi JP, I know you read my blog… by the way you’re crazy), but you have to find what works for you because staying strong has a direct effect on the wear of your joints.
Stronger muscles = less wear on your joints
Now personally, I like to go to the gym and get my punishment over with quickly, but I know plenty of people who find other ways to get their workout. They go rock climbing, skateboarding (great lower body workout), biking, swimming, kayaking, surfing etc. etc.
There are ways to stay in shape and get a good workout outside the gym. For example, check out this blog – ‘Nerd Fitness‘ – that’s dedicated to work outs for the average guy who isn’t a gym junkie.
Honestly a lot of this is just about making the choice to actually do something about it. Most people are too lazy to make a change… but most people also won’t be able to snowboard when they’re older, so you have to make your own choice.