We live for the weekend. After five long days of slogging hard, those two days that come at the end of the week are oh-so-precious. As most of us are cooped up behind a screen, we like to jazz it up a little with adrenaline-pumping activities that aren’t your usual weekend affair. Whether you’re a risk-taker or you just want to experience something out of the ordinary, we’ve got five unique sports activities you can try in Singapore.
But remember: safety first! If you’ve got an old injury or you’re just recovering from a recent one, it’s best to listen to your body when it tells you to take it easy. So you’re accident-prone? Our expert Dr Tay Eileen, an upper limb orthopaedic surgeon at The Orthopaedic Practice and Surgery drops all the safety tips for us. Ready for a (safe) sports adventure?
Singapore’s waves aren’t as impressive as our neighbours’ but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy water sports. Wakeboarding is a popular high-impact sport where you stand on a wide board as you’re towed behind a motorboat. The highlight is attempting jumps, turns and other tricks in midair.
A little rusty in that department? Remember to stretch it out because you don’t want to leave with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear of the knee. “Dynamic stretches such as lunges or squats are helpful to warm up the muscles around the knees,” says Dr Tay. If you’re a beginner, perhaps leave the jumps, spins or flips to the pros and focus on the basics first.
We shoot our best shot at our career and personal life. So when it comes to archery? Easy peasy. We kid! In all seriousness, archery is a challenging sport that requires concentration, technique and skill. Plus, using a bow and arrow can be daunting if you’re doing it for the first time. Dr Tay suggests appropriate stretching and warm up as advised by the archery centre because improper drawing techniques can cause rotator cuff tendinitis or impingement.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art that involves grappling and ground fighting. One thing you should be wary of when attempting this sport? Your elbow. It receives the biggest blow during takedowns and submission holds like the arm-bar, where your elbow is forced into hypertension by the opponent. The natural move would be to resist the manoeuvre or twist your arm to escape the hold. That results in an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow.
Dr Tay’s advice? “Warm up sufficiently, maintain good flexibility of your elbow joint and strengthen the muscles around the elbow. And of course, tap out early to reduce risk of injury.”
Bouldering is a type of free climbing on an artificial rock wall or low cliff without ropes or harnesses. Did you know that the most common acute injury for bouldering is an ankle sprain from falls? Landing wrongly on the safety floor mat can lead to a twisting injury or ligament tear around the ankle.
To prevent this, Dr Tay recommends a thorough warm up where you practise stability exercises like balance training, using an ankle brace or taping the ankle for support.
This thrilling activity is just as fun as skydiving outdoors; like any other sport, it has risks too. You’d least expect it but shoulder pain and even dislocations have occurred when indoor skydiving. “This is due to the high airstream force on the arms, which are typically held in a position that makes it vulnerable to dislocation. Most cases of shoulder dislocations have been reported to occur while flying or when attempting to exit the wind tunnel,” Dr Tay explains.
We don’t mean to be party poopers but if you’ve had a previous shoulder dislocation, it’s best to let the pros know before you sign up for this activity. But if you really want to experience it, regular exercise to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles will help to stabilise the shoulder.
Identify the risks, keep safety tips in mind and pay attention to your body. Listening to your body and learning to say no when things get too intense is more important than experiencing those few moments of adrenaline. If you suffer from prolonged body pain or feel like that muscle pull or sprain is taking forever to heal, get it checked by a professional.
StarMed’s Specialist Centre is a one-stop spot for making your healthcare simple. It’s home to a bone and joint clinic, physiotherapy and rehabilitation centre. So whether it’s a hip, shoulder or knee problem, or an issue with your elbow or ankle, the orthopaedic specialists are adept at treating it.
So, are you ready to embark on a thrilling (and safe) sports activity in Singapore this weekend?
© 2022, The Orthopaedic Practice and Surgery. All Rights Reserved.