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Tips to Keep the Amusement in Your Own Wonder Park

By Sara Butler

Wonder Park Lessons

Image Source: Crosswall

I took my kids to see Wonder Park on opening weekend. I may have missed the overall life lesson of the whole movie because all I could think about as I watched this fantastical amusement park come to life was the back pain all this amusement would inflict upon unsuspecting people like me.

As a member of the over-40 crowd, I have a firm love/hate relationship with amusement parks. I love the exhilaration of feeling as if I’m going to fly off the tracks of my favorite coaster, but I hate feeling as if I got beat up by the park mascots when I leave at the end of the day.

Summer is right around the corner and Wonder Park reminded me that soon amusement parks will operating at full song. If you’re worried about keeping the old spine (along with the rest of you) healthy this summer while still having fun at the theme park, then you need to brush up on amusement park health and safety. Here are a few tips from the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic to help you get started!

Plan Ahead

It may be hard to recall right now, but it gets hot at an amusement park in the summer. I’ve often felt like a foil-wrapped baked potato on the surface of the sun. And you sweat from places you didn’t know could sweat. Nice mental picture, I know.

To help you deal with soaring temperatures and inevitable dehydration, you must plan ahead. Look online for a park map before you ever hit the parking lot to help you make a note of places you can rest and find some shade. You can usually find information online about amenities offered at the park to make your day a bit more comfortable, too.

Don’t forget to drink water at every opportunity! Your spine needs to be hydrated along with the rest of you if you want to avoid back pain, dehydration, heat exhaustion -- or worse, heat stroke.

Try to Beat the Crowds

There are certain days of the week that are less crowded than others at major theme parks (and not-so-major ones too). Call ahead to try to find out which days of the week tend to be the slowest and plan your trip around the information you get. Avoiding long lines can help you keep your spine, as well as your feet, healthy and free from pain. Remember, pain tends to build throughout the day, so start early and take breaks as soon as you begin to feel fatigued. If you can talk the kids into it, try to tell them crazed chimpan-zombies are on the loose and you need to go. They might believe you.

Skip the Big Coasters

Your kids may give you grief, but don’t sacrifice your spinal health just to show your kids that you’re still cool by riding some crazed contraption called “The Decapitator.” It’s up to you to understand your limits and to take a pass on rides that you simply can’t tolerate or shouldn’t attempt for the sake of your spine. If it’s early in the day and you’re feeling pretty good, then think about how you will feel about the ride at 5 p.m., six hours after you’ve been tossed, turned, agitated and generally thrashed. The coaster may improve your cool quotient, but your kids will probably think you’re an old fogie when you start trying to convince them to be home before dinner because your back and hips are sore.

Let your kids ride the big coasters and have their short lives flash before their eyes as you take it easy on the narrated boat ride that every amusement park invariably offers. It’s usually air-conditioned, too.

Talk to Your Chiropractor

When planning a trip to an amusement park this summer, talk it over with the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic. They may be able to give you some tips to help your visit go smoother and keep you from feeling as if you got chewed up and spit out by some evil clown at the end of the day.

There may have been a time when you were a thrill-seeking center of attention at every amusement park you conquered. As in Wonder Park’s Wonderland, it’s important to understand that while your imagination has no limits, your body certainly does. Those limits should be recognized and respected. And don’t forget -- you can have fun by creating special memories with your friends and family at the same time.

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