Get Inspired: SKELETON

Skeleton is a true daredevil sport.

Competitors plummet head-first down a steep track at speeds of 80mph in what is considered the world's first sliding sport, which became a regular fixture at the Winter Olympics following the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

The aim is to push your sled from a starting point as quickly as possible over a 20-to-30-yard runway, before jumping on the sled and letting nature take its course, using bodyweight to 'steer' as best possible on the way down.

Why is it good for you?

Imagine controlling your body down the chute at speeds you shouldn't reach on a motorway, with only a plastic board for comfort. Now, you can decide whether that's "good for you", but the sport will certainly tone your body and mind.

You will definitely need power and pace at the start - the fine margins in the sport are often decided by who has the quickest, strongest start to their race.

The G-forces on the neck are tremendous in skeleton, so your core and skeleton (indeed) will be strengthened dramatically as you develop in the sport.

Get involved

The UK does not possess its own skeleton track, but the University of Bath has a small start-track often used by skeleton and bobsleigh athletes for training purposes.

British Skeleton offers a membership package  that costs as little as £25 and give members the chance to become eligible to compete at the British Championships. There are also regular Talent ID  days if you think you have what it takes.

History

The North American countries are skeleton's world leaders, though Britain is right up there with Amy Williams the Olympic women's champion at Vancouver 2010 and Shelley Rudman a silver-medallist four years earlier.

Men's skeleton was first introduced as an Olympic sport in 1928 and then again in 1948. It became a permanent fixture in 2002 ahead of the Salt Lake City Games, at which point the women's event also gained Olympic status.

Are you inspired to try Skeleton? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired  or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.