Fitness & Nutrition

6 Top Tips to Avoid Winter Sports Injuries

By on 01/11/2016

Participating in winter sports is a great way to stay fit and have fun with your friends and family. Yet, skiing, sledding and ice skating account for thousands of ER visits a year. With a little common sense, and our winter safety guide, you can avoid many of the mishaps that lead to sprains, strains and fractures.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, winter sports injuries can be prevented by keeping in shape, staying alert, and stopping to rest when you feel tired. Keep these tips in mind, whether you are heading to the mountains for a weekend of skiing, or dropping your kids off at the local ice-skating rink.

  1. Warm Up. Be sure to warm up with 10 minutes of exercise before participating in a winter sport. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
  2. Gear Up. Wear appropriate protective gear (goggles, helmets, gloves and padding) for winter sports. Wear footwear that provides adequate support as well as warmth and dryness.
  3. Layer Up. Dress in layers of light, loose, water-resistant clothing for warmth and protection to accommodate your body’s changing temperature.
  4. Take a Lesson (or two or three). For sports like skiing and snowboarding, take lessons from a qualified instructor to reduce the risk of injury.
  5. Stay Hydrated. Drink water before, during and after all activities.
  6. Listen To Your Body. Slow down or stop when you are in pain or exhausted. Many injuries take place at the end of the day when you are most fatigued.

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Review Date: December 14, 2015
Reviewed By: Andrew Overman, PT, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS
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