As we see the first snowfall arrive our thoughts turn to glorious days of multiple runs down our favorite ski slopes. But first make sure you are ready for the ski season so you can avoid injury and miss time on the slopes.
- Make sure you rent or buy equipment from a reputable vendor and sized specifically for you. Avoid “borrowing” equipment from a friend which increases your risk of injury enormously. Make sure your own equipment is checked regularly and in good working condition.
- Wear a protective ski helmet, especially children and teens, who have the highest incidence of head and face injuries.
- Choose the appropriate level of ski trail for your skill level. If you are a beginner or hoping to advance your level, get professional instruction. Know the rules and codes of conduct for the ski area, this will help avoid injury as well as litigation.
- Injuries mostly occur at the end of the day when fatigue and/or soreness has set in. Pay attention to how you feel and don’t try to squeeze in one more run if you are tired.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration can impair physical ability.
- Warm up before skiing, because cold muscles are more prone to injury. Stretching, walking, or jumping jacks for a few minutes will help get blood pumping through the muscles ready for activity.
Being in good physical condition is very important in preventing injuries:
- This includes endurance training for aerobic fitness such as cycling, swimming, running, elliptical or stair climber 5 x week for 30 minutes.
- Strengthening the leg and core muscles. Leg press, straight leg raises in all 4 directions, squats, lunges, and curl ups are just some suggestions, 3 x week.
- Stretching the hips, thighs, hamstring, and calf muscles on a daily basis.
- Balance exercises such as single leg stance on foam or single leg mini-squats, daily.
Skiing is an exciting and fun form of exercise that can be enjoyed by families and friends, so to reduce the risk of spending your snowy days on the injured list get your equipment and muscles ready!