Participating in winter sports is a great way to combat weight gain and stay in shape during the holiday season. Of course, when venturing out into the snow or taking part in any new activity, you must be careful to watch out for injuries that could be lurking behind every nook and cranny. Concussions, fractures, dislocations, or soft tissue injuries could easily put the best laid holiday plans on ice.
Here are some tips to help prevent winter sports injuries:
- Perform warm-up exercises:A good warm-up is essential to preventing sports injuries. Gentle stretching and a few free-hand exercises such as push-ups, squats, or even a brisk walk should warm up your body and get it ready for the planned sporting activity.
- Wear protective gear: Serious injury can be avoided or minimized by using reliable protective equipment. This would include a sturdy helmet with a shock absorbing layer, proper padding, insulated gloves and shoes, and UV glasses to protect your eyes.
- Use appropriate clothing: Make sure you are wearing clothes that protect you from frostbite, windburn, and sunburn. Dress in layers with long underwear, woolen socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a fleece jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. You can take off the outer layers as the temperature rises.
- Familiarize yourself with the surroundings: Many an unforeseen injury can be avoided by studying the landscape to look for obstacles or thin ice. No environment can be made completely safe, but minimize your risk by avoiding crowds so you don’t run into someone, don’t wear headphones, and stay away from rocks and trees.
- Stay within your limitations: It’s easy to overexert yourself and take unnecessary risks when you are lost in the game. If you find yourself completely out of breath and your muscles are screaming for a break, it’s a good idea to listen.
- Don’t be alone: Even with solitary sports such as skating or skiing, you are putting yourself in harm’s way to some extent. You may not be able to get help if you suffer an immobilizing injury when you are alone. Taking a friend with you is a great way to stay safe and double your fun.
Have a great winter season!
Dr. Domb is a nationally recognized orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery of the hip, shoulder and knee. A noted pioneer in advanced new techniques in hip arthroscopy, he delivers innovative treatments for patients with hip injuries such as impingement and labral tears. Dr. Domb is also an expert in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee, adept in specialized techniques including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and all-inside ACL reconstruction.