Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Eight Winter Sport Safety Tips

Ready for winter sports? It can be exhilarating to think about hitting the slopes or the skating rink for the first time this season, but don’t forget to weigh and mitigate your risks. Here are eight ways to stay safe, no matter what your cold weather sport of choice may be.

  1. Skiing: You don’t have to do the black diamond run the first time out on the slopes. Take a day or two to get back in the slalom of things, and then you’ll be ready for some wicked powder action.
  2. Snowboarding: Make sure you prep your board and fit your boots precisely, as well as checking all bindings. It’s no fun to wipe out hard the first day of winter vacation and end up a spectator for the next week.
  3. Ice skating: Check skate laces for wear and tear, and don’t forget to wear long sleeves – especially if it’s been a while since you ventured onto the ice. Consider visiting a rink during the least crowded time period until you get your ice legs once again.
  4. Snowmobiling: Correct protective gear is a must, so strap on that helmet, grab elbow and knee pads, and play it safe when on rough terrain. Don’t go out alone and use a buddy system to get everyone home safe especially if you’ll be out past dark.
  5. Clothing: Layer up. It’s easy to overheat then chill rapidly, so make sure your attire includes a few things you can peel off and put back on as you go. This includes headwear. Don’t forget to pack an extra pair of socks in case yours get wet from rain or melted snow.
  6. Sunscreen: Even if it’s cloudy, rays still come through the clouds. If there’s any snow on the ground, reflected rays can be even more harsh on your skin.
  7. Eye Protection: Cold wind, sleet, and bright sun bouncing off of snow can all cause your eyes to sting, burn, and dry out. Pack a pair of tight wrap-around sunglasses and some eyedrops in your duffle.
  8. Variety: Mix up your workouts. Adding yoga for flexibility or Pilates for a strong core can enable you to participate in your chosen sport at the highest level of performance possible.

Winter sports can be invigorating, especially when you share them with friends who love the same things you do. However, they are also some of the most injury inducing sports. Call Dr. Strasburger if you need to have a sore elbow or sprained knee looked at after a weekend on the ice or snow.