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Ways to Avoid Winter Injuries

Portrait of happy mother and children together in snow on a coldIt’s that time of year again when winter is right around the corner! A time when people, especially kids on winter break, visit ski resorts or just hang out with their friends playing in the snow. If you’re part of the 30% who exercise or participate in sports, as fun as it is, there are a few things you need to do to avoid winter injuries.

STAY ACTIVE ALL YEAR

Try to stay active year round (i.e. walking, yoga, aerobics, jogging, swimming) to help condition your muscles, and wear proper shoes to avoid a seasonal injury. Most winter sports injuries can be prevented with good planning and use of properly maintained equipment.

STRETCHING

You should also train outdoors so that your body can adapt to weather. All training before any physical activity should include a warm up to avoid injury. Pre and post exercise stretching can be done in 5-10 minutes. Done properly, stretching gives you flexibility by increasing the length of your muscles and tendons. Stretching can also increase your range of motion, which will allow your limbs and joints the ability to move further and prevent injury.

PREPARE FOR THE WEATHER

For an outdoor activity, like skiing, you should get cleared by your doctor, especially if you have circulation problems. Your hands and feet are very sensitive to the cold so you want to be sure that you protect them. Also wear a helmet if skiing or snowboarding to prevent head injuries. According to Kids Health, “more and more emergency rooms are treating youth with abdominal, head, and neck injuries from snowboarding, particularly from running into trees or boulders. Frostbite remains a looming wintertime threat, especially for those who spend a lot of time outside playing in the snow.”

Some other things you should do to prepare and plan to prevent winter injuries include:

  • Wear insulated shoes with a good rubber tread to provide traction as you come in contact with snow and ice.
  • Consume a regular diet with the recommended daily allowance of calcium and vitamin D (i.e. 1,000 mg of calcium for adults up to age 50, and 1,200mg of calcium per day for adults over age 50) to help keep your bones strong.
  • Avoid high risk activities and quick movements that could cause a fall.
  • Always use good posture, and perform exercises that will help your balance and coordination.
  • Always wear gloves and a hat to avoid frostbite.
  • Wear waterproof, insulated shoes that fit properly. If the footwear is too tight it could result in blisters, bunions, or poor circulation.
  • Stay hydrated. Avoid drinking alcohol, which can make you dehydrate quicker.
  • Keep snacks available for energy.

Written by: Jamacia Magee, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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