Winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hockey and sledding are great ways to stay active, but they can also lead to injury. Reduce your risk during your favorite winter activity by taking these precautions:
1. Stay active; while winter’s chill encourages hibernation, staying active and keeping muscles in condition is important for safely participating in winter activities.
2. Warm up with light exercises or stretches, and ease into the activity.
3. Use protection and wear the appropriate safety gear.
4. Inspect your equipment before you start to make sure it is in good working condition.
5. Learn how to fall from a trained sports instructor and minimize or even prevent shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries.
6. Know and follow safety rules such as staying within marked ski trails and learning how to safely use the ski lift.
7. Know your limits and choose slopes and maneuvers appropriate for your skill level.
8. Listen to your body and top when you are sore or tired; accidents are more likely to occur when you are fatigued.
9. Dress in layers, starting with a breathable base layer, adding one or two insulating layers, and topping with a water/windproof outer layer to ensure you stay warm and dry. And don’t forget appropriate footwear and hand protection.
10. Stay hydrated!