Heading for that annual ski trip? Avoid becoming one of the 150,000 people treated for winter sports injuries each year! Common skiing injuries include fractures, sprains, concussions and dislocations. Make the most of ski season with these valuable health and safety tips.
1. Train Properly
Include weight training to strengthen muscles and cardio workouts for more efficient oxygen use at higher altitudes.
2. Take Lessons
When it comes to skiing, DIY is not the way to go. Experienced ski instructors at your ski resorts will teach proper technique and spot bad habits that could lead to injury.
3. Warm Up
Cold muscles are more prone to injury from any type of physical activity. Take a few minutes to walk or run in place and do mild calisthenic, such as jumping jacks.
4. Use Appropriate Equipment
Have boots and bindings checked and adjusted by a professional. Always wear goggles and a helmet to prevent head injuries.
5. Check Weather Conditions
Mountain weather can change dramatically in a matter of moments. Consult weather service reports before heading out and stay alert to any changes, no matter how minor.
6. Understand Ski Lift Usage
Safety precautions aren’t reserved just for the slopes. Know the correct methods to enter and exit a chair lift and follow proper etiquette in the lift line.
7. Stay on Marked Trails
Particular trails are marked off-limits for good reason. Stay away, no matter how good a skier you think you are.
8. Learn How to Fall
Regardless of skill level, occasional falls are inevitable. Attempting to prevent a fall can be a bigger injury risk than simply taking steps to fall properly.
9. Observe the Responsibility Code
The National Ski Areas Association developed a Responsibility Code advising skiers of common sense behavior and awareness regarding the slopes and other skiers. This Code is visibly posted in various areas around ski resorts for convenient reference.
10. Listen to Your Body
Both physical and mental fatigue are frequent but preventable causes of ski injuries. Take breaks as often as necessary, hydrate and refuel regularly, and think twice about taking that “one last run.”
If you do sustain a winter sports injury, seek medical attention. The ER on Soncy is fully staffed and equipped 24/7 to handle any emergency need should they arise when you’re in Amarillo.