The winter is fully upon us, which means that more and more people will be flocking to the slopes for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. While these activities can be a fun and an exciting way to spend time in the cold winter months, they can also leave people at risk for a number of different shoulder and elbow injuries, ranging from dislocated shoulders to clavicle fractures and more. While there is no surefire way to prevent falling while skiing or snowboarding, there are a number of steps people can take to help avoid serious injuries on the slopes. Keep reading to learn about some of the ways you can stay safe this winter.
Tips for Avoiding Skiing Injuries
- Don’t ski when you’re tired. If you’ve been out on the slopes all day, chances are you’ll be tired when it comes time to finish up. While it can be tempting to squeeze in one more run at the end of the day, falls are much more likely to occur when your muscles are fatigued, so it’s important to listen to your body and stop at the appropriate time.
- Warm up first. Much like with any other physical activity, warming up beforehand is a crucial step in avoiding injury. Cold muscles are much more prone to injury than warm ones, so a simple 10-15 minutes of stretching and aerobic activity prior to skiing can go a long way in keeping you safe.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Many injuries occur when skiers are simply not aware of changing snow and ice conditions throughout the day. These changes can alter the terrain, and unfamiliarity with this changing terrain can lead to serious and potentially dangerous falls.
- Know your limits and skill level. If you’re going skiing for the first time or are still a beginner, taking a lesson can go a long way in helping you become prepared and ready to safely hit the slopes. Skiing down slopes that are beyond your ability can be very dangerous, so it’s important to know your limits and only move to bigger slopes when you know you’re equipped to handle them.
- Check your equipment. One of the most important steps you can take to avoid skiing injuries is to make sure the appropriate equipment is being used – and being used correctly. Preventative equipment like helmets, wrist guards, and pads can be the difference between a minor injury and something more serious, like a dislocation or fracture.