Nearly 50% of snow sports-related injuries are foot and ankle sprains. Prevent injuries from winter activities before they start. Follow these top five tips when you are out on the slopes to avoid injury:
- Choose your gear wisely. The most critical piece of gear when skiing or snowboarding is a properly fitting boot, which helps you avoid blisters, sprains, shin splints and cold feet. Pair those with high quality ski socks (not too thick) for maximum protection. To ward off chilblains and frostbite, make sure to wear warm clothing and cover up your fingers, toes, ears and nose.
- Stretch before and after your activity. Many people overlook stretching before and after exercising, but it's imperative for winter activities due to the cold air. Make sure you focus on your calves and toe flexors, as those will help protect your ankles and prevent injuries from developing.
- Know your ability. If you haven't skiied before or haven't been physically active in a while, start slow. Maybe take a few lessons before going out alone. Even if you are a regular skiier, know your limits.
- Keep hydrated. Ironically, dehydration is more common in the winter months than in the summer. Being well-hydrated helps ward off injuries while exercising.
- Always stay on marked trails. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to the slopes, make sure to follow the marked trails only. They are marked off for a reason and undoubtedly, the terrain beyond the ropes is very dangerous.