Winter sports – risks and prevention

Every year, millions of people gather on the slopes and on ice rinks to enjoy a few hours of skating, skiing and other winter sports. Because they come with many crashes, it is good to know what to do to prevent them.


Sprains, dislocations and fractures are among the most common injuries caused by winter sports. Up to half of all sports injuries can be prevented with proper planning and preparation. So, make sure you follow these priceless tips for preventing sports injuries.


Take regular breaks

Take frequent breaks to hydrate, replenish and recover. This will give the overworked muscles a break and allow them to continue their training. Also, breaks are good if you are with children. Even if you do not seem tired, muscle exhaustion will endanger them and increase the risk of injury.


Pay attention to the weather

The winter weather can be quite unpredictable. At one point it may be hot, sunny, and at the next moment dangerous and unfavorable conditions may occur. If you are planning a day of winter sports outdoors, check the forecast beforehand. Poor weather conditions increase the likelihood of sports injuries.


Go with a partner

When you practice winter sports, the most dangerous thing you can do is to go alone. Even solitary sports, such as skiing and skating, are at risk of injury that could endanger your life. And if you suffer an accident, you cannot help yourself. Minimize the risk and take someone with you. Stay close enough to each other so you can react quickly if there is an accident. Check each other for signs of fatigue or confusion.


Do warm-up exercises

Your muscles and heart should be in good shape before any kind of physical activity. The muscles become stiffer when the temperature drops, and the blood vessels contract. As a result, you have a higher risk of exhaustion or muscle cramping, which increases your risk of serious injury. This is why heating should play an important role in your ski or snowboard accident prevention plan.


Focus on the muscles you will use the most. For example, do more arm stretching exercises when you plan to ski or play hockey and more leg stretches if you go skating or snowboarding.


Use protective equipment

The most common winter sports injuries can be minimized – or prevented altogether – by wearing protective gear. And the most important piece is the helmet. When choosing a helmet, check that it has a strong outer layer and shock absorbing layer. If you have an old helmet, check for signs of wear (even a few small cracks can do significant damage). Wear a helmet specially designed for the activity in which you are involved. A bicycle helmet will not be suitable when skiing. Make sure the helmet fits you well, because the wrong helmet will be inefficient.


Wear appropriate clothing

In winter, we wear thick clothes to keep us warm. When doing winter sports, clothing does more than just keep you warm. On the one hand, it should protect you from burns caused by wind, frost and sun, and on the other hand, it must be flexible enough to allow you to move. When choosing the outfit for winter sports, make sure that the main items of clothing (jackets, gloves, boots) are waterproof, have insulated lining and are made of breathable fabrics.

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