Ski season is just around the corner here in Colorado. Before you know it, the powder will be perfect and you’ll have to deal with the tough choice of which ski basin you want to buy a lift ticket for. Though it’s thrilling and a great source of exercise, skiing is not without its risks, but the more prepared you are, the less likely you’ll be to get injured on the slopes. Here are a few simple tips from your Denver wellness center
that will help you prevent injuries all season long.
Even though you’re out in freezing conditions and bundled up against the windchill, you will still sweat. What’s worse is that you may not even notice that you’re sweating in the first place. When in doubt, drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially between runs. This will help you stay out on the slopes longer and reduces your risk of exhaustion and dizziness.
Wear a Helmet
Helmets may not be as comfortable as those knit and fleece hats, but they’re just as warm and they will keep you safer in any fall you take. Remember, even a minor concussion can do serious damage and force you into months of recovery.
Look for helmets that are lightweight to prevent neck strain and provide don’t interfere with your field of vision. Don’t worry about the color—focus on the fit and comfort of your helmet and choose one that you’ll be comfortable in for hours at a time.
Get Your Gear Inspected
Skill accounts for a lot of your safety on the slopes, but no amount of skill can compensate for damaged gear. Before you hit the slopes for the first time this winter, get your gear inspected. Let a ski technician tune up your skis, inspect your bindings, and make sure your boots fit properly.
If anything needs to get replaced, take care of it before your first run. That way, you’ll know you’re starting the season as safely as possible. If you ski regularly, you may also need to inspect your equipment every couple of months. Damage can sneak up on you and the sooner you catch it, the safer you’ll be.
Change Up Your Workout Routine
Skiing is a whole-body workout. That means you’ll target most of your muscle groups throughout your time on the slopes. If you’re not careful, you could end up overdoing it and straining those little-used muscles. If the strain is severe enough, you could end your ski season early.
When you hit the gym, change up your workout routine so you target those little-used muscle groups. The stronger they are and the more used to physical activity they get, the less likely you are to injure them on the slopes.
Stretch Before and After
Have you ever struggled with stiffness after getting off the slopes? It’s hard to move, everything hurts, and all you want to do is soak in a hot tub for hours on end. Those stiff muscles can’t move with their full range of motion and that increases your chances of getting hurt doing even the most mundane tasks.
The best thing you can do is stretch before you get on the ski lift for the first time that day and again when you get home. This will help you stay limber and keep your range of motion as close to normal as possible.
Skip the Ski Pole Straps
Ski poles can be just as important as the skis themselves. They help you maintain balance, give you added power on the flats, and help you carve those sharp turns with ease. If you’re like most skiers, you hold onto them tightly. You probably even use the pole straps to keep them with you if you fall.
But did you know that those straps can lead to some serious injuries? If you fall and the strap is tight around your hand or wrist, it will put strain on those muscles. In some falls, you may even end up breaking fingers or wrenching your shoulder when the pole gets stuck underneath you.
Stop using the straps and don’t hesitate to drop your poles if you fall. It’s far better to have to pop off your skis and hike up the hill to grab a missing pole than it is to get injured.
Brush Up on Your Technique
When you have the right technique, your movements on the slopes naturally reduce your risk of muscle strain and injury. Over time, it’s normal to get into bad habits and adopt poor form. That’s why even professional skiers take lessons every so often.
Do the same for yourself. Brush up on your skills at the beginning of the season and set yourself up for success throughout the winter.
Don’t Fight Your Falls
Falls will happen. They happen even to the most experienced skiers. Unfortunately, we’re taught that falling is somehow inherently bad. While it may hurt your pride, you’re far less likely to hurt your body if you stop fighting those falls. Let your body go with the movement and do what you can to slow yourself down.
When you stiffen up and fight against the fall, your muscles get tense. This puts more strain on them when your body hits the snow-packed slope. Ultimately, that intense strain means you’re more likely to injure yourself. If you go with the flow and fall, your muscles stay looser and you’ll have a better chance of getting back up with little more than a bruised ego.
If You’re Injured, Get Help with Your Recovery
Recovering from a ski-related injury takes time and can sideline you for the rest of the season if you’re not careful. Don’t leave things to chance if you’re injured on the slopes. Contact us to schedule a consultation and get the physical therapy you need to recover as quickly as possible. Our dedicated team will do everything they can to get you back to normal and help you prevent injuries in the future.