This winter has already led to a record number of cases being seen by Urgent Care Clinic and Hospital Emergency Rooms related to injuries suffered according to the Minnesota CDC. Considering that this is just the beginning of our season of winter sport and recreation activities, our team here at Ortho Rehab Specialists wanted to provide 10 simple tips our Physical Therapists recommend to all of their patients on how to avoid becoming one of these statistics:
- Be involved in a flexibility and exercise program year round that is specific to your winter sport
- Prior to activity, spend 20 to 30 minutes stretching all involved musculature. Change clothing thereafter to ensure that the clothing you wear outside is not damp from sweat.
- Keep up to date with the weather conditions and local forecast. Utilizing the appropriate layered clothing from this information will help prevent being either too hot or too cold.
- Make sure you have the appropriate protective headgear (which will also keep you warmer) and eye wear for both protection of the eyes from impact trauma and irritation from the sun’s rays.
- Make sure the equipment fits you. For instance, borrowed ski wear with inappropriate binding settings can greatly enhance potential for injury.
- If downhill skiing, take one or two easier runs to start your day to gain an appreciation of how your body feels relative to conditions. Make sure that you do not position yourself in a place that is out of sight of other skiers thus minimizing the chance of being struck by a fellow skier.
- Participate with a friend or if you are alone, take your phone.
- Know your terrain and respect your skill limits. Take additional lessons before advancing to more complicated terrain.
- Take frequent breaks, keep hydrated and eat smaller portions of food more frequently.
- Once you appreciate that you cannot fully recover after a short rest, it is time to stop for the day. There is a significant increase the rate of injury at the end of the day due to the combination of fatigue and poor surface conditions.
Incorporating these tips into your routines and preparations can help you maximize your enjoyment of your time outdoors and hopefully avoid any time off of the snow and ice. For more tips and training please check out www.orthorehabpt.com.