Friday, February 8, 2013

Enjoying Winter Activity Without Risking Injury

There’s nothing quite like fresh snowfall in the winter time. And few things are more tempting than a hill with fresh snow on it – whether it’s a small sledding hill, or that blue slope at your nearest skiing center. Whatever the course, the adrenaline rush as you pick up speed downhill will probably distract you from the fact that you’re not invincible. While some falls lead only to a little bit of temporary embarrassment as a kid, it is important to me more conscientious about preventing falls and injuries.

There may not be a more severe pain than a back injury. Sometimes back pain can be acute and other times it can be almost completely debilitating. In order to reduce the chances of such an injury on a weekend trip to the slopes whether you’re skiing, sledding or snowboarding – always be sure to stretch and warm up.

First… as any athletic trainer will tell you, it is very important to limber up and get the blood flowing before you run, twist or perform any other type of athletic move. It’s a good idea to focus on the back and legs the most. A simple exercise that will loosen up your back is to extend your arms forward and then twist to your right and then twist to your left. Repeat this motion about ten times and be sure to keep your spine straight.

Second, bundle up. Obviously, it’s great for keeping warm. However, if you also happen to take a spill on the slopes, any additional layer is padding to protect your back.

Third, use your head when you’re on the slopes. While these outdoor activities are fun, they can also be dangerous, so it never hurts to wear a helmet. Anything can happen when you’re headed down a hill. Protecting your head can prevent serious injury.

If you take the proper precautions like warming up and stretching and wearing the right kind of protective clothing, you will reduce your chances of hurting your head, neck or back. These are the central components of your nervous system and your body overall. Take care of them, and you’ll be able to enjoy many winter outings for years to come.

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