6 simple ways to stay injury-free this ski season

ski-ampr-t178049567With several snowstorms already under our belt this year, you might have already hit the slopes. But it’s not too late to do a little prep work to get your body in shape.

In 2010, there were more than 144,000 snow skiing-related injuries treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The most common serious injury is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which connects the femur and tibia bones and helps stabilize the knee. That’s because falling with skis on causes your knee to twist and bend. Other common injuries involve the shoulder, head and lower leg.

Here are some strategies for staying safe on the slopes:

Boost your aerobic capacity. Try cycling, running, the elliptical machine or any other aerobic workout to get your heart ready for the physical strain of high altitudes.

Strengthen your legs. One of the most popular exercises for skiers is the wall sit, since it helps get your legs ready for skiing. Find a wall, and pretend that you’re taking a seat. Hold that position. Also, consider moving up and down or from side to side to simulate skiing. Do this exercise for the same amount of time you estimate you’ll be on the slopes.

Improve your balance. You don’t know what kind of terrain you’ll encounter on the slopes, so it pays to be prepared for anything. Try jumping rope and doing single leg hops to steady yourself.

Get flexible. Don’t forget to stretch! You want your muscles and joints to be ready for various positions. Focus on stretching your hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, low back and shoulders. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat twice. Do these stretches several times a day—while watching TV, in your office, etc.

Warm up before you hit the slopes. Studies show that cold muscles are prone to injury, so do some jumping jacks or run or walk in place for three to five minutes before your first run down the mountain.

Drink plenty of water. Even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and affect your performance on the slopes.

For more information on the best ways to avoid injury this ski season, contact us here.

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