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Posted on 02-02-2017
Ski season is in full swing, and so is ski injury season! Here are a few tips to keep you healthy while you hit the slopes this winter, in case you haven’t been doing it all already.
1) Do some prep work
Know what you’re getting yourself into, both equipment and conditions-wise. Make sure your gear is tuned up, especially if it’s your first day of the season. Check the weather and dress appropriately. Check the conditions on the mountain and find out if you’re skiing on fresh powder or New England powder, also known as sheets of ice. You don’t want to get up to the top of the mountain on your first run of the day and be surprised that there’s no way down without digging your edges into ice the whole way. And speaking of your first run of the day….
2) Warm up!
You will probably get tired of reading this from me on this blog, but always, always, always warm up. You can go review my last blog about warm ups, but the goal here is to get your muscles and joints warm and pliable like Tom Brady, and to do some movement in a controlled environment that mimics what you’re about to do physically. If you roll out of bed, hop on the chairlift and start hopping over moguls, you’re begging to get injured. Similarly, if you take an hour for lunch, it’s a good idea to loosen back up again before your next run.
3) Know your limits: skill and fitness-wise
Skiing is the ultimate weekend warrior sport for most of us and, if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably like me and not planning on racing in the Olympics. If your regular level of exercise involves 12 ounce curls and slamming on your brakes in traffic, you might not quite be ready for a 8-4 day. It’s easy to overdo it when you’re having fun, but keep in mind that skiing and snowboarding are both fairly demanding physical activities that you probably don’t really do that often.
4) Cool down, stretch
One of the easiest ways to prevent excessive soreness and tightening up the day after skiing is a good stretch after you’re done for the day. Get a good stretch in your hamstrings, quads, calves, and glutes before you take your gear off and get in the car. It’ll only take 5 minutes and, be honest, once your take your boots off you’re only thinking about hot chocolate and taking a nap. Be nice to your body and it will be nice to you.
Have a great time this winter sliding down the mountain with your board(s) of choice, and stay healthy doing it! Go Pats!
-Dr. Drew and NCC
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