Winter sports offer a fun way to get exercise during the cold months. However, if you’re not careful and properly prepared for winter sports, you may find yourself with an injury that keeps you inside or on the bench. We’re sharing some tips to properly prepare yourself for winter sports in the months leading up to them. 

Take these steps to prepare your body for winter sports and enjoy the season, pain-free:

  • Start working out early, before the season. Ideally, it is recommended that you’re active throughout the year. Staying active allows your muscles to be strong and decrease your risk of injury from sports.
  • Combine your training. Make sure to incorporate cardio training with weight lifting training. By incorporating these different kinds of exercises, you’re ensuring that your cardiovascular system is strong as well as your muscles.
  • Improve your stamina. By exercising consistently, you’ll be able to build your stamina. You’re more likely to experience injuries when your stamina isn’t built up and you’re exhausted. Make sure to listen to your body and build your stamina to decrease your risk of injuries.
  • Consult your doctor if you are experiencing any pain other than expected soreness from training. 

If your body isn’t fully prepared for winter sports, the following injuries could occur: 

Sprains & Strains: A sprain is a stretch/tear in a ligament and a strain is an injury to either a muscle or tendon. If it is a mild sprain or strain, it’s recommended that you rest, apply ice, compression, and elevate the sprain/strain to minimize damage and speed up the recovery process. 

Dislocations: These are often caused by falling on outstretched arms. A dislocation can be extremely painful. If you experience this, you’ll want to seek medical attention. Due to the nature of dislocations, you’re more likely to experience further dislocations once one happens because of the weakened tendons, ligaments, and muscles caused by the initial dislocation. Your provider can give you exercises to practice that will strengthen the joint that has experienced a dislocation to decrease your risk of another one.

Fractures: A fracture is a complete or partial break in a bone. The most common fractures for winter sports are the wrist, arm, ankle, and leg. It’s important to seek medical attention to ensure you’re getting the treatment necessary for the severity of the fracture you’ve experienced. In some cases, surgery is recommended for the fracture to heal correctly.

Head Injuries: Because head injuries can be so serious, it is recommended that those who are participating in outdoor winter sports wear protective helmets. These can minimize the damage caused by falls and potentially save lives. If you do experience a head injury, it’s important to get medical attention immediately.

Stay safe this winter. If you’ve experienced injuries from winter sports, Dr. Larson has received advanced training in Sports Medicine and can help you recover from your injury. To schedule your appointment with him, give us a call at 435-774-8512.