‘Tis the season for fresh powder and days of winter fun spent in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. You have been waiting all year long to strap on your skis and the time has come! These few precautions can help you make the most of your ski season, preventing injury and helping you to stay strong and healthy throughout the year.
Condition! Make sure your body is physically up to the task before you hit the mountain. Working on your strength and flexibility will ensure you have what it takes to spend a day on your skis. If you have been taking time off, don’t just jump back on those skis and expect to be at your peak. You can work your way back to proper conditioning over the season, avoiding injury as you ease back into exercise. And don’t forget to warm up!. A long car drive can leave you stiff and cold, and more available to injury if you head right up without a stretch or proper warm-up.
Know Your Limits. Having a realistic expectation not only of your physical condition but also a healthy respect for the mountain terrain can help you avoid injuries on your skis. Don’t let your ego (or your friends) talk you into trying runs that are above your skill level. As you continue to progress through the season you can adventure out onto harder terrain but make sure you have successful runs under your belt this season before bombing down that elusive black diamond!
Know the Mountain. Having a healthy respect for the mountain means knowing which areas are off-limits, are subject to warnings, what areas may be more crowded, and where the runs are that you are qualified for. Review your trail map before you set out, you don’t want to get in trouble for ducking ropes or going out of bounds, or worse be injured outside the run limits. You can better avoid injury to yourself and others by staying on runs where you aren’t in over your head.
Call it Quits. We all have the tendency to think “just one more run.” Even when we know our bodies are tired and we have reached our physical limits. The last run can mean mistakes you wouldn’t ordinarily make, putting you at higher risk for injury to yourself and others. When you think you are about to take your last run, that’s when you know you are done for the day. Better to live and ski another day healthy and strong!
Be Prepared. You don’t ever want to be in a situation where you are unprepared on a mountain. Make sure you have enough layers, water, and a snack with you before you set out. At the beginning of each season, it is a good idea to have your equipment serviced and checked as well as maintained throughout the season. Make sure your bindings are set to your skill level and serviced as needed. Your equipment can help make or break a run and maintaining your equipment can help give you peace of mind as well as save you money in the long run when you end your season injury-free.
We wish you a safe and happy ski season, however, If you do happen to be injured this season, Dr. Jones has the knowledge and experience to help you get back on track. Contact our office with any questions today!