Man in blue coat skiing

Winter Sports – How to avoid injury

It’s that time of year where you dust off your skis, snowboard, boots and suits and head off to where the weather is (hopefully) snowy.

But, unless you’ve been exercising consistently over the past year, you may be at risk of injury during your trip.

So how can you prepare, between now and then, to stay injury free?

Visit an Osteopath

snowboarder flying over top of photographerOsteopaths look at your whole body; the way it moves, the way everything works together and the consequences of these movement patterns. This way they can check movement deficiencies, muscular imbalances and postural anomalies that could lead to injury. They then treat these imbalances and give postural and exercise advice to prevent further injury.

For example one of the commonest things they treat is ‘pelvic imbalance’ due to leg length difference. This obviously will have an impact on your skiing/snow boarding ability and increase the risk of injury on the slopes. An Osteopath can assess, treat and give you the best advice on posture and exercise to make your skiing experience the safest it can possibly be.

Visit a Sports Therapist

The other major cause of injury generally happens because skiing and snowboarding uses muscles that most people don’t use very much in everyday life. Add in high altitude, and your muscles are having to work even harder.

A Sports Therapist will help get your muscles in tip top condition before you go. They will loosen muscles in your legs and shoulders so you have as much movement as possible and provide an exercise programme to help you strengthen important muscles before you go.

Build up your Fitness

yoga plank poseIf you know that you haven’t been keeping up to date with your fitness, it’s worth ramping it up at least a month before your trip. Here are some basic exercises that could help:

  • Exercises such as the plank, seated wall squats and core strength exercises will help strengthen your leg and buttock muscles.
  • Balance exercises, such as using a wobble board, or yoga stances like ‘the tree’, will increase your core stability
  • Cycling, swimming and jogging will help increase your general cardiovascular fitness.

On your holiday

When the ‘Apres Ski’ is calling, it can be easy to forget the basics. But keeping them up could be the difference between a fantastic holiday and one you’d rather forget.

  • Warm up your muscles before you start your day.
  • If you know that you have a weak joint, make sure you have appropriate supports such as knee straps.
  • Take regular breaks during the day
  • Stretch properly after, to warm down, and take a warm bath if possible.
  • And, if you do have a fall, make sure you treat the injury properly, seeking medical advice where necessary.

After your trip

Emergency sign at hospitalIf you do have a fall during your holiday, please make sure you visit one of the team afterwards. We will be able to help you recover more quickly and give you advice on what exercises you can do at home to reduce the impact of your injuries long term.


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