Article at a Glance
• Avoid injuries by keeping in shape throughout the year.
• Don’t push yourself too hard—most injuries happen when people are tired.
• Take head injuries seriously—they can be deadly.
• Wear protective gear, especially if you are a beginner.
Which is more likely to get you injured—skiing or snowboarding? According to a recent study you are as likely to get injured skiing as snowboarding, but the type of injury differs. Snowboarders are more likely to injure the upper body and skiers are more likely to injure the lower body. The severity also differs. Snowboarders get more broken wrists, but skiers are more likely to get a surgical-related injury like a torn ligament.
Regardless of your sport—skiing or snowboarding—there are some important things you can do to avoid an injury this year and increase your time on the slopes.
• Make sure your body is ready by staying in shape during the year. Since skiing and snowboarding are lower extremity sports, it is a good idea to run, walk, bike, or do squats and lunges to keep your thighs in shape. Going from an inactive lifestyle to a weekend of skiing is a good way to get hurt.
• Stretch out before you ski or snowboard and also the day after. This will help you avoid soreness and future injuries.
• Wear protective gear like a helmet or wrist guards. But just because you are wearing a helmet, it doesn’t make you invincible—you still need to be careful.
• If you are a beginner, take a class, take it easy, and make sure you wear protective gear. Over 20 percent of snowboard injuries happen on the first day and 70 percent occur during the first week.
• Although they are injured less often, experienced skiers or snowboarders are more likely to sustain more severe injuries to the elbows, shoulders, and spine.
• Don’t push yourself too hard. If you feel like you are getting tired, take a break. Injuries are more likely to occur when your body is tired.
• Don’t take head injuries lightly. If you have any concern at all or if symptoms last longer than 24 hours, get it checked out. Sometimes what appears to be a mild concussion could become deadly.
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