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Seven Tips to Stay Safe on and Off the Slopes

Infographic Seven Tips for Safe Skiing

Don’t injure yourself early in the season and miss out on winter fun. Instead, follow some of these simple tips to stay safe:

  1. Stretch it out

    Before you hit the mountain, stretch each muscle group with three sets of 30-second holds. Concentrate on hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. Stand in a doorway and clasp each side of the door frame, then slowly step through the door until you feel the stretch in your chest and arms.

  2. Pace yourself

    To ensure you have a fun, safe day on the slopes, know your skill level. People get injured when they go outside their comfort zone. Ski-related injures to the wrist, elbow, shoulder, and head are seen most often. You can prevent these injuries by wearing a helmet and wrist guards.

  3. Know when to rest 

    Most injuries peak at 1pm or 2pm when people are tired and their technique falters. Take a few post-lunch turns on easier trails before returning to challenging runs. 

  4. Stay hydrated

    Although it’s cold outside, make sure you drink enough water. You dehydrate faster at higher altitudes, which can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and headaches. 

Post-care: What to do when you get home

What you do after your day on the slopes is just as important. Follow these steps when you get home:

  1. Relieve your muscles

    Achiness is expected, especially if you haven’t been active in the off-season—it’s a sign that muscles are repairing themselves and getting stronger. Stretching, massage, soaking in a hot tub, and icing tender areas alleviates soreness. 

    “You can still go out the next day,” says  Christopher A. Gee, MD, an emergency and sports medicine physician at University of Utah Health. “Just take it easy since your technique will probably be worse, which increases your chance of being injured.”

  2. Recheck your gear

    Hang up your clothes to dry and inspect your equipment for cracks or other problems that could trip you up the next time out.

  3. Get your ZZZs

    Most important: Sleep well. Altitude, dehydration, and alcohol can impede slumber, so limit the partying if you want to ski your best tomorrow.