Skier on the mountain

Winter sports are a great way to enjoy the outdoors while staying active and healthy during the colder months. Because most winter sports typically involve snow and ice, conditions can be more dangerous for participants. Whether you are an athlete or the parent of one, these safety tips will help keep you and your family safe this winter season.

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Essential Tips for Winter Sport Safety

1. Dress appropriately

When it comes to winter sports, wearing the appropriate gear is essential. Due to the significantly low temperatures outside, be sure to dress in layers. Wearing multiple layers will help prevent frostbite and hypothermia.

In addition to dressing warm, wear the appropriate protective gear while participating in activities. Most winter sports require a helmet, gloves, boots, and goggles. Specific padding may be needed for others and should be applied before beginning the activity.

RELATED: Keeping Your Kids Active in the Winter

2. Training

It is important that the body is in good shape prior to beginning any physical activity, especially winter sports. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are cold are more prone to injury, which is why warming up and stretching are so important. In the months leading up to winter sports, it’s a good idea to exercise regularly to prepare the body ahead of time and always consult with a physician before beginning a new activity.

3. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids will not only keep the body hydrated, it will also help prevent hypothermia. Keep in mind, it is best to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Not sure what to drink? Water is always a good way to go.

4. Know when to sit it out

Be on the lookout for severe weather conditions such as storms or low temperatures. Participating in outdoor activities in these conditions can be extremely dangerous and may cause more harm than good.

Being fully rested is important when it comes to winter sports. Participants are more likely to experience an injury when experiencing pain or fatigue.

5. Don’t forget the sunscreen

Though it’s not as warm during this time of year, the sun can still be a danger to athletes of winter sports. Be sure to protect exposed skin with sunscreen during any winter sport or outdoor activity.

About Sports Medicine

An athletic lifestyle carries the potential for injury. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, UPMC Sports Medicine can help. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury, our multidisciplinary team of experts can help you get back into the game. If you are seeking to improve your athletic performance, we can work with you to meet your goals. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our goal is to help you keep doing what you love. Visit our website to find a specialist near you.