The first snow has fallen in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, so hopefully the ski and snowboarding season is just around the corner. Let’s hope it’s a good one! Assuming you live in the Northwest, that leaves you with 2 choices. You can sit at home and complain about the weather, or you can decide to take advantage of all our great mountains and resorts.
If you choose the former, rest easy knowing that you can marathon all 173 episodes of The Golden Girls without ever leaving your home. If you choose the latter, I would suggest getting ready now instead of waiting for the last minute. Read on for some helpful tips to prepare for a long season of skiing or snowboarding without a sports injury.
1. Sports Injury Prevention: You Need To Stretch
Sports injury prevention starts with stretching. Stretching helps to improve flexibility and ranges of motion, and healthy muscles are better able to respond to the demands of skiing and snowboarding without injury. It’s also embarrassing when you bend over to adjust your boots or bindings, and can’t reach them. Don’t be that person!
2. Sports Injury Prevention: You Need To Strengthen As Well
This is an important one to take care of before the season actually starts. Nothing says ‘short day’ like seeing smoke coming off your burning quads as you painfully make your way down the hill… on your second run? Really??
Want to get serious about sports injury prevention and enjoy the slopes this year? See your local trainer or hit the gym and do some squats. Better to have a few extra runs than a bunch of screaming muscles. And as always, check with your chiropractor or healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.
3. Dust off your equipment
Time to get your equipment tuned up – examine your bindings, refinish your surfaces and have your edges cleaned up and sharpened. If you need new gear, take advantage of Black Friday sales or hit your local ski swap for some good deals. After doing all that stretching and strengthening, don’t let your equipment be the weak link. You’ll perform better and have more fun if you look after your gear.
4. Check your clothing for moth holes
Make sure you have the proper clothing for the conditions you intend to ski and snowboard in. When you are cold and damp your muscles tend to stiffen up, making them more susceptible to a specific type of sports injury – a pulled muscle. Check out cold weather materials that wick away moisture (road trip to REI anyone?). It’s also a good idea to keep some backup clothing in your vehicle – socks, boots, jacket and gloves – in case you get wet while you’re out playing.
5. Get your car in for a tune up
None of this makes any difference if you don’t get to the mountain. Make sure your tires have a good winter tread for driving up snowy passes. Make it a priority to have a good roadside emergency kit with flares, blankets, water and a shovel, and have your battery tested. You want to make sure your car starts at the end of the day so you can get back home. If you’re not sure what the weather has in store for you, check out this lady: @ParellaLewis. She knows everything about the weather!
And if you’re really serious about sports injury prevention, get yourself in for a tune-up with your friendly local chiropractor. Ski and snowboard injuries typically occur at the end of the day when your joints are stiff and your muscles are fatigued. When they just can’t handle what you’re demanding of them. By making sure you are properly prepared for the season, you can enjoy a ton of runs while avoiding a ride on the red toboggan!