Health Advocate Blog

Winter Sports Safety Tips

During winter, it may be tempting to stay inside where it’s warm. But consider taking a break from your coziest blanket and cup of hot cocoa, and instead grabbing skis or a snowboard!

With the 2014 Olympics gearing up and winter in full swing, it’s a great time to talk about winter sports to try, as well as some safety tips to keep in mind. Winter sports like ice skating, hockey, skiing, and snowboarding are all great ways to get outdoors, enjoy the weather, and burn calories. But these sports come with a high risk of injury. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2010 more than 440,000 people were treated for winter sports-related injuries. There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of injury during your favorite winter activities. Check out these tips:

  • Warm up thoroughly by stretching before playing or participating. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear, like waterproof boots, goggles, pads, helmets and gloves—and make sure these items work properly before use!
  • Wear several layers of light, loose, and water-resistant clothing. Layering allows you to accommodate to your body’s constantly changing temperature. And don’t forget to wear socks!
  •   Take lessons before going out and trying a sport! Having a professional teach you how to stop or fall correctly, for example, can decrease your risk of injury drastically.
  • Pay attention to weather conditions,incoming storms or severe drops in temperature. Avoid going out to play winter sports in inclement weather.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your activities.
  • Never participate in a winter sport alone. If you become injured to the point where you can’t walk or become unconscious, you could expose yourself to hypothermia.

This winter, don’t be the only one inside while everyone else is outside having fun! But remember, if you go out and participate in any winter sports, be sure to keep your safety top of mind by preparing appropriately.

Remember, if you are a Health Advocate member, you can always call your Personal Health Advocate for assistance. If you injure yourself, your Personal Health Advocate can help you find an in-network physician or medical center, review your medical bill for errors, and more!

Be a sport! Tweet us your favorite winter activity or Winter Olympic event @HealthAdvocate using #WinterSports