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Tips to Prevent Winter Sport Injuries

February 26, 2014 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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Congratulations and thank you to all Canadian athletes for competing hard, playing fair, and once again representing Canada with pride! I hope these Olympic athletes have inspired you to go out and try something new. It doesn't matter what level of athlete you are or what sport you participate in, playing safe is just plain smart. Playing safe and thinking ahead can reduce your chances of injury and will help you to be active and play well into your later years.These three basic tips should help reduce injuries:

  1. Get lessons: Learning the proper technique will make a new sport more pleasant and you'll progress faster. Don't be afraid to start slowly; perhaps one or two sessions per week. Skiing is a good example where lessons with a certified instructor make a difference.
  2. Get the necessary equipment: You should never skip out on the necessary safety equipment. Although a helmet may seem expensive initially, think of the peace of mind you will have knowing your head is protected. Although it may be appealing to buy a piece of equipment on the large size for a child to grow into, this isn't recommended. Equipment must fit appropriately for injury prevention.
  3. Think ahead: Many injuries can be prevented by thinking before acting. If you have children, think first about what they might do in a certain situation. For example, I remember sliding at the local hill as a child. At times, the hill would ice-up. Thinking ahead, our dad would encourage us to slide from the middle of the hill, as opposed to the top, to avoid gaining too much speed.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Get out, be safe and have fun!


Photo Credit: iStock

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