The excitement and exhilaration of downhill skiing continues to bring people back year after year when the snow starts falling. As you get ready to enjoy the powder this year, be aware of injuries and how you can help avoid them.
Skiing and snowboarding are great exercises because they use all your muscles, but your core and lower extremities will work the hardest. Your core stabilizes your body and is your center of gravity helping maintain balance. The leg muscles help control the lower body while stabilizing and supporting the knees. Because winter sports are limited to a specific part of the year, the sudden physical demand of skiing can take a toll on muscles and ligaments.
To help avoid injuries, prepare your body in advance. Participating in cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes 2-3 times a week will help increase your endurance for long days on the slopes. Some strengthening exercises to help build up your core and legs include:
- Side Lunges
- Leg Lifts
- Back Extensions
Be aware that accidents typically occur when the body is fatigued. Take breaks throughout the day and be willing to end the day before you are physically exhausted. Skiing burns lots of calories, so take plenty of healthy snacks and water to keep your body fueled for the fun.
Skiing and snowboarding require endurance, balance, and core strength. Preparing your body in advance with cardiovascular exercise and strength training can help reduce injuries and allow you to enjoy the slopes all season long.
Ronak Patel, MD is a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine injuries for teens and adults in Chicagoland and NW Indiana. Dr. Ronak Patel has performed thousands of successful ACL reconstructions allowing a quicker rehabilitation, earlier weight-bearing and often doesn’t require bracing after ACL reconstruction. Dr. Patel utilizes an evidence-based, efficient rehabilitation program to allow athletes of all levels (high school, collegiate, and professional) get back to competing at the highest level.