4 ways to prevent ski injuries, according to a ski instructor

GRowing up, I’ve always heard stories about my mother, terrible skiers – my uncle too. See, they were ski instructors in college, teaching how to maneuver on the slopes at one of the best ski resorts. And when they weren’t teaching, they were covering black diamonds like it was no big deal. But here’s the thing: somehow, someway, despite being descended from skiing royalty, I never got to go skiing growing up. Still, I (very foolishly) thought it must run in my blood, so when my best friend said she wanted to go skiing on our Colorado vacation in October 2019, I was all too eager to sign up without thinking too much about the skis. hurt

I got my boots (hated every second of wearing them to the point I almost panicked at the thought of ripping my shin in half (they were). that tight, but the friend at the ski shop said I just needed to get used to them) and my lift ticket, and brought up the offer for a professional lesson because my friends assured me they could teach me. (A little foreshadowing for you: They couldn’t.)

Once we started climbing the mountain, I tried to relax and texted my mom to ease my nerves. Surely he, a former kick-ass skier, would be right. But when I told him I was in a gondola, he just kept trying to correct me, pointing out that it was actually a Ski liftfor one the gondola Goes to the top of the mountain. But you see, on the opening day of the mountain (it was Halloween), there wasn’t enough snow at the bottom of the mountain, so I had to go up to the tippy-top – some 12,000 feet In the air – to try the rabbit shield. Let’s just say, it didn’t go well. From repeatedly falling and not being able to get up to falling straight back down the slope on the conveyor belt, holding the entire line, and feeling like I was going to break my leg in the process, I decided it was time to call it a day.

All of that to say, if you don’t want to end up like me on your first (or first-time) ski trip, keep reading to learn four ways to avoid ski injuries on the slopes this winter, according to ski expert Kelly Jensen, part of the Christie Sports Brand of Stores in Crested Butte. The Alpiner Manager.

4 tips to prevent ski injuries this winter

1. Stay hydrated.

This is important both before and during skiing. “Hydration is an important factor in life in general, but even more so during heavy activity or exercise,” says Jensen. “Dehydration can lead to poorly lubricated joints and prevent proper muscle movement, while proper hydration can help prevent muscle cramps and tight muscles by maintaining the body’s ability to deliver blood flow to working muscles.” With this in mind, maybe rethink the pre-slope party and hold off on the drinking until après-ski. Additionally, be sure to drink plenty of water both before and after to ensure you stay hydrated on the slopes.

2. Stretch a day before and after the slope

As with any sport, stretching before skiing is extremely beneficial. “Skiing can be a cold sport and that cold will affect your muscles,” says Jensen. “I stretch on the lift line and before I start most runs.” When stretching, she says to focus on your hamstrings, quads and calves. “If you’re tight and reacting to an unseen obstacle or moment of imbalance, your muscles will stiffen or not react quickly enough to adjust,” says Jensen. “It can cause a myriad of different injuries to the foot or cause a fall that can lead to different outcomes.”

3. Wear properly fitted gear

It is. so important “Properly fitted ski boots can give the skier more control and thus the ability to change direction quickly in control to avoid other skiers, trees, variable snow and any other challenges that may need to be dealt with during a day’s skiing,” says Jensen. “Also, if you’re too focused on how bad your leg hurts, you may not be in a great headspace to deal with rapidly changing conditions.”

If you’ve never skied before, you won’t know exactly what your gear is supposed to look like — but it shouldn’t be painful. That said, don’t be shy about advocating for yourself and your comfort. Trust me, the last thing you want is to be walking around in too-tight boots, on the edge of tears worried about what you might injure.

In addition to your boots, Jensen says to pay attention to your bindings. “Bindings are an integral part of system security and cannot be minimized,” he says “Improperly adjusted bindings can lead to injury very quickly. If the release values ​​are set too high, you won’t be able to get out of the binding in the event of a crash, which can lead to various knee and lower leg injuries.”

4. Listen to your body

Last but not least, Jensen says to listen to your body. – Before and during skiing. “Often, I put in a relaxed run into my ski day whenever I can,” she shares. “Jumping straight into the ‘gunner’ without figuring out where your body is that day puts your brain into skiing your body and into aggressive terrain. can lead to falls with consequences.” Additionally, he says it’s best to know when to call it a day. After all, skiing while fatigued can lead to ski injuries.

Takeaway

“Skiing can be a very demanding sport with conditions evolving throughout the day so keep these tips in mind, have fun and keep it injury free,” Jensen encourages us.

As for me, shall I go back to the mountains? sure Should I skip the lesson or go straight to the top? Absolutely not.

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