Staying safe on the slopes: A skier's guide to injury prevention

During the cooler months, many people take up skiing as a fun hobby to stay in shape and enjoy the great outdoors. However, like many other sports, there is always the risk of injury. But, the rate of skiing injuries has actually declined by about 50 percent since the 1970s, according to the Los Angeles Times. Despite the decline, it’s still important to stay safe on the slopes and lower your chances of injury. Here are a few ways to prevent injury and stay safe while skiing:

Check the equipment
Before you hit the slopes, you have to check that the equipment you’re going to be using is safe. If you borrow it from a friend, you have to make sure the equipment fits you properly. John Monson, a spokesman for Sugar Bowl Resort in Norden, California, told the Los Angeles Times that wearing the wrong gear can be dangerous. If it’s too big, you have less control of your body and it may be harder to maneuver the skis to get where you want to go. Because borrowing equipment from friends is not ideal, never assume that it’s safe and have it examined be a ski shop technician to be sure it’s ready to go.

Maintain your fitness
You need to prepare your body for the type of physical activity that skiing demands. This means being in good physical condition before stepping out on skis. Start on easy hills and gradually build your way up to more challenging slopes once your body is used to the movement and you feel comfortable. Many ski injuries happen toward the end of the day when people tend to do more than they can handle. If you’re tired, it’s better to stop and rest to be sure your body remains strong.

Keep your joints healthy
One of the best ways to promote joint health is with a joint supplement. Naturade FlexAid Joint Formula is a natural and safe solution is designed to help support joint comfort and mobility. Its blend of two traditional plants packed with antioxidants was shown to reduce stiffness and improve mobility amongst test subjects in as little as five days.

Warm​ up
Like any other sport, it’s important to warm up your body before doing any vigorous movement. Do some exercises to warm up your muscles so you’re not so stiff when skiing. Be sure to target every part of your body, including legs, torso and arms. James Gladstone, an orthopedic surgeon and co-chief of sports medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, suggested doing windmills with your arms, swinging your legs back and forth, and doing abdominal twists to reduce injury.

Stay hydrated
Not staying properly hydrated can affect both physical ability and endurance. Drink plenty of water before, during and after skiing.

Know general safety rules
Be sure that you know all of the general safety rules of skiing, like how to safely stop, merge and yield to other skiers. This will not only help to create a safe environment for you, but for others as well.