How winter sports will take their toll on skiiers’ and snowboarders’ bodies

The rest of the country may be waiting on the first snowfalls of winter, but Cache Valley is already enveloped in it — meaning winter sports season is closer than ever.

And as hundreds of local residents and out-of-towners alike head to the slopes and the skating rink, it’s important to look at how skiing, sledding, skating and snowboarding can all take a toll on the human body — especially the musculoskeletal system.

In 2010 alone, more than 440,000 had to undergo treatment at a hospital, emergency room or doctor’s office as a result of winter sports participation, according to a study from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. To prevent yourself from becoming part of this yearly statistic, take a look at this list of ways you can avoid becoming injured while enjoying your favorite wintertime sports and activities.

<strong>Don’t overexert yourself by pushing for that one last run down the hill</strong>

Most sprains, strains and other musculoskeletal injuries that happen while skiing and snowboarding take place toward the end of the day — when you’re tired and fatigued. The key to preventing this from happening to you is to stop when you’re tired, and don’t feel like you absolutely have to get one more run in for the day. Overexerting yourself can cause unnecessary bodily harm that will keep you from enjoying the season to the fullest.

<strong>Consider regularly seeing a chiropractor</strong>

About 35% of people who seek out chiropractic care do so because of mid- or lower-back pain, studies show — and another <a href=”” target=”_blank”>20% of chiropractic patients cite neck pain</a> as their reason for seeking out care. But you don’t have to be in pain to go to a chiropractor for regular therapy sessions. It’s been proven that chiropractic care can play a major role in preventing injuries as well as helping people heal from them. This is because chiropractors help make your musculoskeletal system stronger and more flexible, and your body will have improved circulation.

<strong>Always warm up before engaging in physical activity</strong>

Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments have been proven to be more prone to injury than muscles that have been warmed up. Before hitting the slopes, be sure to warm up — whether it’s with a quick jog, some jumping jacks or another activity of your choice. Warming up will also get the blood flowing, giving you more energy for the day.

By taking the right preventative steps this winter, you can enjoy all the fun outdoor activities this season has to offer without hurting your body.

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