Ski Season in the Rockies

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It’s time to get your skis, snowboards, boots and bindings tuned up! Dig out your favorite jacket and gloves because ski season is almost here! Your gear may be ready for the slopes, but what about you? Are YOU ready for the slopes? Are you having any issues with your knees, hips, feet, shoulders or spine? Pain in any of these areas could slow you down on the slopes this season.

Tips for Preventing Injuries on the Slopes

A few simple changes to your routine and some common sense go a long way toward preventing injuries.

  • Perform a warm-up program before getting on the ski lift.
  • Start with a few easier runs to get your body moving and to make sure your equipment is in good working order.
  • Stick to marked trails. Skiing and snowboarding in out-of-bounds areas poses additional risks that can increase the potential for injury.
  • Maintain your skill level and use proper technique. Most people take lessons when they are new to the sport, but lessons can also be helpful for proficient skiers who want to advance their skills to the next level.

Show Up Prepared for the Slopes

Make sure your body and your equipment are ready for the season. Prepare your body by participating in at least a few weeks of pre-season regular exercise including:

  • Aerobic conditioning such as cycling, running, rowing, swimming, or using an elliptical machine
  • Core strengthening such as planks
  • Leg strengthening such as squats or lunges

Remember to pack all important equipment.

  • Helmet
  • Wrist guards–recommended for snowboarding
  • Appropriately sized skis for your height, weight, skill level, and terrain

Pace yourself on the slopes.

  • Consider skiing a half-day on your first day out, or take rest breaks when needed. You are more likely to get injured when you are fatigued.
  • Don’t ski multiple days in a row for the first time out this season.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Being active at high elevations leads to relative dehydration. Alcohol magnifies this dehydration which can increase the potential for injury. Who doesn’t love a mug of hot chocolate at the ski lodge? Just say no to the Bailey’s Irish Cream!

Pre-Season Physical Therapy

If you have any questions regarding your physical readiness to start skiing, or any other sport, please contact us at Foothills Orthopedic & Sport Therapy for a free consultation. We would be glad to assess your readiness to participate and provide guidance on appropriate exercises, as well as any treatment that might be needed to get you on the ski lift and ready to carve some powder!