Winter is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. With a wide variety of skiing, snowboarding, skating, and snowshoeing spots available to us in British Columbia, it’s important to keep your body in good shape to avoid injury. Our practitioners at North Shore Sports Medicine recommend that you incorporate strength training and stretching that targets your legs and core into your workout schedule before hitting the slopes or the ice.
Along with strength training and stretching, there are three key aspects to focus on to prevent injury. These three aspects are known as the ABC’s.
“A” is for Alignment – Prolonged sitting or standing in a twisted or slouched manner can lead to poor alignment of your spine, shoulders, and hips. This may cause discomfort or pain and increase the risk of injury along with limiting your ability to perform at your best during winter sports activities. When sitting at a desk, sit up straight, have your feet on the floor, and your arms relaxed and supported. Take small breaks to walk around or stretch when sitting for long periods of time.
“B” is for Balance – Crucial to almost every sport, your balance may need some training, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. Practicing standing on one leg for a determined period of time is a simple yet effective way to improve balance. For more advanced balance training, grab a balance board at your local gym and work on staying as steady as possible while looking forward, not down at your feet. Activities such as Tai Chi and Yoga also work on enhancing balance and improving stability.
“C” is for Core Strength – Core strength greatly impacts your balance and stability. Exercises that involve bending and rotating your torso are great for strengthening your core as they activate different abdominals and obliques. Examples of these exercises are Russian twists, leg raises, and crunches. Increasing your core strength will improve your fitness and help prevent injury.