Warm up for winter fun

Cold weather lovers are the first to jump on the slopes and enjoy winter sports. It’s a way to be outside, get some exercise and have some fun, but it can also lead to injury.

A quarter-million people are injured each year in winter sports, and skiing makes up two-thirds of those injuries.

“The most common injuries we see are strains or sprains from overexertion,” said Dr. John Deitch, director of sports medicine at Wellspan Health.

He said the best way to prevent injuries is to warm up for 10 minutes. This should include something similar to stretching while jogging or walking. Deitch says you should also know your limits.

“I hear so many patients who say they just wanted to do one more run,” he said.

Medical experts say injuries can be reduced by wearing goggles, helmets, padding and gloves.

Shoveling your driveway can lead to injury, too. Dietch said warming up for a cleanup is just as important.

“It puts strain on the heart,” he said. “You should check with your physician first, especially if you have heart issues.”

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