Winter Recreation: Staying Safe While Having Fun
Winter Season Brings Winter Activities
Even though the holidays are over and we’re finally in a new year, most people are still experiencing winter weather. Winter weather is a fun time to play outside in the snow that only last a few months out of the year.
Families take ski trips or travel to areas of the world to bask in the glory that is an early morning snowfall. However, like most recreational activities and traveling, it’s important to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Here at ZenLyfe, we’re dedicated to providing the best tips and resources to help you do this. In today’s blog post, we’re going to be giving you all the information necessary to stay safe while having fun this winter season.
Snowboarding, Skiing, and Sledding… Oh My!
If you’ve ever done either of the three activities listed above you know how much fun it can be to spend time with friends and family on the slopes. It’s crucial that during this time you keep a few safety tips in mind to ensure you can safely enjoy the rest of your time.
Just like any physical activity you should ensure you properly stretch beforehand. Not only does this help get you warmed up for whatever activity you have that day, but it can also help prevent unnecessary injuries. In fact, researchers at Johns Hopkins recently estimated that about 600,000 people nationally are injured each year as a result of skiing and snowboarding. Avoid being one of these people by taking the extra precautionary step.
Here are some great stretches you can perform before winter activities.
When on a winter vacation it can be easy to get caught up in all the fun and forget about simple tasks like eating a snack and drinking water. To avoid spending a ton of money at resort cafes and restaurants, try packing snacks and water bottles before heading up the slopes. This way, you can have everything ready, for free, when it’s time for a lunch break.
Eating properly can also help make sure your blood sugar doesn’t go too low and that you are physically and mentally ready to enjoy the rest of your activities for the day.
Avoid Excessive Drinking
We understand that the consumption of alcohol is not something you can always entirely avoid while on a winter vacation, but you want to avoid drinking excessively before participating in winter activities. Not only can this be a hazard to yourself, but you are also putting others around you at risk.
When drinking, it can easily escalate into severe intoxication which hinders decision-making and motor skills, which are very necessary when skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. If you do decide to drink alcohol before these activities, drink plenty of water and give yourself time to recoup.
Wear Proper Gear
Physical activity makes your heart rate rise and gets your blood pumping, which ultimately leads to your body temperature going up. If you’ve ever had an intense workout you’ve probably needed to take your sweatshirt off in order to keep cool. Winter activities are no different, except that the weather outside can be dangerous if you aren’t protected.
The best way to avoid getting frostbite or sick from the cold is to wear gear that is breathable and allows for airflow once your body temperature starts rising.
Wearing proper gear also means you should be wearing the correct boot sizes and other safety gear that’s necessary to stay safe. If you are unsure what size you are or how to properly wear your gear, ask someone who is familiar or consult a staff member at the resort you’re at. Worst case, Google will have the answers!
Know Avalanche Warning Signs
According to the CAIC, over the last 10 winters, an average of 27 people died in avalanches each winter in the United States. It can be easy to assume that you will never be stuck in an avalanche since these fatal numbers are low, but you should always take precautions.
The National Weather Service states that “In 90 percent of avalanche incidents, the snow slides are triggered by the victim or someone in the victim's party”.
Here are some avalanche warning signs:
- Cracks form in the snow around your feet or skis.
- The ground feels hollow underfoot.
- You see an avalanche happen or see evidence of previous slides.
- Significant warming or rapidly increasing temperatures
If we’re being honest, there are a lot of safety risks that come with winter recreation, but you can help mitigate a lot of them by following these tips. Some natural occurrences like avalanches and snowstorms are fully up to Mother Nature, but you can help stay safe from other accidents by being aware and educating yourself.
If you have any winter recreation tips, feel free to share them in the comments or connect with us on our social media!