How to prevent exercise injuries through Canberra Winter:
It’s winter here in Canberra. That means icy cold mornings that can get to subzero levels…and snow sports! Just a couple of hours away we have snow sporting facilities available to us. Before you seize these icy cold days, you’re going to want to equip yourself with this knowledge to prevent sporting injuries - especially with snow sports!
So… do YOU already know how you can protect your body from injuries during this season? Whether you’ve done snow sports like skiing and snowboarding your WHOLE life or you’re planning on taking your kids for the first time: you’re going to want to read this!
Well first things first, let’s talk about the different ways snow sports affect the body:
- The actual cold weather will have an impact on how your body performs and its level of susceptibility to injury
- The actual type of snow sport will have an impact on the mechanics and types of pressures on your body. For example, skiing and snowboarding are very different in how they can affect your body and the type of injuries they can cause.
- Snow sports and sports in the cold generally mean you’re going to need to take care of your body more and service it more like you would a car.
You ready? Here we go! Starting with how cold weather actually affects your body during exercise, making it more susceptible to injury:
- The actual cold weather means your body needs more effort to warm up and keep your muscles and joints supple. Did you know that your joints have fluid in them? It’s called synovial fluid, and in the cold weather, that fluid gets a bit thicker and less lubricative. This can affect your mobility and flexibility.
When mobility and flexibility are compromised, that can cause more injury, from less stable movements and from increased chances of straining muscles or spraining ligaments.
- Another thing you need to keep in mind with this colder weather is that it will increase nerve sensitivity. Especially if you;ve had previous injuries, your nerves and receptors can become hypersensitive. So here are 2 things you can do to support your body when exercising in these *brrrr* freezing environments:
- Dress warmly. That doesn’t just mean layers, it also means moisture-wicking clothing. As you know, wet clothing will make your body colder - but we don’t want that! Make sure you have the right sub-zero clothing materials that wick away that unwanted moisture.
- Take extra attention to warm up your joints. Mobilise them, take your time in warming up before your exercise, and cooling down after you finish. Be gentle with yourself and never rush into or out of outdoor exercise on an icy day!
So that was the general run down of how the cold affects your body when you want to exercise. But now, we need to talk about the actual type of sport and the movements associated with it! There’s a massive factor over here:
How do different snow sports affect your body?
Well, they’re different. For example, snowboarding is going to have a massive difference to skiing.
Snowboarding is extremely one sided. It’s a unilateral sport. You’re constantly leaning to one side, tensing this arm this way and that arm that way. You’ve either got your snowboard set up as goofy or regular.
And once it’s set up, it’s very hard to alternate between regular and goofy set ups. Meaning you’re going to notice a bit of a misalignment in your pelvis, and chiropractic care will be all about bringing that symmetry back into your body.
On the other hand, sports like skiing are symmetrical HOWEVER, your knees are constantly bent - you can’t stand tall because otherwise there’s no shock absorbance. And with that shock, it’s going to go into your arms, knees, ankles, pelvis, and sometimes even parts of your spine and after a little while, you will feel that pressure, and you will notice that your posture will get affected. Chiropractic care will address the pressure in those joints and counteract the compression on your joints, including the compression in your spine. This will bring relief to your body!
Speaking of relief. You’re not the only one who would be seeking chiropractic care after snow sports. TOP ATHLETES GET CARE TOO. We’re up to the last section now:
Snow sports mean that you have to regularly service your body.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, you still need to do this. Especially if you want to be able to continue to do the activities that you love sustainably. Snow sport athletes very frequently service their bodies with chiropractic care in order to be able to continue.
But that’s not all. Chiropractic care can actually enhance the sporting experience. Chiropractic adjustments as a general rule improve connection between body and nervous system. Therefore, they have been measured and proven in studies to:
- Improve reaction time
- Increase coordination
- Improve overall sporting performance
- Speed up recovery time
So chiropractic care in the world of snow sporting is not just about better performance, it’s also about better recovery, alignment and more sustainability.
Now that you’ve read all these things, do you feel ready to tackle this winter and have some safe and sustainable sporting FUN? Remember to keep us, your chiropractors, closeby so we can help you stay aligned and healthy in your spine and joints!