Gundersen Boscobel doctor offers tips for enjoying winter activities
Dr. Kurt Wilhelm
Many people enjoy winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding and ice skating. These types of winter sports are a great opportunity to be physically active in the colder months.
"Before you head out for the day, weekend or week, it's important to take a few precautions to avoid injury," says family medicine physician Kurt Wilhelm, MD, Gundersen Boscobel. "Outdoor winter sports like sledding and skiing, accounts for thousands of injuries each season across the country. Many of these injuries such as sprains, strains and fractures can be prevented by simply staying alert and stopping to rest when you feel tired."
Tips for winter enthusiasts in the area:
- Warm up. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are more vulnerable to injury, so get your body warmed up by doing 10 minutes of physical activity before heading out on the slopes and rinks.
- Gear up. Wear appropriate protective gear for the sport, such as goggles, helmets, gloves and padding. Choose footwear that provides adequate ankle support. Also make sure all equipment is working properly and fits well before getting started.
- Take a lesson. Taking lessons from a qualified instructor can help you perform better. More importantly you'll learn how to fall correctly so you are less likely to get hurt on the way down.
- Pay attention. Make sure you know and abide by the rules of the sport and are aware of posted weather or safety warnings. Pay attention to other people around you, as well as obstacles that may be in your way.
- Listen to your body. Slow down or stop when you are in pain or are tired. Many injuries happen at the end of the day when you are most fatigued. Also, be aware of signs of frostbite, dehydration and sunburn.
For an appointment with Kurt Wilhelm, MD or a fellow provider in Boscobel, Fennimore or Muscoda, please call Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics at (608) 375-4144. www.gundersenhealth.org/boscobel