Q: I used to enjoy snow skiing when I was younger. I am afraid that I may fall and cause an injury. Should I stay in the lodge and watch everyone else, or should I go for it?
A: Use proper equipment that fits correctly. Boots, bindings, skis and poles should be fitted just for you. Helmets, goggles, socks, gloves, jacket and pants are essentials to enjoy this fun sport. Ill-fitting equipment can cause discomfort, blisters, frostbite and can even a broken limb if a fall should happen. If it has been a while since you skied, take a lesson. Proper form is important and will also make you more confident, which will lessen your chance of a fall.
Q: Snowmobile season is here, and we can't wait for the trails to open. My only problem is that after I ride for a while, my back hurts. Is there something I can do to prevent the back ache?
A: Poor posture and long periods of time in the same position can cause back pain. Take frequent breaks and remember that posture always matters. Always keep your eyes peeled. Being aware of your surroundings will keep you from colliding with trees, other people and dangerous situations.
Q: Snow shoeing has increased in popularity. Is this good exercise?
A: Absolutely. The best exercise is anything that gets you moving. Be sure to always tell a friend where you plan to go and when you intend to return. Bring your cellphone and a bottle of water. If you do get lost, follow your tracks back out. It is best to go with a friend, plan your trip so you will reach a destination and return long before dark. Start with a short excursion and work up to a longer route.
Buy water-resistant and wind-resistant clothing as well as adjustable accessories to keep the cold away from the skin. Hypothermia and frostbite are nasty conditions that can easily be avoided.
Sun protection and eye protection are extremely important. Even in overcast weather, the sun comes through clouds and reflects off the snow.
If it is your first couple of times with a new sport, take some lessons.
They will give you helpful tips to avoid injury and long recovery periods.
Know your limits. Winter sports require large amounts of energy. Be sure to eat hearty meals and stay hydrated by bringing a bottle of water with you.
Chautauqua Physical & Occupational Therapy is privately owned by Patrick E. Green, MS, PT, Cert. MDT and Susan Green, OTR/L. The practice opened in 1996 and currently employs 23 people. The address is: Riverwalk Center, 15 S. Main St., Jamestown. Call 488-2322 or visit chautauquapt.com for more information.