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Preparation can reduce skiing injury risk

  |   Dec. 29, 2010 at 1:52 AM
DALLAS, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Getting in shape before skiing may be the best way to prevent injuries, a U.S. professor of orthopedic surgery advises.

Dr. Robert Dimeff of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas says exercises to strengthen the core are critical, so abdominal crunches, back extensions, squats, lunges and balance exercises are advised.

"However, any exercise regimen should be coordinated with your primary care physician, or a sports medicine specialist for more advanced athletes, to be sure it takes into account your health history," Dimeff says in a statement.

Injuries are more frequently reported when skiers are fatigued, such as the end of the day or end of a ski vacation week, but aerobic workouts can assist in improving stamina and reduce fatigue, Dimeff says.

To prevent or lessen the severity of common ski-related injuries:

-- Take time to learn techniques for moving, stopping and falling from a professional instructor, rather than just relying on haphazard tips from friends.

-- Check to make sure your ski binding is working properly and perform a self-release test at the start of each day.

-- Wear a helmet to help protect against head injuries.

-- Drop your ski pole when you fall to avoid thumb and hand injuries.

-- Avoid alcohol and drugs, which can interfere with your performance, slow response times or make you jittery or nervous.

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