Winter is definitely here with the extremely cold temperatures and all of the snow! The good news is, there are many sports that can only be done in the winter! Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and sledding can bring some excitement and fun to any winter day. As with all sports, participating in them comes with an increased risk of injuries. There are things you can do to help you stay safe from injuries while enjoying all the sports winter has to offer.

1. Boots and skates need to fit properly and be laced up tightly. Make sure they are in good condition and are set up properly in bindings. This can help provide proper ankle support. If snowboarding, wear stiffer boots to better protect the ankles and more firmly hold the feet i n position.

2. If it’s been awhile since you have last participated in winter sports, begin exercising two weeks before your planned activity. This will help condition and strengthen your muscles to get them ready for sports.

3. Wear insulated socks appropriate for the temperatures. Bring a change of socks if you will be in wet conditions. If toes or feet start to feel very cold or numb, take a break and warm-up.

4. Always stay in your own skill level. Trying things you aren’t ready for can cause injuries to occur. Be careful of landings while catching air. Flat landing zones can cause compression-type injuries to your foot and ankle .

5. Always go with a friend. Participating in winter sports alone can be dangerous. If there’s an accident or injury when you are with someone, one of you will be able to get help immediately. Another added benefit is activities are usually more fun with a friend!

Winter sports are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise even when the weather is cold. If you suffer an injury, contact Idaho Foot and Ankle Center as soon as possible. If injuries are left untreated, the problem can worsen and lead to chronic issues like instability, arthritis, or even tissues damage and foot alignment problems. Dr. Kovac and Dr. Erickson at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center offer same day appointments for injuries and can get you the right diagnosis and on the right treatment plan as soon as possible!

Some content provided by The ACFAS.