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Olympic Sport Highlight: Snowboarding

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Snowboarding is a fairly new sport to the Winter Olympics, debuting for the first time at the Nagano games in 1998 with the giant slalom and half pipe competitions. Snowboard cross was added to the mix in 2006 at the Turin games.

This popular winter sport can provide a number of health benefits, offering a great cardio workout while improving balance and building various muscle groups. However, like any sport, it is best to plan ahead and use caution to help avoid injury.

Common snowboarding injuries include sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures. These injuries often occur at the end of the day, when people are tired from a long day on the mountain. To help avoid injury, NEBH orthopedic surgeon Courtney Dawson, MD has some helpful tips.

Snowboarding safety tips:

  • Stay with a partner and keep each other in site.   
  • Check the weather for snow and ice conditions before hitting the slopes. If it’s going to be icy, make sure to take it slow.
  • Dress appropriately. Layers of light, loose, and water/wind resistant clothing are ideal.
  • Wear protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding.  
  • Remember to apply sunscreen. Sunburns can be severe, even in the winter.
  • Warm up thoroughly and stretch. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are susceptible to injury.  It’s important to warm up by taking it easy on the first few runs.
  • If you are a beginner, consider taking lessons from a qualified instructor.
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