Six Snow Sports Safety Tips

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Snow sports are a great way to get out and exercise in the wintertime. As a Florida native, the prospect of playing in the snow is always exciting to me, but I know that safety precautions must be followed. That’s why, in honor of my upcoming trip  (can you tell I’m psyched?), I’ve compiled these six snow safety tips to help you stay healthy on the slopes this season:

1. Hydrate. And once you’re done, hydrate some more. Make sure to stop every so often to grab a drink — and pack some electrolyte gels or powders so you can replenish your mineral supply. At the end of the day, be sure to keep drinking (coconut water is a good option) and avoid excessive alcohol consumption, as it can dehydrate your body.

2. Eat ““ lots! Not only do you expend a ton of energy skiing or boarding, your body also works hard to keep you warm. Before you head out, make sure you eat a hearty breakfast with protein, high-fiber carbohydrates and healthy fat. Pack some snack-size health foods to keep you satisfied between runs. (I prefer energy bars.)

3. Protect your head. Some people think helmets don’t look “cool”, but I think they’re way more fashionable than the gauze used to wrap head wounds ““ get what I’m saying? Wear a properly fitted helmet! That goes for the rest of your gear too ““ make sure it fits snugly, or you might end up chasing it down the mountain.

4. Wear sunscreen. Your hands may be numb from the cold, but that doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen. Just like the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean (except a bit colder), the white snow reflects sunlight back to your body, increasing your chance of sunburn. Cover any exposed areas (cheeks, nose, ears) with a natural sunscreen to avoid an uncomfortable burn. Don’t forget lip balm, too.

5. One word: layers. Duh,  everyone knows to wear layers, right?  You may be surprised how many people don’t heed this advice (perhaps they’re all Floridians). Staying warm is very critical to your safety, so be sure to dress properly for whatever activity you’re participating in. Wear a base layer (shirt and pants), preferably one made of a material that wicks moisture away from your body. (Don’t wear cotton – it absorbs moisture!) Top with a fleece pullover, waterproof pants, jacket and gloves. If you’ll be moving around a lot, look for a jacket and pants with zippered vents to keep you from overheating. Wear a hat under your helmet to keep your head and ears nice and toasty.

6. Stay alert. No matter what your skill level, you should always be on the lookout for hidden dangers, including changing weather conditions and trail hazards, such as trees, rocks and other skiers. Try as best as you can stay in control so you can avoid these obstacles. (I’m talking to you, speed demons!)

Stay safe and have fun – I’ll see you out there!