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Seasonal Safety: Winter-Proofing Your Body for Outdoor Fun

25 October 2023

Winter proofing your bodyMany of us eagerly anticipate hitting the slopes and resuming our favorite winter pastimes as winter approaches. Whether skiing, snowmobiling, hockey, or any other activity, staying active during long winters is a great way to maintain fitness. Winter sports also protect us from the impacts of Seasonal Affective Disorder, the type of depression related to changes in season.

It is crucial to prepare your body correctly to prevent injuries that can disrupt your winter fun, work, and home life. Understand that winter sports, even winter home care such as snow shoveling, cause thousands of yearly injuries. Common injuries include sprained ankles to more severe injuries like ACL tears and fractures. These activities can take a toll. Luckily, there’s still time to prepare.


Did you know each year, over 1,000 deaths related to cardiac arrest are triggered by shoveling snow? Prepare your body and safeguard your heart with these stretches and exercises as a warm-up.


Three Stretches for Winter Sports Prep:


  1. Stretches for Winter Sports PrepCat and Cow Stretch: Begin on all fours, hands underneath shoulders, knees aligned underneath hips. Raise the head and arch the back, allowing the belly button to descend towards the floor. Hold for five seconds, reverse the motion, arching your back, tucking the tailbone under, and lowering your chin to your chest. Hold for another 5 seconds. Repeat each direction of this motion five times.

  2. Quad Stretch: Stand on one leg, bending the other knee behind you. Hold your ankle or pants leg with your hand and gently pull your heel towards your buttocks. This stretch targets your quadriceps and hip flexors, essential for controlling your speed when descending slopes, hills, or steps. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 2 times on each side.

  3. Lunge with Twist: Begin in a lunge position, right leg forward. Hands braced on the ground underneath the shoulders, stabilize the body for about 5 seconds. Then, leaving the left hand braced on the floor for support, reach the right hand to the sky, gently twisting the torso. Hold for another 5 seconds. Repeat five to 8 times on each side. This movement can also be performed with the back knee down in a kneeling position. 


Three Exercises for Winter Sports Prep:


  1. Plank and Superman Combo: Begin in a modified plank (shown) or full plank with arms extended underneath the shoulders and knees elevated off the ground. Hold for 5 -10 seconds, then lower to the ground. Repeat the plank and superman movement 5-8 times, rest, and repeat for 2-3 sets total.

  2. Lateral Lunge: Begin standing upright, take a large step to your side, and sink into a lunge position. Keep the chest upright and the shoulders back. Using the extended leg, push yourself back to an upright position and repeat on the opposite side. Perform 8-10 lunges on each side, rest, and repeat for 2-3 sets total.

  3. Single Leg RDL: This exercise can be performed with or without a weight. Begin in an upright position, the right foot is planted firmly on the ground, hinge at the hip allowing the left leg to extend behind the body. Reach for the ground while keeping the hips parallel to the floor. Use the muscles of the right hip and leg to return to standing. Repeat 8-10 times on each side, rest, and repeat for 2-3 sets total.  


Exercises for Winter Sports PrepThese movements are great for giving your body the mobility and strength to successfully and safely enjoy winter activities.  Remember, it is also essential to wear protective gear, warm up before activity, play within your limits, hydrate, and allow your body the rest needed to recover. We wish everybody a wonderful winter-season full of fun, adventure, and safety!


Take action today and schedule a discovery call with SiteWell Solutions to explore how we can partner to create a healthier and safer workplace. Explore our Workforce Risk Assessment for a free Risk Factors and Interventions report. Together, we can promote a culture of well-being, enhance worker performance, and ensure safer, more productive workplaces for all. Your workers deserve it, and so does your business.

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About SiteWell Solutions

SiteWell Solutions is committed to supporting business and organizations with health, wellness and injury prevention services. A healthy workforce is proven to be more engaged, productive and happier. It is our mission to deliver these outcomes to every organization we serve. Our services include onsite and virtual corporate wellness programs, industrial athlete training, injury prevention services, chronic disease management, employee resilience support services and much more. Contact today to find out how we can optimize your organization.

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