Winter Sports Safety

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Story Updated: Jan 14, 2013

When the temperature dips below freezing, outdoor exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but winter sports can be great calorie busters and a good workout for the heart.

Being properly prepared is very important- Skating, skiing, sledding and snowboarding can be dangerous. The good news- You can help prevent injury with these simple tips. First: Start Conditioning. Stretching and strengthening exercises will lower your risk of injury. Make sure you have the proper equipment- and get it checked and tuned before you head out for the first time and during the season. Your equipment list should include protective headgear and eyewear.

Know your skill level. Start off on easy courses and get back in form before trying to tackle harder slopes or tracks. Dress properly and stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help keep your body in equilibrium. Never drink alcohol while engaging in any sporting activity. It's a dangerous mix that can affect your decision-making and response time.

And finally, remember the sunscreen! It may not feel like tanning weather, but you can still get burned by the sun. If you fall hard, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms for concussion and even knee injuries can start out mild and get worse as the day goes on.

If you fall hard, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms for concussion and even knee injuries can start out mild and get worse as the day goes on.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV-Ê with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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