Snowshoeing is a great way to get outside and enjoy the winter in a relatively safe way! My son and I love getting out with the snowshoes for a bit with the carry pack!
Despite seeming like a safe sport (one of the safest winter sports), snowshoeing injuries can occur. Ankles, knees, and low back seem to be the areas most commonly affected (although as my son gets heavier, it seems like my shoulders do more and more work!)
1. Ankle sprains:
Walking with a big surface of support is great to prevent sinking thought the snow, but when the trail narrows, or the terrain becomes more variable with rocks, roots, and different snow conditions, the snowshoes can be bulky and can lead to ankle sprains. Working on ankle strength and balance exercises is always a great idea ahead of time.
2. Knee strains:
Repetitive knee use, and if the snow is deeper or heavier, can take toll on the knees. Making sure you’re strong (especially in your quadriceps and hamstrings) can help prevent unnecessary strain on the knees.
3. Low back:
Especially when wearing a heavier backpack, or as you fatigue, your body mechanics can change, and add unfamiliar strain on your back. Strong back muscles, good backpacks, and body mechanics awareness all help reduce this stress on your backs.
How do we prevent this???
Being prepared is always a good idea when venturing into the winter wonderland. Preparedness comes in multiple shapes and forms, including: having proper gear, and your own body preparedness.
Gear like good snowshoes and hiking poles go a long way, as does having water and good snacks (my favorite has to be sour keys). Body preparedness includes strength training ahead of time, incorporating balance, leg and back strength (like lunges, squats, and deadlifts). Body preparedness also includes a proper warm up. Check out our previous blog on winter sports warm up.
Thanks again for taking the time to read my blogs! I hope to see you out on the trails
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