Didn’t all the weather forecasters and the Farmer’s Almanac predict a strong winter for 2016-2017 here in the Black Hills? Pretty sure I read that we’d be getting our fair share of snow West River this winter. But here it is in November and we still have 60+ degree temperatures! But wait – look at the forecast for this week. We’re finally getting some snow!
One great thing about living in the Black Hills of South Dakota is getting to enjoy the scenery and climate – and that includes winter. We actually like having four seasons! Okay – we don’t get much of an autumn, but we do enjoy our winters. There’s nothing better than looking out the window on Thanksgiving or Christmas and seeing a beautiful, snow-covered front lawn, with spruce trees, like a Currier and Ives painting.
Winter brings with it many wonderful activities to enjoy. The kids, bundled up and making snow angels. The delights of the holiday season. Plus hitting the slopes at Terry Peak, of course!
As you pack up your gear for the upcoming ski and snowboarding season, there are important things to keep in mind. Let’s have fun, but let’s not injure ourselves – let’s make sure we’re preparing to spend quality time on the slopes!
First, be sure that your gear has been inspected and you have an itemized list of everything you need. You might be more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-snowpants kind of person but when you get to Stewart Lodge and realize that you forgot your favorite pair of socks, or your glasses, or your sunscreen… well, that’s a problem! So, make sure you make your list and check it twice.
Before you suit up, take time to complete some stretching and warming-up exercises. You won’t be able to move as comfortably once all of your gear is on – so get some healthy movement going before you start adding your layers.
Make sure you are wearing a healthy amount of sunscreen – no less than 30 SPF for high altitudes. You want to wear a sunscreen that includes both UVA and UVB protection and one that is waterproof. You’re going to have snow flying at your face all day long, plus you’re going to sweat! So make sure that sunscreen stays in place and reapply every couple hours (more often for children).
Lastly, when you come off the slopes, take the steps to recover from your physical activity. Sit in a proper position to remove your skis or snowboards. Develop a buddy system for safely removing your gear. Soak in the sauna afterwards, or get a relaxing massage to help those muscles unwind.
And if you have experienced even the slightest twinge, in your back, your shoulders, your hips – make sure you schedule with your chiropractor at the earliest convenience. Many sports-related injuries go untreated. If you get hurt – stop what you’re doing and call a professional. It’s going to be easier to adjust you when the injury begins than if you wait.