How to prevent injuries with a winter sport safety checklist

Whether you’re winning championships or just getting a great workout, winter is one of the most exciting times of the year for sports. Unfortunately, many folks venture out without an injury-proof plan. Preparing a winter sport safety checklist reduces the odds that you’ll experience a cold weather injury caused by a fall or exposure to the elements. Follow these nine tips to enjoy a safe winter sports season.
1. Dress in layers

Dressing in layers is important for both safety and comfort, as drastic weather changes can cause unstable body temperatures. When you can remove or add layers of clothing, you reduce the risk of developing hyper or hypothermia.
2. Don’t depend on wrist guards

Guards can help reduce injury to the wrists, but you can’t depend on a wrist guard for complete protection. If you fall, tuck your arms and land on one side of the upper body to reduce the chance of wrist injuries.
3. Practice proper form to prevent ankle sprains

Most skiing and skating injuries occur from incorrect form. To prevent ankle injuries, flex the knees when you’re in motion and practice weight distribution techniques.
4. Warm muscles prior to activity

Short warm-up exercises and stretches can help prevent cold muscle injuries. Cold joint muscles are like ice sticks and easy to snap.
5. Wear knee supports

Snowboarders, ice skaters and skiers are more susceptible to knee injuries than other athletes because high speed activities increase the risk of injury. A knee brace provides extra stability when you participate in extreme sports and can help prevent a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
6. Use leg muscles when lifting

Bend at the hips and use your leg muscles, not your back, to bear the brunt of the weight when you lift moderate or heavy objects or equipment.
7. Use bracing techniques to prepare for a fall

Ignore the common myth that advises athletes to act like a rag doll while tumbling down the slopes. Prevent serious injuries with a chin-tuck, body-hugging position. Flex legs slightly to absorb the shock of impact.
8. Take water breaks

Dehydration is common in the winter months because the chilly weather often masks the thirst trigger. Drink plenty of water during activities, as dehydration can interfere with performance and increase the risk for injuries.
9. Apply sunscreen

Even on cloudy days, the sun’s UVB and UVA rays still penetrate the atmosphere. Block rays with continuous applications of sunscreen everywhere, not just on exposed skin.

How to save on winter sports

Skiing, snowboarding and hockey are all wonderful winter activities, but they also hold the potential to clean out a winter enthusiast’s bank account. This winter, ditch the overpriced equipment and take a more savvy approach to snow and ice-based sports.
1. Take advantage of free ski trails and sledding hills

Skiing and snowboarding tend to break the bank because of the pricey ski-lift passes. Cross-country skiing is a great way to get some exercise in the winter, and it can be a very inexpensive recreational activity for those savvy enough to find free public trails. Some cities maintain ski trails, while others focus on sledding hills, which make it possible for families to enjoy long days of winter fun while sticking to a budget.
2. Don’t be afraid to buy used equipment

That used pair of hockey skates might look a bit ragged, but the otherwise shabby skates can easily be fixed with an inexpensive sharpening. Most people abandon their old winter sports equipment not because it is poorly made or ineffective, but because they do not participate in those activities anymore.

Take advantage of this by hitting up the local sporting goods shop where used high-quality equipment can be obtained at minimal cost. Most reputable stores will sell substandard equipment, and many stores allow customers to test winter equipment before making purchases.
3. Decide if a season pass is worthwhile

If you plan on hitting the slopes only a couple of times each year, it may be wise to refrain from purchasing season passes. A season pass may offer savings for avid snowboarders and skiers who visit the slopes on a weekly basis, but not for occasional visitor.

Most resorts and hills offer early bird prices, although these are less ideal in unpredictable climates that might lack snow in November and December.
4. Considering renting your equipment

Those who are new to winter sports such as skiing, hockey or snowboarding may want to consider renting their equipment rather than buying, especially if they are unsure whether they will actually enjoy themselves. There is no need to allow a barely-used set of skis to gather dust and go to waste in the garage.

Ski areas often offer discount rental rates for those who choose to purchase day passes; consider taking advantage of one of these excellent package deals.

4 stylish ways to keep the sun out of your eyes during a tennis match

Outdoor tennis can be a challenge because of wind, rain, and sun. If you want a fashionable and effective way of shielding your eyes from the sun while you play, check out the list of ideas below.
Sports cap

One of the most traditional and popular sun-screening methods for tennis players is a simple sports cap.
Originally created for baseball, today, sports caps are made for a range of sports.
There are hats for tennis that can keep the sun off of the face and also help reduce the amount of moisture from the scalp.

Sun visor

Sun visors simply have a visor to block out the sun with a Velcro strap to wrap around your head.
Sun visors are one of the best options for tennis players, since they allow your head to stay cool while still shielding your eyes.
Without a top, visors allow your head to sweat and breathe, and don’t trap heat that comes out of your scalp.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are another great way to keep sun out of the eyes during tennis matches.
In the past, many players complained that traditional sunglasses obscured their vision of the ball and hindered their playing.
Look out for special sunglasses developed for tennis today that help enhance the colour of the ball while blocking out the sun, thus improving vision and play.

Aussie tennis hat

For a look that is more traditional and classic than sporty, try an Aussie Tennis Hat. The Aussie Tennis hat is a full brimmed, floppy hat that protects the entire head and face from sun.
Aussie tennis hats are usually fitted with an elastic or terry cloth headband around the brim so they stay in place, and many companies make them out of mesh to allow heads to breathe in the heat.
The Aussie Tennis Hat is a great way to hearken back to the olden days of tennis while ensuring your game stays excellent in the sun.

5 tips for choosing a tennis racket

There are so many kinds of tennis rackets on the market today that it is difficult to know which one is best for you. Here’s a handy guide that will help you to choose a tennis racket that will serve you well.
1. Have a budget

There’s no need to break the bank when purchasing a tennis racket.

Though some racket prices can reach into the hundreds of dollars, you don’t necessarily need one that is so expensive unless you play professionally.
The trick to spending just the right amount of money on your racket is to set a budget beforehand.
Decide how much you’re willing to spend, and then work backwards from there to find a racket that fits within your spending constraints, but still meets your other requirements.

2. Choose a material

Rackets are available in several materials, including wood, graphite, titanium and aluminium.

The material and size of the racket will influence its weight. When shopping, feel the weight of each racket, and make a note of the material that it’s made from.
Once you figure out what weight you’re comfortable handling, you’ll likely notice that all the rackets you like are made from the same material.
Now you’ll be able to limit your selection to only those rackets that are made from that material.

3. Practice swinging

In the store, it’s not enough to just hold the racket.

Practice swinging it (after you make sure nothing is in the way!) so that you can feel for how it moves.
This will give you a great indication of whether the racket is too large or small for your swing and your body size.

4. Measure the grip

Everyone has different demands for their racket grips, which depend on how you hold the racket and the size of your hands.

Grip the racket the way you normally would if you were getting ready to swing.
You shouldn’t feel that the handle is too small or too wide for you to have total control over your grip and control of the racket.

5. Consider the head size

Tennis heads come in an assortment of sizes.

If you’re accustomed to a large, wide head, you might find that switching to a smaller size leads to a lot of swings and misses.
The best option is to choose a head size that most closely resembles the racket you already own.

Picking a racket perfect for your swing will play a major role in improving your game. Find what size and weight you are comfortable with and keep practicing with that racket.