Winter Sports Conditioning


Topic: Winter Sports Conditioning
Guest: Joel Buffum of Sports Medicine Advantage

There’s snow in the mountains, and many people in Yakima are ready to hit the slopes. But cold weather sports and activities are physically demanding. The best way to avoid injury is to start preparing your body in advance of those activities.

Some common winter sports injuries:
• For skiers, injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee are the most common. We also see lower leg breaks, such as to the tibia, and shoulder injuries – dislocations, separations.
• For snowboarders, statistics show most injuries occur with beginners because of the sport’s complexities. Injuries to the hand, wrist and upper extremities are the most common.

The biggest causes of those injuries:
• Going without rest
• Faulty equipment
• Allowing yourself to get dehydrated or fatigued – the classic “one last run”
• Going into areas that are above and beyond your ability level
• Failing to observe warning signs and going off-trail
• Less likely in our region – an inability to adjust to the altitude

Physical conditioning:
• Getting in shape reduces your risk of injury!
• Adequate training in your chosen sport helps reduce chance of injury, improves your skills and increases your enjoyment
• Winter sports conditioning includes cardiovascular training, metabolic training, strength training, power training (explosive moves), balance & stabilization (single foot balance squats and balance step-ups on unstable surfaces), plyometrics and stretching.
• Keep in mind the sport you want to perform and design a program that’s geared to those muscle groups.
o For downhill skiers and snowboarders, your hamstrings and quads are key – hamstring curls, straight leg toe-touches, glute arches, roller chair pulls (dig your heels in and pull yourself across the floor in a chair with rollers), squats, wall sits, lunges.
o For cross-country skiers, it’s more about endurance – aerobic exercise, such as an elliptical that mimics the muscle groups. Planks and side planks strengthen your core.
• Stretching and warming up before you hit the slopes is important! It loosens up your muscles and gets your heart rate up.

Additional tips to keep in mind
• Buy and wear approved helmets or protective head gear that fits correctly. Wear eye protection.
• Take a lesson from a qualified instructor.
• Wear appropriate clothing in layers to prevent heat loss. Layers closest to the skin should be made with materials that wick moisture away from skin.
• Remember to stay properly hydrated and to eat! Good nutrition equals good fuel.
• Know the signs of frostbite – toes and fingers are susceptible to frostbite if they get wet or sweat a lot.
• Know your limits and stop before you become tired.

Buy a Dairy Queen Blizzard and change a life!

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is one of 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals serving ill and injured children across the U.S. and Canada and is the CMN hospital for Central Washington. Thousands of families have received care at Memorial’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Unit and at Children’s Village, a home away from home for children with special health care needs.

Children’s Miracle Network has numerous business partners whose employees and customers raise money for CMN hospitals. These are people pitching in at the local level to support local services.

One of those partners in our community is Dairy Queen. Tom Tierney promotes Miracle Treat Day, which is July 30, 2015.

Dairy Queen supports Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

$1 or more of every Blizzard Treat sold July 30 to go to children’s health care

Buy a Dairy Queen Blizzard Treat and change a life!

July 30 is Miracle Treat Day, and Dairy Queen will be donating $1 or more from every Blizzard Treat purchase to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

This is the 10th annual Miracle Treat Day. DQ stores in Yakima, Cle Elum, Ellensburg, Union Gap, Wapato, Toppenish and Grandview are participating, as well as stores in Richland, Kennewick, Pasco and Walla Walla. In Oregon, DQ stores in Hermiston, Pendleton and Milton-Freewater are taking part.

The money raised helps to support Children’s Village, which serves children with special health care needs. It also helps to support the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Unit at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, your Children’s Miracle Network hospital for Central Washington.

For more information, visit or The Memorial Foundation’s website at

Remember, this money stays in our local community to treat and care for local kids.