Just because summer is over doesn't mean fun has to fade away with the departing warmth. Many people find enjoyment in the winter months participating in such activities as ice skating, skiing and snowboarding.
If you are one of these thrill-seekers, it is important to prepare for physical activities to avoid injury.
"It is just as important to keep fit and healthy during the winter months as it is in the warmer weather. Exercise and the brisk winter air can help everyone stay healthy and alert," said Robert J. Wallace, vice president of sales and marketing at W. F. Young Inc., the company that makes Absorbine Jr. topical pain relief products.
He offers the following tips to maximize the fun and minimize the pain of winter sports:
* Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Be aware of weather changes and wind chill factors when planning to spend time outdoors.
* Warm up to the activity. If it has been a while since you've been out on the slopes or skating rink, start out slow and make sure your body is ready for the rigors of the activity. If you are new to the sport, take a lesson from a professional instructor. Just like anything, you'll improve the most when you receive expert guidance.
* Check your equipment and have worn items fixed or replaced. Have your ski or snowboard bindings adjusted correctly at a local ski shop.
* Stay warm and dry with the proper clothing. Dress in layers to accommodate your body's changing temperature Also, bring a headband or hat with you, and wear gloves or mittens to avoid frostbite.
* Guard your skin from the sun and wind by using a sunscreen or sunblock. Sun protection is always important, even in the winter.
* Always use appropriate eye protection. Sunglasses or goggles will help protect your vision from glare, help you to see the terrain better, and help shield your eyes from flying debris.
* Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
* Be prepared for the inevitable aches. Despite making the best efforts to avoid injury, muscle pain will occur. Apply a topical pain reliever such as Absorbine Jr., and allow the liquid to penetrate your muscles to help soothe the pain. For information on Absorbine Jr. and where to find it, visit www.absorbine.com.