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Safety tips when on the slopes

Ein Skifahrer mit Helm und Skibrille.
It keeps you warm, protects you, and is part of the basic equipment needed on the slopes.  ©

Many (cross-country) skiers and snowboarders spend the whole year looking forward to winter, when they can finally get back out on the snow. To ensure winter fun doesn't turn into a nightmare, however, there are few rules of conduct that need to be followed so you can enjoy the winter to the max!

Many skiers and snowboarders have barely left their desks and they're out on the slopes – often carelessly undertrained. A certain level of basic fitness is important for amateur athletes in order to prevent injuries. The cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal system in particular should be in good condition. Joints are especially prone to injury, which is why it is important to adequately warm up your muscles every time - not just before the first run.

Skiers and snowboarders should always adapt their style to their own abilities and skill level. Overestimating yourself can quickly turn dangerous on the slopes. And it's also important to keep an eye on the ground, snow and weather conditions. If it's too congested on the slope, you're better off slowing the pace a little. Awareness is critical, and can prevent accidents!

In sub-zero temperatures, you should always wear adequately warm clothing to prevent hypothermia. In addition to ski clothing and gloves to protect against cold and moisture, amateur athletes' basic equipment should also include ski goggles and a ski helmet. And the technical features of the shoes and fasteners must always be checked by a professional before heading off. Sun cream is also essential on the slopes, as it not only combats the sun, but also protects against the cold.

You need to be attentive, especially when overtaking. When changing lanes, you need to make sure you are not inhibiting any skiers in front of you, or annoying them with reckless overtaking manoeuvres. They should always be left enough space for their movements and actions.

It's important to heed the markings and signals on the slopes, and never stray from secured slopes. Where possible, avoid stopping in narrow or non-visible spots on the slope. Emergency situations are, of course, an exception. If you fall over in a section like this, get up as quickly as possible and leave the hazard area.

It's important not to over exert yourself during winter sports. You're better off taking repeated short breaks and breathing deeply. Because strength and concentration are reduced in states of exhaustion, frequently resulting in accidents and injuries. In any case, you should refrain from drinking alcohol before hitting the slopes – and instead enjoy a glass at the après-ski.

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