Safety First Is Important When Skiing

Whether it's downhill skiing or cross-country you enjoy, safety should be a prime concern before strapping on the boots and heading out the door. Safety concerns should go well beyond understanding how to put the equipment on and walk in it, too. Common sense should be exercised at all times while taking part in outdoor sports - skiing and beyond. For cross-country skier and even downhill lovers, it's important to keep a few things in mind as the sport is enjoyed. They include:

* Obtain proper training. Skiing is pretty easy, but that doesn't mean advanced runs should be attempted on Day One. A little training can go a long way in ensuring safety. * Heed warning signs. Some slopes might look like a blast to ski down, but if there are no entry signs, stay away; those signs are there for a reason. * Warm up before you go. Skiing is a physical activity that puts a bit of a beating on the muscles, or it can if a skier isn't prepared. Some basic warm up exercises are very smart to perform to help avoid unnecessary injury. * Don't attempt runs that are beyond your skill. Hitting the advanced slopes too early can result in some pretty silly accidents. There's no reason to look at skiing as a race to be the best - unless of course you've mastered the skills and you actually are in a race! Be smart. Know your limitations. * Let people know where you're going. This is especially so if you're going it alone on a cross-country run. Accidents can happen. It can't hurt to let someone know your course and your anticipated time of return. * Bring first aid supplies. See above for that "accidents can happen." Since this is so, it's not a bad idea to carry basic medical supplies in case of emergency. These can be as simple as a few band-aids and gauze tossed in a weatherproof bag along with car keys, a driver's license and so on or fairly elaborate packs carried on the back that include much more, especially for a cross-country trek, but whatever you do, don't go out unprepared. Skiing is a sport that's simply exhilarating and draws thousands of new enthusiasts each year. Smart skiers take necessary steps to remain safe on and off the slopes. Being prepared can really help when a minor emergency does strike.

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