Snow sports: Accident-free through winter
The mountains and pistes are generally buzzing during the holidays. Regardless of whether you go skiing, snowboarding or sledging, doing snow sports is good for your health. Here are some tips on how to prepare, choosing the right equipment, and what to keep in mind in terms of conduct while on or off the piste.
According to the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, each year around 1.7 million Swiss people go skiing or snowboarding – and approximately 50,500 of them have accidents, of which 90 percent are self-inflicted.
But training correctly during the pre-season ensures that you are properly prepared and thus lowers the risk of having an accident.
Before the season starts be sure to train for endurance, strength and flexibility. Being in good physical shape in general will keep you from getting tired and help you feel secure when faced with tricky situations on the slopes.
- The best way to train for endurance is to go biking, jogging or walking for approximately 30 minutes at medium intensity at least two or three times a week.
- We also recommend that you strengthen and stretch your muscles once or twice a week. The "Top 10" (in German) exercise programme of SUVA focuses on strengthening your midriff and leg muscles, which bear the brunt while doing snow sports.
- Take your skis to a specialised shop and have them checked and the bindings adjusted. Put new wax on the bottoms and make sure the edges are properly ground.
- Make sure you have proper equipment: Helmet, back protection, goggles and wrist protectors (for snowboarders) are essential.
- Beginners and people who have not skied for a while should take a course.
- Warm up before the first run or after a lengthy break or lift ride as a way of preventing injury.
- Adjust your speed and style to the conditions. Choose a suitable speed and take breaks regularly.
- Obey the rules of the International Ski Federation (in German) while you're on the slopes.
- Use SUVA's "Slope Track" app (in German) to record your distance and speed. It also has valuable tips on how to reduce your accident risk.
- The SWICA Health App will connect you with the most important emergency numbers and offers first-aid instructions.
In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.