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May 24, 2012
Hot tips for cold weather
Don't increase your risk of injury during winter
sports, LT Rob Orr reports.
IT'S FOOTBALL season, which
means many ADF members will be
well into their league, union, touch
and soccer seasons.
Yet these, and other winter sports can
lead to injury for the ill-prepared, with
potentially serious health and career con-
Last year, sport and fitness training
accounted for 21 per cent of all reported
Rugby league/union, touch football
and soccer ranked among the top five
Sports Medicine Australia recently
claimed that during winter 30 per cent
more people present to hospital with
sporting injuries than during warmer
So why are sporting injuries more
common in winter and how can the risk
of injury be minimised?
To ensure you are adequately pre-
pared keep the following in mind:
Warm up properly -- colder muscles
impact on your energy usage and
muscle movement, thereby placing
your body at greater risk of injury.
Acclimatise -- get used to exercising
in colder weather by training out-
Keep hydrated -- drink water before,
during and after the game and train-
ing as dehydration still occurs in cold
Wear sunscreen -- you can get burnt
even on cold or cloudy days so use a
broad-spectrum 30+ sunscreen, espe-
cially during snow sports.
Have you ever been asked to fill in
for a work team at the last minute, per-
haps with the match that night?
People will often jump in to make
up numbers, even if they rarely play the
sport or haven't played for many years.
Low-level sports-specific skills and
inexperience can increase the chances of
To stay injury-free, use common
sense and remember the following:
Avoid being obligated to play when
you are not prepared.
Ensure you are fit enough to play
DON'T RISK IT: A proper warm-up and cool-down, a good pre-season training program and a bit of
common sense will help prevent injuries during the cooler months.
sport -- when fatigue sets in, technique
falters and injuries occur.
Undertake pre-season fitness training.
Sporting fields or ovals have a wide
range of hazards that can lead to injury.
Most team sports at some point have
players sliding, falling or jumping, and
loose soil, stones, sticks and uneven
ground have the potential to cause injury.
To ensure your chosen location won't
give you any nasty surprises:
Watch out -- lowered pipes, drains and
sprinklers can create potential trip
Check the area -- have each team
search for hidden obstacles and
remove potential hazards like stones.
Avoid rough surfaces -- don't use solid
concrete paths or gutters that ring
the playing area as boundaries; use
marker cones (or jumpers) placed well
within the field instead.
Don't go without -- ensure you have
all the equipment required for your
sport and that it fits correctly.
IF YOU GET
If you are unlucky enough to
get injured, sports injuries and
incidents should be reported
to Work Health and Safety via
Defence sport was previously
exempt from reporting to
Comcare due to a CDF exemp-
tion. However, under the new
WHS Act, sporting incidents
where personnel are injured
enough to seek medical care
or hospitalisation have to be
reported to Comcare.
Participation in sporting activ-
ities for Defence members is a
workplace activity and should
be treated as such.
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