Ski, Sled and Skate Safely


When the thermometer drops, winter sports beckon. This is certainly true for AGH orthopedic surgeon Josh Natali, DO, a skier who enjoys hitting the slopes whenever he can.

However, it’s always good to keep safety top of mind. “With winter activities come opportunities for injury,”said Dr. Natali.

Dr. Natali recommends taking the following steps to stay safe on the slopes, ice or anywhere else your cold weather adventures might take you.

  • Strap on a helmet. Choose a helmet designed for your specific activity — check that it fits snugly and doesn’t shift. Wear it when skiing, sledding, snowboarding or riding a snowmobile.
  • Prepare your body. Warm up and stretch before each activity. Begin with a slow and easy session the first few times out.
  • Go to a class. Take a lesson or two, especially for skiing or snowboarding. Instructors can teach you proper form and how to fall safely.
  • Get the right gear. Ensure boards, skates, bindings that connect boots to skis, and other equipment is in working order. Get bindings checked by a certified technician. Don’t forget goggles, gloves, padding, wrist guards and other protective pieces.
  • Quit while you’re ahead. Many injuries occur at the end of the day, when athletes get tired but attempt one last run or lap. If you’re fatigued or in pain, take a break or stop.

When Winter Wipeouts Occur, We Can Help!

If you are injured during a winter sport, call Allegan Medical Clinic’s Allegan Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center at 269-673-5571. Dr. Natali treats athletes of all ages and abilities.

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