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The risk of frostbite increases rapidly when wind chill values go below -27.

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Sport Information
Resource Centre (SIRC)

180 Elgin Street, Suite 1400
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K2P 2K3

Tel.: +1 (613) 231-7472
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Winter Sports

A large part of Canadian culture is its engagement and involvement in winter sports; hockey, curling, ice skating, skiing and tobogganing are typically crowd favourites. This winter, there will be days when the ground will be snowy white and we'll all start lacing up skates and strapping on skis. Before you rush out the door and into the cold weather, be sure to take the necessary steps to ensure that you and your family are prepared to take on a Canadian winter.

SIRC has compiled articles and links that discuss exercising in the winter, common winter sport injuries, essential winter gear, and fun winter leisure activities.

For even more information, SIRC Members can login to check out some of the research regarding winter sports in our Member Resources section along the left bar.

Feature Articles

Sport Conditioning

Winter is an opportune time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. With proper dress and equipment, there are many winter sports that can be explored and enjoyed. Aerobic winter sports include snowshoeing, nordic skiing and skating while anaerobic winter sports include snowboarding and downhill (alpine and telemark) skiing. Adequate physical training for these sports will allow the participant to progress with the sport, reduce the chance of injury, and increase the enjoyment of one or each of these exciting winter activities.

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Supplementary Articles

Ramp up for Winter with Cross-training

Sliding Success: A Development Program for Young Lugers

Winter Sport Injuries

Snow and ice can be hazardous enough, but add speed to the equation, and the chance of injury increases considerably. With or without speed, most hand and wrist injuries occurring in winter sports are caused by falls. It's not surprising that we injure our hands, thumbs, fingers, and wrists because when we begin to totter or stumble, we automatically try to break the fall with our hands. Unfortunately, breaking a fall with an outstretched hand can lead to strained or torn ligaments, fractures, and contusions.

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Supplementary Article

Preventing Concussions

Gear up for Cold Weather

The general rule is to choose your garments by function first. Remember that the most important layer for comfort is the one next to your skin. Garments made out of fabric labeled Polypro, coolmax, drifit, etc., hold enough body heat close to you in winter, while releasing extra heat. In summer and winter, they move moisture away from the skin—cooling you in hot weather, and avoiding a chill in the winter. Included in this article are some recommendations for the appropriate clothing based upon the temperature. As always, however, wear what works best for you.

... Read more »

Supplementary Links

Coaches Guide to Winter Weather

Getting Your Family to Exercise Safely this Winter

Leisure Activities

Winter is no time to surrender to indoor living. While extreme cold and heavy snowfall can make the decision to stay indoors non-negotiable on certain days, there’s every reason to avoid mentally cordoning off entire times of year from outdoor activity. There is now plenty of evidence that regular outdoor activity, apart from simply “being natural” and “feeling right,” offers tangible health benefits.

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Supplementary Articles

Fall into a Winter's Hike

Staying Fit During the Winter Months

Winter Sports and Exercise


News from SIRC

Wind Chill Cards

The cooling sensation caused by the combined effect of temperature and wind is called wind chill. Exposed skin at very cold wind chills can freeze in only minutes. The risk of frostbite increases rapidly when wind chill values go below -27.

To help protect yourself from wind chill, Environment Canada and SIRC are providing wallet-sized business cards with a wind chill chart along with some winter weather safety tips.

Order your wind chill cards today!*

*While supplies last.

... Read more »


SIRC members have access to SIRC librarians and we are pleased to share some of your questions.

Dear SIRC:

As a parent/coach, when it gets really cold, I've always been unsure as to when it's alright to send the kids outside and when to keep them indoors. Do you have any guidelines or articles that address this question?



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SIRC is pleased to be able to share the attached articles from the SIRC Collection with you. Please note these articles represent the views of the authors and not necessarily those of SIRC.

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