EXETER – Whether it is skiing, snowboarding, skating, snowshoeing or some other activity, winter offers many opportunities for outdoor fun, and for injury if people are unprepared.

Even weekend warriors, people who are sedentary all week long and who try to fit intense physical activity into their weekends can do so safely, if they take a few precautions.

“I tell my patients that it takes a relatively short time to prepare for the activity they want to do, and that it can take a long time to recover from the injury,” said Dr. Joshua Siegel, director of sports medicine at Access Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. He specializes in knee and shoulder injuries.

“I categorize the injuries from winter sports, two ways,” Siegel said. “First are the acute traumatic injuries, like fractures. I saw five just last week involving skiers. Next are the overuse injuries, mainly from the weekend warriors who are not terribly well conditioned and decide to go out and snowshoe for six miles. Those are usually strains, sprains and stress fractures, which do not sound too serious but can be, in terms of recovery. An ACL tear is considered a type of sprain but it can be pretty disabling.”

Matt Szelog is a certified athletic trainer, and the sports performance supervisor at the Athletic Performance Center of Exeter Hospital. He said prevention would be his biggest message, preparing before you hit the slopes.

“People should be getting in shape prior to the winter sports season,” Szelog said. “They should be doing strength training, for upper and lower body. They should be doing endurance training, because many go out…