Winter is coming...and whilst this means many a fun frolic including Christmas, cosy nights and snowball fights, it can also mean harsh winds, frostbite and slippery pavements – so what can you do to stay safe?
To help you make the most of the colder months and stay safe whilst doing so, we thought we’d ask an expert on all things winter and nope, we aren’t talking Jon Snow-y but Zoe! Yes, our very own Brand Ambassador and Winter Olympian Zoe Gillings Brier is here to share her top tips for snow safety both on and off the slopes.
Hi Zoe! You’re a big advocate for safety in sport. Why is it important for you to have a first aid kit/AED close by when training?
Well, we all know snow sports are incredibly dangerous, there's no way of getting around that and so I think it's important to keep things as safe as possible.
I wear a helmet, a back protector, a mouth guard when training, but I believe it’s incredibly important to go beyond wearing armour. This is why I always train with a first aid kit that includes a defib close by, to make things as safe as I can by preparing for every possible eventuality.
Winter is fast approaching – what’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in regards to staying safe in the cold?
If you’re planning on being outside in the cold for a long amount of time, watch any exposed skin for signs of frostbite.
If your skin is pink then that’s okay, but if it starts to turn white or begins tingling then get inside quick and warm up slowly. A hot shower and warm drink is best for doing this!
What are the biggest changes you have to make to your routine when transitioning into winter?
The biggest changes to my routine is definitely the way I get my daily training in. During the summer I train solely in the gym, but once the colder months roll in I’m competing and training on snow as well as fitting in time at the gym. This also means my overall training time increases much more in the winter.
What are three things you never hit the slopes without?
First and foremost...chap stick! Unless you’re out on the slopes as much as other winter athletes are, you have no idea how dry and chapped your lips get and it’s so uncomfortable! I keep my defibshop chap stick on hand to keep my lips moisturised and hydrated, and pass them round to any of my friends that are suffering!
Emergency money. This is something my parents got my brothers and me to always have. They would give us a £20 note to keep in our inside pocket just in case we got lost and had to buy ourselves a hot drink to warm up or get a taxi home. I still carry it to this day! Not the same £20 of course! I’ve had to replace it quite a few times since then.
And lastly, the most important of the three...my first aid kit – including my defib! I keep the Defibtech Lifeline AED close by which is what was recommended to me by defibshop.co.uk. Not only is it super simple and easy design (did you know just about ANYONE can use a defibrillator?) But I love the bright yellow design – there’s no danger of not finding this in the snow!
What advice can you give to readers about staying safe in winter?
The best advice I can give is just to take care. Be careful walking it it’s icy, wrap up warm even if you’re not planning on being outside for very long and if you’re doing an outdoor sport absolutely make sure you’ve got the appropriate safety equipment and precautions to protect yourself and those around you.
Sadly, cardiac arrest can affect anyone of any age, health or gender. This is why defibshop.co.uk and Zoe Gillings-Brier encourage having a portable defibrillator with you when training for sport and having AEDs easily accessible in workplaces and public locations.
Want to hear more from Zoe? You can check out her “7 Questions” interview to learn more her involvement with defibshop or catch up on her diary entries from earlier this year before she welcomed her new baby girl Lea Gillings Brier into the world.
To explore your defibrillator options, or to ask any questions about get equipped with a life-saving device, feel free to call the helpful defibshop team on 0845 071 0830.