It’s no secret that skiing can be a physically challenging hobby, but that shouldn’t put you off. Generally, we don’t do enough to get our heart rates up these days, so the more exercise we can slot in, the better. Graham Bell talks us through several ways in which you can prepare yourself, both before and during your time on the slopes.
Six Week Countdown…
Six weeks prior to your trip is around the perfect time to start getting your body in shape for your ski trip.
Aerobic fitness – Start trying to fit 20 minute blasts of cardio exercise in where you can. Graham says: ‘this only needs to be at a low intensity, but will help increase your heart rate and improve your fitness levels on the approach to your holiday.’
Ski-specific muscle building – There are specific muscles that you’ll be putting into action more than others whilst you’re on the slopes, particularly your calves and quadriceps, so training these muscles up before you go will make things significantly easier! One way of working these muscles is by engaging in something that requires similar balance and co-ordination skills. ‘One really simple way to get the right muscles working ahead of a ski trip…’ Graham suggests, ‘…is to go ice or roller skating.’
Two Week Countdown…
Two weeks before your holiday is the time to limber up and get those muscles prepared for some serious exercise. Skipping this step could leave you stiff and sore when you get off the slopes, and nobody wants to ruin their après-ski experience, do they?
Stretch – The key muscles you’re looking to stretch are your quads, hamstrings, lower back, calves, abductors and your IT band. Graham recommends holding a stretch ‘for 20-30 seconds relaxing and letting the muscles lengthen.’
When you’re out there…
Even when you’re on your actual holiday, there are still a few extra things you can do to ensure you get the most from your time on your skis.
Warming up (and down) – it’s really important to warm up and down before and after skiing to avoid injury. Graham says ‘It’s much more painful (and dangerous) when falling over if you’re stiff and your muscles are tight, than if you’re warmed up and supple.’
Following these expert tips will improve your general fitness, making your ski holiday much more effortless and enjoyable – as well as seeming a lot less daunting! It will also keep the risk of injury to a minimum. So what are you waiting for? Start planning these steps into your routine in good time for your holiday. You don’t want your time on piste to be cut short because you aren’t up to the challenge!