Heading to the slopes this winter? Get your body in the best shape possible, so you can get the most out of your holiday.
Michael Cunico, Fitness First Health and Fitness Advisor, says that skiing can be extremely taxing on the body.
“You wouldn't go from no training to running all day, so don't go from no training to skiing down the slopes with no prior conditioning work - unless you want to end up with a significant amount of muscle soreness and increase your chances of getting an injury,” said Cunico.
“A solid foundation of cardiovascular fitness will make for a more enjoyable experience in the ski fields as you will have better endurance to challenge the slopes for longer!
“A general base level of fitness, along with lower body conditioning will prepare you for the dynamic activity that skiing or snowboarding requires.”
Michael Cunico recommends you take into consideration the following tips when preparing for a ski trip:
- Preparation – plan your training program or engage in a personal trainer to write a program for you to ensure you get the most out of your program.
- Core Stability – your core is the centre of your body and is engaged in nearly every movement you make. Your time on the snow requires so much dynamic movement, it's essential you strengthen your core.
- Balance and Coordination – if you think you can spend the holiday sliding down a slippery slope on two thin planks, or one, without ensuring your body is ready to balance - then you need to think again. Use Swissballs, BOSU’s, Dura Discs and any other uneven surfaces to improve your balance
- Endurance – many of us expect to ski all morning and then back it up in the afternoon as well. You need to prepare your muscles for working for that length of time. Use weights that allow you to achieve 12 to 15 repetitions to increase your ability to do that.
- Cardio – interval training will mimic your time on the slopes where you will have a period of activity and then a period of rest as you get up to the top of the slopes again.
- Rest - your body repairs and grows when you are resting so it's vital that you start your training six to eight weeks out from your holiday and ensure that you incorporate rest time into your weekly training schedule.
- Flexibility – it's essential that you stretch to help muscles return to their original length in order to recover and prevent injury.