Have you left it to the last minute to get fit for skiing or snowboarding this year? Again?! This is a common problem so you are not alone. When it gets dark by 5pm, is cold and often wet outside, a whole heap of motivation is required to get ski or snowboarding fit. All is not lost though! Even with only a few weeks to go doing something is always better than doing nothing so here are our top tips to gain some last minute skiing and snowboarding fitness.
1. Do something!
Yes – anything! Take a brisk walk, preferably uphill, march up and down the stairs a few times, take the kids ice-skating, dance around the living room (inspired by Strictly?!) Or do all of the above! Anything you do that gets your heart rate up and improves your overall fitness and stamina will help you have a more enjoyable time on the slopes.
2. Work on your balance
Working on your balance (proprioception is the technical term) is the best thing you can do to help prevent injury when you are skiing. Stand on one leg whenever you can – cleaning your teeth for example. Then try this with your eyes closed. You will wake up all the receptors in your joints that help your brain know what your body is doing. This should help your body do what you ask it to on the slopes and increase your enjoyment.
3. Strengthen your legs
Stronger thighs (quads) and hips (glutes) will mean less leg burn when you hit the slopes, therefore more pleasure less pain! Try doing some squats/lunges/step-ups/step-downs several times a day, to get your legs burning. Just be sure to keep good alignment – eg. your kneecap lined up with your mid-foot.
4. Stretch your tight bits
You will probably know which parts of your body tend to get tight when you are skiing or snowboarding, so stretch those bits now to help your body adapt more easily to the demands of the sport. If you tend to spend a lot of time sitting concentrate on loosening up your back and hips, with some simple back stretches or Pilates exercises.
5. Any concerns? See a physio
If you have any niggling pains or concerns it would be wise to get professional advice before your ski trip. Your physio can advise you of any self-help strategies to help you get through the trip as safely and pain-free as possible. If you run out of time even for this – book one of our team to come and see you when you get to resort!
Thank you for reading. Now it is time to get fit and enjoy the mountains! 🙂