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Hitting the Slopes?

14th October 2016

Winter sports season is just around the corner and with that will be the need to be in tip-top shape to avoid injuring yourself. But if you’ve had a summer of lazing on beaches, sipping cocktails and having BBQ’s every weekend, getting fit for the mountains will be very much on your mind. So if you're heading for the slopes and don’t want to end up being stretchered off, simply follow our guide for guaranteed skiing success!

Shape Up
Being fit isn’t just how long you can run on a treadmill for. Skiing and snowboarding use so many different muscles that you normally don’t use and for this you need to make sure you train those areas beforehand to avoid injuring yourself. However, this doesn't mean to say that cardiovascular training is redundant. Skiing is a demanding sport and therefore you will benefit from stepping up the treadmill and cross trainer sessions before your trip. Due to the nature of skiing, interval training or sprint training would be beneficial as skiers normally have 2-4 minutes of intense activity followed by a relaxed trip back up on the lift.

As for the strength training, experienced gym-goers can do squats with weights. Alternatively, simply squat with your knees at a 90-degree angle whilst placing your back flat against a wall, hold this position for 2 minutes and repeat 5-8 times - warning - it burns! If you find this too easy, in the same position lift one foot off the floor and lean your weight into the supporting leg then repeat on the other side. This will really works the core leg muscles that you’ll be using on the slopes. One last tip… GLUTES! Do anything and everything to work out these pesky muscles. You don’t want to be too sore to sit down and enjoy your Après-ski session, do you?

Warm Up        
Going hell for leather on the first day without warming up properly could result in a whole host of torn and pulled muscles leaving you walking like you’re in a full body cast. The last thing you will want to do is move, let alone ski. A warm up doesn't have to consist of lunges and stretches on the top of a mountain as if in your local pilates class, simply do a few gentle runs first to get warmed up and even stretch out during your lift ride back up to keep your muscles warm in between runs.

Technique
No matter how fit you are, if you don’t have a good technique than skiing is going to be harder and use more energy. You need your body to work with your skis and become one with them. If you’re finding that your technique is the thing letting you down, book in for a refresher lesson or a course at a ski school. This is going to benefit you in the long run and make skiing more enjoyable rather than feeling like you’ve done 12 rounds with ‘Triple G’ after each run.

Nutrition
Hmm, is this a misleading subheading? During your time on the slopes you’ll no doubt be gorging on bread and cheese, only pausing to gulp down a nice drop of mulled wine. But fear not, full days of skiing are going to really take it out of you and you’re going to be burning a lot of calories, so you’ll need to fill your boots with carbs- hooray! Complex carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes and wholegrain bread will help keep your energy levels high during your trip. Remember to take water with you when you’re skiing to keep you hydrated as you’ll no doubt be sweating a lot- this is especially important if you like to hit the top shelf of an evening.

Bon Voyage!