Whether you’re a seasoned skier or have been inspired by the Winter Olympics to book a week on the slopes, it’s really important to prepare your body for the task ahead.
The common myth is that ski or snowboarding injuries occur on the first day, however often this isn’t the case (just ask Frankie about her incident in 2016) and injuries will occur on the third day as unaccustomed muscles become tired, but confidence levels go up, and often the two don’t mix!
So in an attempt to keep you safe and fit on your snow break follow these tips:
6 weeks before:
1. Get strengthening! Squats lunges, sit ups, planks along with some cycling will work wonders on your legs, core and stamina.
2. Balance is a huge important factor so using a wobble board to practice standing on one leg, maybe some squats or even tapping front/back or left/right to recruit those lower legs muscles.
3. Get checked – often if you’re out of alignment the forces won’t be dissipated evenly through the body, so you may favour turning one way. Ensuring your body is prepared will certainly help your technique.
On the slopes:
4. Warming up is essential for any exercise, start on the gentler runs before heading off to the blacks.
5. Listen to your body, take regular breaks to let your muscles recuperate and if you’re in pain stop! Fatigue is the mostly likeliest cause for nasty falls.
6. Keep hydrated, just because its sub-zero outside doesn’t mean you aren’t sweating and losing fluids under your thermals. Gluwein does not hydrate!
7. All the gear no idea? No matter how many times you’ve been skiing, without the right boots you won’t improve. People often go just for comfort but getting a moulded foot bed from the ski shop helps to improve fit, comfort and ski control.
8. If you’re prone to being knock-kneed look out for lateral alignment as a couple of wedges under the bindings can really help.
9. Skis and boards are heavy so leave them standing upright to avoid bending, carry them over your shoulder and swap shoulders regularly to reduce your chances of awkward strains.
10. After your day on the slopes and you’re off the slopes, stretching the legs and back will put you in good stead to avoid DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) the next day.
11. My top tip is to pack sandwich bags to create an instant ice pack with a handful of snow! 10 minutes on the area that hurts (strained muscle or big bruise) will help to numb your pain receptors and reduce inflammation.
12. Sensible footwear! Make sure you wear waterproof, sturdy footwear with a deep treaded sole when exploring the après bars that the resort has to offer. It would be a shame to end your trip early with a beer related incident.