You have booked your ski holiday and are already picturing yourself swooping down the slopes of your chosen resort, stopping off for a mulled wine and cosying up by the log fire in your chalet. It’s an idyllic daydream, but is that the reality? You will definitely have the opportunity to do all those things but will it be as relaxing as you want it to be? Will your legs be suffering after the first morning’s skiing? Will you be struggling to rise from your seat after that first mulled wine, click your skis on and set off again? Will you spend your evenings in the chalet dousing yourself in Deep Heat muscle rub and knocking back painkillers to help get you back on the slopes the next day?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then read on and watch the video below for some professional advice from Ginny, a qualified physiotherapist working in the French Alps, on how to prepare your body so you can enjoy the ski holiday of your daydreams. The good news is it’s not rocket science, it’s simply a case of making time and putting in a bit of effort.
BEFORE YOUR SKI HOLIDAY…
Increase the amount of exercise you do
Aim to increase your cardio fitness, muscle tone and stamina by doing more exercise before your ski holiday than you would usually do. Skiing can be demanding on your body so go to the gym more often, take classes (see if there is a ski-fit class in your area), run and/or cycle.
Focus on your legs
The legs and core (abdominal area) are the parts of the body most in use whilst skiing so aim to strengthen them with specific exercises like squats, lunges, step-ups and pilates. Also, think about the exercise you can incorporate into your daily life like using the stairs more at work. To work on your core muscles pilates or yoga classes are very effective.
When doing squats…
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and sit down, leaning forward (as if sitting on a chair). Check that your knees are lined up with your toes (not beyond), that your spine is in a neutral position and keep your weight centred over your feet. Stand back up again and repeat.
When doing lunges…
To get into the lunge position start by taking a step forward, bending your front leg with your foot flat on the floor keeping your back leg behind with just your toes on the floor. Maintain a neutral position in your spine and lower your back knee down towards the floor and back up again. Repeat and then swap legs.
These are great exercises that will prepare your muscles for your ski holiday and keep away the majority of those aches and pains. Stay tuned to the next article in this series which will be focused on what you can do during your ski holiday to keep yourself supple and ski fit throughout your trip.
With thanks to Ginny from Alpine Therapies www.alpinetherapies.com