The ski season is well under way and it’s very important to properly look after your body when you are hitting the slopes. Skiing injuries occur, not just as a result of falls, but also as it is a seasonal sport often the muscles are not used to the type of activity. If you will be skiing this season it is important to prepare, to help you stay safe in the snow.
Before going on holiday:
- Keep moving – Improve your fitness levels. Spend time in the gym, in particular on the cross trainer and exercise bikes, rowing and step machines. Core exercises such as plank, lunges and squats will all get the right muscles working.
- At the very least going for a brisk walk will help improve cardiovascular health. Other tips such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to work etc., any chance you can to get the heart rate up.
- Improve your flexibility by taking the time each day to stretch, especially after exercise.
- Balance is key, if you have access to a wobble board then use this to improve balance, if not you can try standing on one leg, you can even multitask and do this whilst brushing your teeth or doing the washing up!
- Get your posture and spinal function checked out by one of our chiropractors. You may even find this improves your technique on the slopes as you will be more balanced. Chiropractors will check your spine and use specific manipulations and mobilisations to remove any restrictions or fixations helping you to move more freely. This again helps to prevent injury.
During the holiday:
- Make sure to warm up before hitting the slopes, and finish off the day with a good stretch.
- Rest up – fatigue is one of the main causes of injury. Make sure to get plenty of sleep each night and take breaks during the day.
- Increase energy intake – be sure to load up on carbs as required when exercising at altitude. Dried fruit, cereal bars and nuts are all good sources of carbohydrates. Low carb intake can lead to fatigue and therefore an increased risk of injury.
- Avoid dehydration – this is a common problem as fluid is lost more easily at altitude combined with the extra physical exertion of skiing. Apres ski activities frequently involve alcohol which will also dehydrate you. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
- Appropriate equipment is key – well fitting ski boots and bindings, warm and waterproof clothing and helmets are all recommended. Those with little or no experience should always get advice from a qualified instructor.