Earlier this month I covered five tips to help you become a better skier – you know, things like not french-frying when you should pizza.
This article will be somewhat similar, but instead of talking about what to do once you’re out on the mountain, I thought I would cover a few brief tips to help you get ready!
A ski trip, even for an athletic and experienced individual, can be fairly trying without the prior preparation and planning…
So let’s get to it!
1. Work on your leg strength
One paper did a fairly thorough write-up of the training you should do before skiing, and a lot of it was geared toward specific body positioning to mimic your actions on the slopes.If we’re being totally realistic, that’s probably a bit much – but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train. Their tips on how to build leg strength (quads and glutes mostly) through step downs, split squats, and other such exercises, are worth keeping in mind.
2. Start hydrating
If you’re going skiing, there’s at least a 70 % chance that a well-meaning older relative will inform you (for the first time in your life, he or she believes) that you need to hydrate at altitude.
You should actually listen, and go ahead and get used to hydrating more than you’re used to in the days or weeks before the trip.
Pro tip: Gatorade packets. They still sell them, and this glorious little powder still makes water more interesting.
3. Try breathing exercises
Have you heard of alternate nostril breathing? No? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s now famous because of Hillary Clinton (look it up). A piece on breathing techniques for stressed out gamers says it’s one of the best ways to refocus and reawaken the mind.
So why not give it a shot? Focus is important when you’re skiing, and you need to stay sharp.
Get used to techniques like these so you can use them on the lifts or in the mornings before hitting the slopes.
4. Work out in the cold
This one speaks for itself, right?
Skiing is cold; skiing is a workout; working out in the cold when you’re not used to it can be brutal. Therefore, if you can, try to get used to exercising in the cold before you actually head out on your trip.
This might not be possible, depending on where you live – but even if it’s single figures outside and you don’t usually exercise outside, try running in the elements. It’s not as if it will keep you from feeling the cold once you’re out on a mountain, but you might be a little more accustomed to some of the general discomfort of exercise in low temps!
5. Start stretching!
Flexibility is key.
(whereas if your muscles and tendons are tight, a fall can be more likely to lead to an injury, or lasting soreness).
I’ll take it!
Stretching and yoga are great ideas in the weeks leading up to a trip.
Your body will thank you for it and it’s relaxing, too!