Get Fit For the Snow

Skiing

Get Fit For the Snow

Get the most from your winter holiday & new from the clinic..

Winter may mean colder mornings and nights with shorter days – but it also means the Southern Hemisphere Ski Season has begun. Snow enthusiasts are counting down the days until they can hit the slopes – both skiing and snowboarding are exhilarating winter pursuits. But most of us are only able to afford the time and money for the odd trip to the mountains, so we need to make sure we can get the most out of the holiday…

These demanding physical activities at altitude hold particular injury risks – but with proper preparation – the thrill of speeding downhill on one or two planks is usually an unforgettable experience.

Improve your balance, coordination and endurance while reducing your risk of injury with a get fit for the snow program prior to your holiday!

Get fit for the snow

Winter Olympic Sports Physiotherapist Peter Hogg from our Noosa Sports & Spinal Physio Centre has designed a 6 week conditioning programme that can help prepare you for winter sports – either skiing or snowboarding.

Preparation is essential so that you can make the most of your snow time and prevent injury. Ideally you should try and start at least six weeks before your holiday to have a noticeable difference.

The heart and lungs is the engine that drives your body and will keep you going all day on the slopes at altitude.

  • Improve your cardiovascular system to improve your skiing stamina.
  • Cycling, Running, Rowing or stepping can provide a good base
  • A brisk walk, taking the stairs instead of the lift all help
  • Improve aerobic fitness – train for a longer period of time at a manageable pace.

But skiing/boarding is also an anaerobic sport – where you don’t use oxygen for short, fast bursts.

On your way down you’re often working harder than the amount of oxygen you can breathe in, before resting on a lift and doing it all over again.

So interval training – short bursts of exercise followed by a rest period and then repeated – can also help increase your all-round fitness.

All of which will leave you with plenty of oomph to enjoy the après-ski activities your resort has to offer.

Building Winter Strength to make you a stronger, fitter, more powerful and better skier or snowboarder…

Every skier is familiar with burning thighs after a long run, or aching muscles the next day. To help you ski harder for longer, and to pack a punch into your boarding, you need to build your winter specific muscles.

By improving your muscular strength and endurance in key muscle groups such as your butt, quads, hammies and calves you will help improve your technique and ensure your days are not cut short due to fatigue.

Functional, balance and coordination exercises to simulate the physical requirements of skiing and boarding are also important to prepare your body for powerful but controlled repeated movements.

Don’t forget “The Core” for the dynamic demands and agility required in boarding and skiing.

“the key to stabilising your body during movement and providing protection for your spine”

The core is a key area, especially for beginners or snowboarders who fall over a lot and use this muscle group to get back up.

Preparation is essential

According to Peter Hogg there are 4 key benefits for getting fitter for the snow:

  • improved cardio fitness to last longer on the slopes
  • ski/snowboard specific muscle strength conditioning to reduce muscle soreness
  • improved foot speed co-ordination to improve reaction time
  • injury prevention

A program should be individually tailored to your fitness level and skill set.

Improve your balance, coordination and endurance while reducing your risk of injury with a get fit for the snow program prior to your holiday!

Our Physiotherapists at Noosa Physio can help – get fit before you go!

Fit for the slopes

Whether you’re about to go skiing or boarding for the first time, or whether you’re already a dab hand on the mountains, one thing is sure – being fit for the slopes is key to getting the most out of your holiday.

By preparing yourself physically you will help enhance both your stamina and your safety on the slopes in terms of injury prevention and fitness related health risks.

Call Noosa Sports & Spinal Physio today on 5449 0024 to organise an appointment with one of our Physios to ensure you’re “Fit for the Slopes”

Flexibility, balance and coordination all help to prevent injuries

In the event of having to perform a sudden manoeuvre, a greater range of movement will decrease the likelihood of you pulling or straining a muscle.

It will also ensure that your style is not compromised since hip and spine flexibility is vital for good technique.

Good flexibility in your soleus muscle is also essential for both boarders and skiers.

It also helps to prevent soreness and stiffness during your holiday.

Skiing or boarding technique needs to be learnt but you’ll improve much quicker if you have good balance and coordination.

In essence: skiing and boarding is an all over body workout and no matter what your level, it is important to work on all the elements that combine to make you ‘ski fit’…and help keep you strong, safe and in control on the mountain.

Preparation is essential to enhance both your stamina on the hill & safety on the slopes.

Staying hydrated on the hill: improve performance and endurance

Caffeine. Beer. No water. Resort skiers and riders are notorious for becoming dehydrated on the slopes. But dehydration can affect performance.

Altitude and cold suppress thirst and also cause an increased loss of body fluids via respiration.

After just 2.5 hours of skiing/riding without taking in fluids, you will likely be irrecoverably dehydrated for the remainder of the day

So how much should you drink while skiing? Latest studies recommend 450 – 500mls of fluid, either water or sports drinks, per hour. Sports drinks help you to retain fluids so are better than water alone.

Stay safe on the snow

A few tips to ensure great fun in the snow…

  • Warm up with a few dynamic stretches prior to hitting the slopes
  • Take some instruction – injuries are more common in beginners and bad habits learnt early on are difficult to resolve later
  • give your equipment a safety check
  • Good sunglasses/goggles & sunscreen are imperative
  • Have regular rests- most injuries occur on that last run before lunch or at the end of the daytiredness & loss of concentration
  • Stick with the slopes that suit your ability – beginners on a black slope often result in carnage
  • Never ski or board off-piste alone

See www.ski-injury.com for more safety on the slopes!

Peter Hogg
noosa_pa@hna.com.au


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