If there’s one vital thing you need to go skiing it a degree of fitness, and here we give readers Fit to Ski tips and exercises from yourphysioplan.com
Yourphysioplan founder and expert Denise Keeson points out that no matter how fit you are, you will be unaccustomed to the intense physical demands of a ski holiday and risk injury.
She advises – always choose a resort with pistes and slopes to match your ability. And if you suffer from arthritis in the knees, hips or back try to avoid moguls (bumps) as they can cause painful jarring at the joints. And if you have cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease or asthma, even if well controlled by medication, best select a resort at a lower altitude (less than 1500m) as they have alternative activities to give your body a break.
If you have aches and pains before your trip take anti-inflammatories, painkillers, joint supports, ice/heat packs and use as directed by your GP or physiotherapist.
To make sure your body lasts the holiday, focus pre holiday efforts on your cardiovascular and leg muscle strength and endurance.
Here’s five exercises to start ideally at least 6 weeks before go:
• At least 1 hour of brisk walking/light jog a day. You should be feeling breathless while you do it but still able to talk in full sentences
• Step up and step downs – Practice on your bottom step at home or off the kerb 30 repetitions on each leg. Make the movement slow and purposeful keeping the hip, knee and ankle aligned.
• Lunges – Keeping your upper body straight, shoulders back but relaxed and looking straight ahead engage your core and step forward with one leg. Lower your hips bending your knees in their pain free range up to a 90 degree angle. Make sure your front knee is in line with your foot and above your ankle. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting positions. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
• The clam – Lie on your back on a mat on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Your feet and knees should be parallel and hip-width apart. Let your arms relax along the sides your body. Breathe in to prepare and as you breathe out tuck your tail bone beneath you, draw your belly button towards your spine and engage your abdominals and pelvic floor. Starting at your pelvis, roll your spine up toward the ceiling, one vertebra at a time until you can comfortably place your hands beneath your hips. To release, exhale and roll your spine back down to the mat, one vertebra at a time.
• Standing on one leg – take it in turns to stand on one leg unaided for 1 minute (with a stable surface nearby to hold onto).
Remember if you are not confident on how to perform any of these exercises or you feel any pain or discomfort during exercise make an appointment with your nearest YourPhysioPlan.com Physio for assistance.
Finally a top tip from Denise Kesson: “It is always best to leave the slopes each day feeling you could have done more! This ensures you will be able to ski the same amount if not more each day of your holiday.”