Skiing & Snowboarding Tips to Help Your Body
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
With the ski and snowboard season just around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in thoughts of racing down the slopes with friends or family. But if you spend the majority of your time at a sedentary job or you are only lightly active throughout the day, you may be setting yourself up for muscle strain or injuries that could cut your time on the mountain short.
Before hitting the slopes this season, follow these exercise tips to strengthen your muscles and reduce your chance of injury or soreness from skiing or snowboarding.
Boost Your Stamina
Spending a weekend skiing or snowboarding is not a walk in the park. Both activities require a great deal of stamina to get down the hill without constant stopping. While you can use the lift as a rest, you’ll want to build up your cardiovascular fitness level before hitting the slopes. Low-intensity cardio is the smartest way to increase your ability to stick with skiing and snowboarding for an extended period of time. Build in a stationary bike, running, or stair climbing exercise routine three to five times per week, at least 30 minutes per workout, to help improve your stamina. If you’re looking for low impact to protect your legs and knees, consider doing laps in the pool for your cardio routine.
Increase Your Strength
Skiing and snowboarding also require quite a bit of strength, especially in the back, the core muscles, and the legs. This means that in addition to ramping up your cardio routines, you will also want to focus some of your energy on building strength in the muscles you will use on the slopes. Simple exercises like squats and lunges are incredibly beneficial in strengthening your leg and back muscles, and these can be done at home with your body weight alone or in the gym with free weights. Planks are also helpful in increases core strength which is necessary for getting down the slopes with ease. Try to build in two to three strengthening workouts per week ahead of your first skiing or snowboarding trip this season.
Tend to Yourself Beforehand
Hitting the slopes is often a time for relaxation and respite, but take the time to de-stress in advance of your skiing or snowboarding adventure. Stress from work, family, or relationships can have devastating effects on the body, so it is necessary to identify the causes and reduce them as much as possible before skiing or snowboarding. Also, you can protect yourself from further injury by tending to aches and pains you have now. If your back is hurting or you’re suffering from sore muscles or spasms, make an appointment to see a professional before you take to the slopes.
As the ski and snowboard season nears, be sure to take these steps to prepare your mind and your body. You’ll enjoy your time on the slopes far more when you feel confident in your physical ability, and you have made a good faith effort to remove stressors that could exaggerate an injury.