If you’re off to the slopes soon take a look at these tips to reduce the chance of injury.
Before you go.
As with most tasks preparation before the activity is key. This is to start using muscles that you don’t normally use. If you can build up some strength before you go you will less likely to fatigue these muscles when out on the slopes.
Squats – Great for increasing the strength in the legs. Start off with a set of 5 reps and gradually increase to 3 sets of 5. It all depends on your current level of fitness if you need to ease yourself in gently begin with shallow squats then increase the depth. If you’re finding this too easy, hold the squat to increase intensity. A similar exercise to the squat is holding a squat position but leaning against the wall. Again start off easy and gradually build it up, maybe holding for 30 seconds and repeating 3 times and then increasing the hold time.
Cycling – Again helps strengthen the muscles you will be using on the slopes. Mountain biking or road whichever you prefer. Again start off fairly easy and build up slowly. Work out flatter routes to start with and then build in hill climbs once you’ve built up your stamina. Keep safe with protective headwear and be seen with hi-visibility clothing.
Balance exercises – This will help you stay upright and reduce falls. If you have a wobble board, fantastic, start with both feet and then progress to single foot balance exercises. If not stand on a piece of foam or some towels on one leg. Start off easy again with a simple one leg stand upright and then progress to standing on one leg but leaning forwards and backwards to make it more difficult to balance. Hold a couple of weights in each hand or two cans of soup to make it more difficult as a progression.
Once you’re there.
Take it easy to start with, give yourself plenty of time to find your balance. Make sure every day to start with an easy run to warm up. Have a lesson, as this is the quickest way to iron out any technique issues, which will make you ski better.
Take plenty of breaks, accidents are most likely to happen when you’re feeling tired and your body isn’t able to react as quickly. Avoid that “last” run when you don’t feel quite up to it.
Stay hydrated by drinking water as it is easy to become dehydrated due to exercise and this will reduce your body function.
Make sure your equipment is up to scratch. Your boots need to be a good fit and will improve your technique and balance. Wedges can improve your knee alignment which again will help your technique.
When skiing take care carrying equipment; you wouldn’t want to take all this time and trouble to ensure a good holiday and then injure yourself carrying your kit! Leave your skis standing upright so you don’t have to bend to pick them up. Carry them over your shoulder, swapping shoulders regularly.
When not in your skis or snowboard beware of icy conditions and wear appropriate footwear to avoid slipping over, especially if you’re going to indulge in alcoholic après ski!
Make sure you come and see us before you go if you have any niggles that can be sorted out before you hit the slopes and if you do take a tumble whilst out there come and get it checked out when you get back.
Above all else have fun as it’s a great form of exercise and you can’t beat the mountain air, the sun (hopefully) and the snow.
Take your first step towards enjoying your life more
From the team at Well Adjusted Health
Providing gentle chiropractic in West Sussex
including Ashington, Storrington, Steyning, Southwater, Horsham, Shoreham, Worthing and Billingshurst