Friday, October 5, 2012

Get ski fit for the upcoming winter!!

Winter is almost here! That means you have all started booking your trips out to Aspen and are looking forward to doing it properly this year... You've told yourself you'll be as fit and ready as ever! Most people turn up and expect that their monthly workout will see them through. And it will. But those with the extra strength & conditioning training under their belt will be far better off... As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. The same applies for getting ready for ski season, although there are basic principles that apply across the board. Fitness is a big part of skiing - being able to enjoy a run from top to bottom without needing to stop and "admire the views" is a satisfying feeling. So make sure you're doing what you can to boost your cardio levels. Don't forget, especially for those of you coming from sea level, that Aspen's base elevation is 7,908 feet above sea level - the air carries less oxygen at this altitude, so don't be surprised to find yourself short of breath, regardless of conditioning levels. Strength workouts are also beneficial for both skiing and snowboarding. As with almost every sport (and life in general), a good strong core helps with athletic ability. So spend some time working off that paunch - besides, you want to look good when lounging at Sky Pool, don't you?? Leg workouts are extremely important too. Not only will strong quadriceps, hamstrings and calves keep you on the mountain from first chair to last call on those deep powder days we all crave, but they will help prevent injury & boost recovery time. Squats, lunges and wall-sits are all good exercises for boosting lower body strength. As always though, seek help from a professional if you are unsure of the proper technique. Stability and balance also play a key role when skiing and snowboarding, so be sure to include a variety of balance exercises while boosting your overall strength. And lastly, don't forget to stretch! Many professional skiiers and snowboarders are big advocates of yoga and other forms of stretching workouts. Flexibility helps with balance and keeping muscles loose, and will help you avoid sticky situations when caught out by the flat light days. Even 10 minutes of stretching in the morning will help boost blood circulation, focus the mind and boost energy levels. So on that note, go get ready for the season!! The more you do now, the better your days will be. Happy trails!