Fun ways to get fit to ski
Getting your body ready for snow sports can sometimes be the hardest thing to do and quite often we don't see the necessity. If we’re only skiing for one week a year, why bother?
Participating in an active sport like skiing requires a degree of balance, coordination and agility to succeed. Importantly, to help reduce the risk of injury, some body toning and stretching can be of massive benefit.
One of the problems we all face is never having enough time in the day, to devote to reducing our weight or increasing our fitness level.
Quite often fitness is seen as hard work and unenjoyable, but this does not have to be the case.
If you have already incorporated fitness into your life, then you are one step ahead to enjoying your holiday more and reducing the risk of injury.
Simply doing a 10 minute jog, a brisk walk, or a 30 minute bike ride every other day, will make a big difference to how you feel.
If you can incorporate some strength and flexibility training, this will increase your agility on the slopes. Pilates, yoga, circuit training and TRX can really help. Surf the web and see what is going on in your area.
The important thing is to make training enjoyable and varied. Joining a structured class, makes you more disciplined and you’ll likely be training with like-minded people. Why not go for a bike ride or a jog with a friend. If you don't like jogging or biking but have access to good cycle paths, have a go at scootering, skateboarding and rollerblading. You could even try yoga on a paddle board.
If you feel the benefits and enjoy it, you will make your training part of your lifestyle.
So, it’s worth putting aside an hour per day on 3 days each week to look after your health.
One of the easiest ways to stay more active is to enjoy a variety of sports all year and there are many sports which have a crossover to skiing and snowboarding.
In my teaching I am always trying to use analogies of sports or everyday activities which you already understand, to help introduce a similar movement pattern or feeling into your skiing.
For example, there are many similarities when descending down a hill on a bike, surfing a wave, descending a moving river in a kayak, sailing a dinghy, windsurfing, kite surfing in stronger winds, waterskiing and wakeboarding.
All these sports require balance, co-ordination, agility and require the ability to react to a situation with velocity (speed with a direction).
Learning a new sport should be fun, they don't have to be high adrenaline.
Racket and ball sports require balance, coordination and agility with a high degree of foot and leg movement - in skiing you use your feet and legs a lot!
Perhaps for the younger age group, gymnastics and trampolining are very popular sports to get involved in and can be especially useful for skiing or snowboarding in the park or half pipe.
My philosophy is get involved and get active, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t very good at it. The more sports you try, the more likely you are to find one you really enjoy.
I enjoy swimming, I have never been the most efficient swimmer, but it does give me an all over body work out, so I try to incorporate that into my fitness program at least once a week.
Skiing, snowboarding and cross-country, all these snow sports are very accessible within ski resorts, so why not try something new this season. The old saying ‘’variety is the spice of life’’ is very true, so try and dedicate half a day to do something different during your ski holiday this winter….snowboarding or cross-country perhaps!