Get Into Shape for Skiing Season
Skiing season is upon us, and if you love to ski you probably cannot wait to hit the slopes. Take time now to check your gear, including your skis and binders, boots, snow pants and jacket, gloves, scarf, mask, and wax to keep your skis in shape. You also want to ensure that you’re in good shape so you can handle the slopes without getting worn out too quickly. If you’ve let yourself get out of shape this summer or fall, take some time now to increase your flexibility and stamina so you can enjoy skiing this season.
The first thing you might want to do is consider some yoga and stretching so you’re better able to handle the twists and turns of the slopes or cross-country skiing. Yoga and stretching don’t need to be overly demanding and most yoga routines today are not about meditation and chanting, but about focusing on the body while you gently stretch and increase flexibility. Most gyms today have beginner yoga classes and these are perfect for anyone no matter your age or physical condition.
If you’ve never done yoga you can always create a simple stretching routine for yourself with a few movements. Sit down on the floor and spread your legs and bend forward to touch your toes, then the floor in front of you. Pull your feet toward your body, knees bent, and lean forward to gently stretch your legs. Stand up and bend forward to touch your toes. Hold each of these positions for several seconds while you feel your legs stretch. These simple movements will open up your leg muscles and can also stretch your back.
You need to be in good cardiovascular shape to ski as the cold wind can be very taxing on your lungs. Some time on a treadmill can be all you need to strengthen your heart and lungs before you hit the slopes. Don’t just walk when on the treadmill but go at a challenging pace so you’re actually making a difference and training your heart and lungs. If you cannot run outright, walk briskly for a few minutes then run as fast as you can for a full minute or as long as you can, and then go back to walking briskly. Repeat this cycle for maximum training.
Any cardiovascular exercise you do now will increase your strength when on the slopes. If you have an exercise bike, use it. Go for runs outside when it’s not too cold, or take time to play with the kids and get yourself worn out that way. These things will all get you into better shape so you can easily handle the ski slopes this season.