With the ski season approaching fast, most of us need to improve our fitness to ensure we don’t collapse after a day out on the piste. So here are a few tips and tricks on how to get those muscles ready for the slopes with minimum effort – and which you might actually end up doing!
1. Cycling and running
It’s super-important to improve your general fitness and endurance in preparation for a skiing holiday. Cycling and running are ideal cardiovascular exercises. If you haven’t got the time – or just can’t be bothered – to go out in the rain for a run or a cycle ride, then get on a stepper or running machine in your gym for 30 minutes. If you don’t have a gym membership, you could walk up and down the stairs in your house: the effect will be the same.
It is very important to stretch your muscles before your skiing holiday to avoid cramps and straining after a long day on the piste. Yoga and Pilates are the perfect choice. If these aren’t your thing, just google some simple stretching exercises to do at home in your own time. Et voilà!
3. Strengthen your leg muscles
This may sound like a no-brainer, but strong leg and hip muscles really are crucial to prevent injury. When you ski and your legs feel like jelly, all your weight will be carried by your knees, which will strain them and lead to knee injuries. Simple squats at home will do the trick, if you cannot gear yourself up to go to the gym.
4. Don’t forget your core muscles!
You don’t necessarily think of strong stomach muscles when it comes to skiing, but believe me they are absolutely necessary to avoid straining your back. A strong upper body helps you guide your skis better and takes the strain of your knees. Simple crunch ups at home on the floor will work wonders for your core muscles. 50 crunch ups per day and you’re all set!
5. Improve your balance
Finally, you need good balance to guide your skis well and to ensure you don’t crash into the next skier at the smallest obstacle. And believe it or not, this can easily be achieved by just standing on one leg while brushing your teeth. So sorry to break the news to you, but there is really no excuse not to do this exercise ;)!
Experts say that you should start your fitness training 1-2 months before your skiing holiday and exercise 2-3 times per week to achieve the best results. From personal experience, I can say that even late and less is better than nothing. So if you’re planning a ski holiday at Christmas, get started now. It’s never too late!