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One of the best recommended holidays I always hear about is skiing.  People who are going get so excited because of the hype from all their friends who have been and people who have been can’t get enough of it.  Apart from it being too cold to sunbathe and the beach being substituted for a slope covered in snow, skiing seems like the perfect holiday!…. Right??

However, to every upside comes a downside and I don’t mean one of the mountains used as a slope.  Feeling the adrenaline rush through your veins as you zoom down a slope of snow is enough to make anyone feel like they are flying. However, if you fatigue because of lack of fitness, muscular endurance, balance or coordination (to name a few factors), there is a chance you could end up in a situation that gets you or someone else injured.

That’s why I’ve made this quick help guide on “pre-skiing prehab” for anyone who thinks they may need that little help with their fitness before they hit the slopes (hopefully not literally, though!).

Here are my tips for increasing your fitness ready for that all important ski trip!Start early!

Ok, so for some this may seem a little obvious but if you want to get fit for skiing or anything, in fact, you need to start well before you go.  Starting a week or two before your holiday or event won’t make enough improvement to your cardio-vascular fitness.  As we all know skiing is a sport that uses a huge amount of energy, therefore the fitter you are the longer you can enjoy the slopes, not to mention the faster your recovery will be.

Just going for a run won’t cut it!

So you want to get fit ready for this epic skiing trip you’ve got coming up! So what exercise should you do? Running? Yes, running will improve your fitness.  However, running is an endurance exercise (unless you’re doing the 100m sprint of course), so it means long workouts that burn a lot of calories…. great right? Not as much as you think! Yes, you need the endurance but you also need some strength.  So try doing a gym session or a weight session of some sort a few times a week.  Building up your strength will allow you to have more control while skiing, making you safer on your skis and you get to enjoy the slopes with less effort.

Could you walk a tightrope?

Ah…. ok you don’t need to join a circus to enjoy skiing (although some of those trapeze artists are incredibly strong!).  But you do need a solid core.  Those deep muscles that everyone claims they don’t have, your rectus abdominous, internal and external obliques and transverse abdominus…that’s them!  By building your core you lay down a foundation for your balance, strength, coordination and muscular endurance to develop and work from in an efficient way. Furthermore, your core can also help prevent injury such as low back pain and give you better posture on and off the slopes.  If you’re looking to build your core it’s a little more than just sit-ups.  There are exercises such as the plank and supermans you can do to build your core or there are classes you can do such as Physiolates (Pilates run by physiotherapists), that completely works your core while improving your flexibility and muscular endurance.

Easy tiger!

With all this being said, I’m sure you’re now keen to jump straight into a new exercise routine, so you’re going into your holiday with the strength and fitness of an Olympic athlete…. right?  You may think that’s a good idea, but jumping straight into a new fitness programme (especially if you haven’t done one for a while) isn’t always the best idea.  You need to gradually build up your exercise tolerance.

Start by going to the gym or doing some exercise 2-3 times per week for about 30mins-45mins a session.  Then as you feel yourself getting fitter, a little stronger or recovering better, step it up a little.  Sometimes going into a new fitness routine too fast, can cause you to see it as a chore.  That’s when you start to lose motivation and fall off the routine… (e.g. the classic new year revolutionist…. you know who you are!).IMG_6157SO PACE IT! DON’T RUSH!!

Yes, you have the goal of getting fitter for your holiday but there’s an easy way (easy as in pacing…training should be moderately difficult for any progress) or a hard way, you decide how you do it. If you’re stuck for ideas, there’s loads of help out there that can help, here are a few examples:

  • Personal Training – Fierce Fit for women at physio.co.uk
  • Physiotherapy – such as physio.co.uk
  • Pilates – Physiolates at physio.co.uk or physiolates.org.uk
  • Exercise classes – body pump, circuits, spin
  • Yoga
  • If you don’t have a gym membership, there is still loads that you can do to increase your fitness – the internet can be a wonderful place, try searching for exercises routines, even pre-ski specific routines and you will find something.

If you have any questions visit Physio.co.uk and see what we can offer you. Even if it’s some advice, contact us through email or phone and see if we can help!!