Tips for Skiing (Philip J Hehir DC)
We are right in the middle of skiing season and by golly do many folks in Guildford love to Ski.
As well as being an enjoyable holiday choice, it offers an excellent cardiovascular workout and stimulates the nervous system.
As skiing is not free of injury (like any holiday for that matter), there are some precautions you can take to reduce the risk significantly.
The month before you go, you should be preparing your body to undertake the challenge of skiing holiday. Get down the gym or pull the bike out of the garage and work on your fitness endurance. Perform exercises to build up your leg muscles and core, e.g. squats, lunges, planks (speak to your chiropractor or personal trainer for further advice on this).
When you’ve finally reached the slopes, take note of the following tips for skiing:
- Take Breaks – Take regular breaks before you start to feel tired. Many injuries occur from muscle fatigue – simply because your leg muscles aren’t used to working for 8-hours a day! Don’t be the person that skis from dawn to dusk on day 1, 2 and 3 and then is chalet-ridden for the remainder of the holiday! Pain is often a sign you have already overdone it!
- Refuel – Skiing requires a lot of energy. Energy is needed to fuel muscles, but also to keep you warm. Keep some calorie rich snacks in your pockets, such as nuts or dried fruit ready to munch on whilst you are on the ski lifts.
- Keep Hydrated – It’s easy to think that because it is cold, you don’t need to drink much. That’s nonsense. As well as water, herbal tea (and the odd cheeky hot chocolate) are great ways to ensure you’re keeping hydrated.
- Ski Boots – Don’t settle for uncomfortable or poor fitting hire boots. Whether they are too loose or too tight, your knees, hips and back will really appreciate it. Go back to the fitting shop and change them if necessary. Don’t be so British about it! See here for further details on Ski boots.
- First Day Warm Up – Take it easy on Day 1 of your holiday. If you haven’t skied since last winter, your muscles and nervous system will need the time to get used to the slopes. Start on a few Blue-runs to get yourself going again and then by late morning progress further to the Red. If you feel ready for Black on your first day go for it, but listen to your body.
- Mindful of Your Lifting – When picking up your skis or snowboard, stand square and close to them. Avoid twisting and reaching forward when pulling them out of the storeroom or snow, as you can place excessive strain on your lower back which can result in an injury.
- Walking Boots – Bring a decent pair of walking boots with a good tread depth for when you are out and about. Injuries are just as likely off the slopes as they are on them. Be careful!
Be sure to consult the chiropractor on your return if you had any significant bumps or falls and have your spine checked. Often, these small injuries can serve as precursors for other bigger injuries. Prevention is better than cure.
With that, if you are off skiing this winter season be sure to have a fantastic injury-free holiday!