Winter is coming, so that means one thing: it is ski season! It’s fun, exciting, and challenging. However, if you are a beginner who wants to tackle this sport for the first time, skiing can also feel daunting. Don’t worry, take a deep breath and bear in mind 5 helpful tips below to help you achieve your skiing goal!
Select an appropriate workout plan
What makes skiing so fun is the fact that you can only do it at a certain time of the year. However, it is also dangerous as you can’t practice skiing before the snow flies. All of us only ski a few times a year so we don’t have enough consistency to keep our bodies conditioned for it. To avoid injury, take some time to prepare your body at least 4-6 weeks before your trip. Choose a balanced workout that includes these muscle groups below as they are really important for your skiing game.
Quadriceps are probably the most used muscle group in skiing. These muscles hold you in position as you ski and provide protection for your knees.
Suggested exercises: Squat & lunge
- Hamstrings and Glutes
When skiing downhill, you typically hold your body in a flexed position, which is leaning forward from the hips. This requires great strength from your hamstrings and glutes.
Suggested exercises: Deadlift & step up
- Inner and Outer thighs
Your inner thighs work like crazy to keep your skis together. Your outer thighs keep your body stable and help you steer.
Suggested exercises: Side lunge & scissors legs plank
- Abs and Back
Skiing requires you to stay in a flexed & bent over posture for a whole session, thus your back has to work like a maniac to hold your body in that position. To protect your spine from injury, you have to strengthen and stabilize your core muscles.
Suggested exercises: Bicycle crunch, V-up, medicine ball twist & wood chops
Along with your back, arms help push off with your poles while stabilizing your shoulder joints.
Suggested exercises: Biceps curl, push-up, triceps push down, cable rope overhead triceps extension
Dress in layers
You need to dress properly for a cold day, no matter what the weather forecast is. While you can rent skis and boots, you must bring your own clothes. Dressing too warmly is also a big mistake when exercising in cold weather. Exercise generates a considerable amount of heat – enough to make you feel like it’s much warmer than it really is. The evaporation of sweat; however, pulls heat from your body and you feel chilled.
What is the solution to this problem? Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on when needed. First, put on a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer.
Protect your eyes & skin
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you don’t need sun protection. The effects of the sun can be very harmful even in the dead of winter. Protection from the sun can be as important as any other components for outdoor workouts. Wearing goggles or sunglasses is a good idea as they keep your face warm and allow you to see well when it is snowing or sunny. In addition, lip balm and sunscreen are also the two significant elements to protect your skin from the wind and sunlight. Make sure you cover everything that’s exposed. According to a recent study, when skiers put sunscreen on their face, they missed roughly 10 percent of their skin, usually the eyelids and the bridge of the nose.
Don’t ski alone
Skiing involves moving at very high speeds so it can present some dangers, from frostbite and sunburn to blown knees and head injuries. Falls, some of the spectacular variety, are going to happen, regardless of how good you are. If you’re not with an instructor, make sure you are skiing with at least one other person. Solo skiing is extremely dangerous as problems can arise anytime. Partner skiing will be safer if you ski in the early morning or late in the afternoon when there are fewer people around. Even if you’re both skiing beginners, it helps to have someone else with you in case you fall, get hurt, or lose your way. If you have a friend with a little more experience, then this is an obvious advantage.
Stay hydrated on the ski hill
The truth is, while you’re at the top of a mountain or slope, you’re closer to the sun enough to have all your skin’s moisture sucked out rapidly. Dehydration is especially a risk, which can directly affect the hydration of your skin. Prevention is better than cure, so don’t wait until your skin is dehydrated before you attempt to take action. Better to sip a little frequently than a lot every few hours. You should drink more than you ordinarily would, at least a liter more than you may consume on a typical day. Invest a hydration pack or a backpack with a hydration reservoir pocket to maximize the convenience of drinking water while skiing.