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Preparation for the Slopes

Get your lift ticket out, it’s ski season! As people from all over the tri-state area travel to their favorite slopes, there’s more to think about than which run to hit first.

Skiing is a very intense exercise that really strains your body. Between the constant weight shifting and breathing in the frigid air, this can be very taxing on your body. Skiing is a great winter pastime—but if you aren’t prepared, it can be miserable. There are some very important things to do in preparation before you shred your way down the mountain.

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing

First off, what to wear: ski hat, gloves, scarf, winter coat, long johns, and the usual for winter outings. However, there are a few extra things you may want to get: goggles to block wind and snow, tall socks for the boots, and quality ski pants. Remember also to wear layers—wool is better than cotton in this case because you won’t get cold if you get wet.

Gear up

Don’t forget, besides your actual clothing, your equipment is equally important. Your skis and poles/board, and boots must be properly aligned with your body. You don’t want your boots to be too tight. You will be miserable, and this will limit your range of motion on the slopes. Your skis will be alerted to your height and weight. This is also extremely important for balance and control on the mountain.

All equipment needs to be perfectly fitted for you. Don’t borrow your buddy’s equipment unless you have it tailored to your needs—this is for safety reasons. If you have any pinching or discomfort on your run, go back to the lodge and get your equipment checked out as soon as possible.

This ain’t no walk in the park

Your fitness level plays an important role in how your day will go. Skiing is not a walk in the park, it has its ups and downs. During skiing, your body is straining muscles it normally doesn’t use in your daily activities. Most of these are internal balance muscles that may take some time to warm up.

Skiing is very cardiovascular. If the skier is not used to this type of exercise, they may get fatigued early in the day, which will lead to bad form and ultimately less control.

Skiing can be very dangerous. You are not surrounded by the safety, warmth, and brick walls of your gym. You are out in the wilderness in extreme temperatures doing very strenuous exercise. If you do lose control, the effects could be fatal.

The harsh cold air and winds along with altitude changes can also have a big effect on your ski trip. The cold will tighten your muscles, so it is imperative you stretch! You do not want to pull a muscle on the mountain. Make sure your body is limber and warmed up before getting on the lifts.

There are many preventative measures you can take to lessen the chances of an accident. Don’t overestimate your ability, stay aware of your body and its limits, and don’t hesitate to ask for help from instructors or ski patrol if you need it.

Get ready for the slopes with Access Physical Therapy & Wellness

Did you know you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you. Please call us and set up an evaluation so we can help make sure you’re ready for the slopes or help you recover from an injury quickly and safely. Find an Access Physical Therapy & Wellness clinic near you.