Whether you are new to skiing or have extensive experience with the sport, there are proactive steps skiers of all levels can take to prepare for a better season. Here are 8 tips that can help you elevate your ski game, so you can enjoy a fun and safe ski season this winter:
1. Wear proper equipment
Having the proper equipment on the mountain can play an important role in injury prevention. The first step is to ensure that your skis and poles are an appropriate length for your height. If you already own a pair of skis, make sure you bring them in for a tune up. In the event of a fall, it’s important that your boots release from their bindings properly to prevent any unwanted twisting in your knees. Don’t forget to check the bindings before you start skiing.
Wearing a helmet on the slopes is required for a good reason. It’s one of the best ways to prevent a head injury and keep you safe. It’s also important to be able to recognize the early signs of a concussion for the best first aid care. If a skier nearby is showing signs of a concussion, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Have a look at our guide on recognizing concussion symptoms.You can print this out or save it on your phone for reference on the hill.
2. Do warmup techniques
Many skiers drive up to several hours to get to the hill. Before hopping on the lift, it is important to wake up your muscles. Give the exercises in this blog a try!
3. Try a skiing lesson
We often associate taking a lesson with being a beginner, but this isn’t always the case. Even some of the best skiers in the world take lessons to improve their skiing. Not only can lessons help you become a better skier, they can help you become a safer skier. Skiing with the proper form will help you move more efficiently down the hill and help prevent injuries.
4. Remember to start slow
This is a good rule of thumb to follow throughout the season and day to day on the slopes. For your first few days on the hill, start with a couple hours and slowly ramp up to full days as the season progresses. As for on the hill, after a nice warmup start with a couple easy runs (green) then increase with difficulty as the day goes on and your ability allows.
5. Listen to your body
Most injuries typically happen after 3:30 PM – going for that infamous last run. Contributing factors are often a combination of hill conditions (stickier snow throughout the day) and the physical conditioning of the skier. Injuries often happen when our muscles fatigue. If you feel like you are getting tired towards the end of the day, it might be a good idea to call it a day rather than try to squeeze in one last run.
6. Stay hydrated
People tend to forget to stay hydrated while out on the slopes. In cooler temperatures, we often do not get the same thirst we would on a hot day. In reality, skiing is a very active sport and we can lose a lot of fluids through our sweat. Don’t forget to take water breaks throughout the day so you can stay hydrated!
7. Stretch at the end of the day
After a day on the mountain, it may be tempting to head straight to the chalet to warmup with a hot chocolate. Before you get there, take time to stretch before your body cools down and tightens up. Your body will thank you later!
8. Take a day off
On longer ski trips, it may be tempting to get as much skiing in as you can. Remember that it is okay to take a day off here and there. It will give your body a chance to recharge and may improve the quality of your skiing throughout the rest of the trip!
The best ski seasons are injury free seasons. These 8 tips will help you stay healthy and enjoy the mountains before winter draws to a close.
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This blog originally was posted on Lifemark.ca and was written by Jaimie Wright, an international Physiotherapy student studying in Ireland at RCSI.