Nine ways to improve ski and snowboard fitness

Oct 08, 2013 No Comments by

Picture Taken: 23rd February 2013

Wherever you’re heading to on your skiing or snowboarding break this winter, you need to make sure you’re prepared.

If you’re new to either discipline then you may not be aware of how very important it is to be fit when you first hit the slopes, otherwise your dream skiing holiday could end up with a nasty injury.

There is a lot to research when you’re looking for that perfect ski or snowboarding break, from the the cheapest and most convenient, flights to the best accommodation for your budget and needs. But while all of the practicalities need time spent researching, reading, comparing and booking, the important thing to remember is the body that will be being put through its paces on a ski holiday.

Bansko is the perfect resort, of course, and it’s possible to find flights and return flights to Belfast and other UK cities at highly competitive prices online. So, now that’s all sorted, what about getting yourself fit. Here are nine top tips to make sure you’re ready, fit and able to ski or snowboard to your heart’s content.

Get the right boots and equipment

Sounds obvious, but it’s a real must. You absolutely must have the right ski boots as, without them, you will feel uncomfortable and will not be able to ski well. You will risk injury. To avoid problems, be aware that not all hire equipment is the same.

Our partners at skimania are specialists who will be able to advise you. Skis, boards and boots are not older than two season old. If you are an accomplished intermediate or better, then be sure to choose advanced equipment. The boots are stiffer and will assist your progress in carving technique. If purchasing new boots, be sure to go to a specialist shop. Good equipment does not make you fitter, but it certainly extends the fitness you have.

Get a full body MOT

Many health centres will give you a proper assessment, including your flexibility, muscle and core strength. This will help you tailor a fitness programme that will help you get ready.

Bansko plato

Early morning ski time. Getting fitter makes an early start easier

Get on your bike

Cycling is one of the best, and most practical, ways to get fitter. It helps with flexibility and cardio vascular fitness. Try and incorporate it into your commute to work, or get out and about in the evenings. If you don’t fancy cycling outside then go to a spinning class at the gym.

Kick start your fitness regime

Think about the best ways to get fit for skiing – you will definitely have to work on your general fitness, flexibility and strength. So, what better way to kick start this than joining a boot camp or heading out to a spa for the weekend and really working out the best way to get yourself fit and healthy. Concentrate on strengthening stamina and flexibility.

Feel the burn

One of the problems you may encounter is that the muscles in your legs will reach a burning feeling far too quickly.

Consider running or jogging regularly (at least three times a week) for at least the two months before you go. Your muscles will thank you for it when you’re on the slopes.

Drop some excess weight

This won’t apply to everyone but, if you do have a small spare tire or a few pounds you could work off before you go, you’ll benefit from it when you’re looking at exercising up to eight hours a day. Cut some of the fat and sugar out of your diet and think about having a bit of a pre-holiday detox.

Get bendy

Yoga or pilates – or even both – are invaluable when it comes to improving your core strength and your flexibility, both of which will will very much need when you hit the slopes. Taking a class is worthwhile for both of these sports as it’s not always easy to know you’re doing it correctly.

Once you have learned some basics, though, there is nothing stopping you from practising at home every day. It’s amazing how quickly your flexibility will improve.

If you don’t have a gym membership picking up a home weight loss DVD can be a cheap and accessible way to shift those stubborn extra pounds

Study the basics

It’s definitely worth spending a bit of time learning about mountain safety if you are venturing anywhere away from the nursery slopes. This is particularly vital if you are one of those that likes to have an adventure off piste. Search for a local mountain safety and avalanche awareness talk – it may save your life one day.

Be disciplined

Work out your regime a good few months before you leave and make sure you stick to it. It may sound like a lot of hard work to prepare for a holiday but it is guaranteed that you will enjoy it so much more and get a lot more out of it when you do get to your skiing destination.

And finally, have an amazing time.

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Living, Skiing & Snowboarding

About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.
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