GET YOUR BODY READY FOR THE SLOPES
The Winter Olympics are fast approaching and for two weeks from 7th February all eyes will be on Sochi and seasonal sports such as ski-ing and snowboarding.
Many people will be inspired to book a lessons or a holiday based on the coverage of the Olympics and one York-based chiropractor is advising that you get your body in shape before hitting the slopes to maximize your enjoyment and minimize the risk of injury.
Dr Phil Baines explains: “Too many people view skiing and snowboarding as just a holiday activity and don’t feel they need to prepare for it but when you hit the slopes you will be using your body in completely different ways to the rest of the year. Even if you’ve been skiing for years if you only do it for one or two weeks a year you must prepare for it every time”
“Being properly prepared will not only reduce your likelihood of injury it will also make your holiday more relaxing and more enjoyable”
Ideally preparation should begin at least 6 weeks before and should include exercises to improve your endurance, balance and flexibility as well as your cardiovascular fitness.
Balance: try using a “wobble cushion” or “wobble board” or a “swiss ball” to improve your body’s ability to respond to sudden changes in position this is known as proprioception and is a necessity to be safe in the snow
Cardiovascular (CV) fitness: if you don’t perform regular exercise you must start to do some CV exercise at least 6 weeks before (preferably more). This can be cycling; jogging, spinning or anything that you enjoy that will increase your ability to keep going.
Endurance: a long day on the slopes will put high demands on your muscles, try light squats or lunges to improve this (MAKE sure you do these with good technique).
Flexibility: Skiing doesn’t require the flexibility of a gymnast but making sure your muscles can move through a full range will help you to stay safe, yoga or a regular stretching session will help you to be flexible.
Warm up/Cool down: Too many people will hit the slopes in the morning and leave in the evening without giving a thought to what they have put their bodies through.
Remember skiing is very physical and you should always start to ski gently and consider a dynamic warm up going through some skiing type movements while in a controlled setting before going hard at it.
You should always start to ski more gently for the last 30 mins on the slope and then at some point before you begin your apres ski spend a while stretching out those hardworking tired muscles to ensure they are good to go the next day.
Dr Phil Baines is the Principal Chiropractor at Active Care Chiropractic, in York, and was one of the Chiropractors on the core medical team in the athlete’s village at the Summer Olympics in London 2012. He is a specialist in sports injuries and is one of UK’s leading Chiropractors.