Winter is coming – Fitness for the slopes

What a wonderful time of the year: frosty mornings and autumnal colours, bright low suns and carpets of leaves on the woodland trails. What is better than stoking up your fire and getting your snuggly on?

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If you are anything like me, your training suffers a tad as the weather changes and you start to put on your winter insulation. Then red, gold and brown turns to a blanket of white you’re kicking yourself that your ski holiday is upon you and you just can’t do squats for toffee!

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Skiing can be a relaxing pass time, swishing down tree-lined tracks with vin chaud* stops-a-plenty. Forget not that a day out on the mountain could see you racking up between 4 and 6 hours slope time! Then your evenings have the delights of a catered chalet to contend with, feeding you sumptuous 4 course menus and unlimited booze makes the daytimes just that little bit harder. Without a basic level of fitness you may struggle to keep up with your ski buds, especially with altitude to contend with.

So what steps should we take to ensure we make the most of our mountains and that the ski lifts aren’t are only outlet to recovering our lactic acid build up…?

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Get yourself a fitness plan! Fitness programmes do not need to be extreme but should include training for strength, endurance and flexibility. Try and find ways to train that you actually enjoy and you will be more likely to stick with it.

Aim to achieve a minimum of 3 sessions a week into your program and each should last between 20 minutes to 1 hour at least three times a week. If you can throw a couple of sessions of roller or ice skating in there then it will keep things interesting for you and gives you a start on your lateral movement and coordination.

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We recommend reading this fantastic article in the travel section of the Telegraph online which talks you through how to find your alignment for skiing and exercise specifically to improve your alignment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/advice/Ski-fitness-how-to-get-fit-for-the-slopes/

This may give those new to skiing the impression it is going to be too much hard work which is certainly not the case. Skiing is its own reward, AND you get an ice cold beer at the end of it, which you may have never deserved more. You may have aches and pains but it’s your holidays so treat yourself to a massage in the chalet then slip into the hot tub with a glass of bubbly – perfection!

*Vin chaud – mulled wine

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