Get the most out of your ski or snowboarding vacation and your lift tickets by skiing smart. Being fit is a good idea too; however, being fit and skiing smart are two different concepts. Even the young and fit crowd will be sore after skiing all day when they are not used to this activity. The older we get and the more out of shape we are makes it even harder to just hit the slopes and ski all day when you haven’t skied for months or even years. So, here are some ideas to keep in mind that will help you get the most out of your ski or snowboarding vacation. One more important note, having modern ski or snowboarding equipment is a must. No need to borrow or use old stuff. You’re spending a fair amount of money to have a great vacation. Don’t short yourself with substandard gear.
For those who are in really great shape but don’t have much skiing experience, preparing yourself physically won’t be too hard. For the rest of us, it is best to work in some fitness time before your vacation. Skiing really works the quadriceps and tests your balance. It’s a good idea to include some strength and balance exercises into your normal fitness routine at least 6 – 8 weeks before your vacation. No need to go crazy getting ready for your ski vacation, just try to be consistent with a work out program.
Skiing and snowboard is a lot of fun and it is easy to get charged when you begin to feel this exhilaration. Remember that you have all week to ski and you are not used to skiing hard all day long. There is no need to wear yourself out in the first two hours. All ability levels will benefit from warming up on easy runs and getting comfortable with your technique. When you are ready move on to more challenging run, find something that appeals to you. Limit pushing your ability level. Allow yourself to be challenged but recognize that you are challenging yourself. Each run that you take should not be an even bigger challenge then the last. Try to plan each day around when you will be “pushing your limits”. Don’t think that you will be able to maintain that threshold all day for every day of your vacation. That is unrealistic and not smart. So, in a nut shell, take your time warming up. Think about what challenging runs you would like to tackle that day. Once you feel ready to move on, go for your personal challenge and then return to easier runs. If you don’t ski to your expectations, pushing yourself over and over again is not going to necessarily make it happen. You will do better by backing off and coming back in a day or two. Take plenty of breaks and enjoy your social time. These little breaks will provide physical recovery; recovery that will allow you to ski better and last the whole day.
Consider that your muscles are not conditioned for skiing as they are for your other activities. If you are on a week skiing vacation, take at least two days off. For those who are not in very good physical condition, you will be skiing even less. Perhaps purchasing half-day tickets is the way to go. You need to be realistic about how much you really can ski and space out your days on the slope. You will get the highest quality ski time this way. Try fitting in some physical recovery time too. Do some walking. Even a walk around the shops will help your circulation and reduce soreness. If you have access to a bicycle trainer or a swimming pool, some light aerobic exercise will do wonders. Try stretching before and after you ski, even 15 minutes can make a difference. For those with some aching going on, try taking a normal dose of your favorite anti-inflammatory with breakfast and again before bed.
Skis and snowboards have really revolutionized over the past few years. Don’t even bother borrowing old equipment to save a few bucks. No amount of FREE with old equipment is going to improve your skiing or over all vacation experience. The best way to improve your skiing ability and over-all “fun factor” is to demo or rent modern ski or snowboarding equipment.
Be smart and have a great vacation. Spend a little time incorporating strength and balance exercises into your normal fitness routine a month or two in advance. Realize when you plan your vacation that you want to take a day or two off from skiing. This time off between ski days will help you ski better. Rent ski or snowboarding gear if you don’t have modern equipment. Ski smart by limiting how hard you will challenge yourself. Spend plenty of time warming up on easy runs and return to these runs to avoid fatigue. Take plenty of breaks. Consider doing some light aerobic recover exercises after skiing. A good motto to follow is to always check in with yourself. There is no need to be way outside of your comfort zone. Get the most out of your ski or snowboarding vacation by being smart. A little bit of smarts can go along way.