It's a question we so often get asked: "What exercise or fitness programme can we do prior to our winter holiday?"
As guides and instructors our work keeps us healthy and our fitness level high. But like our guests we too have to consider getting ready for the next season. A long life of snow sports can be maintained by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, appropriate fitness training and an injury prevention programme. The latter for us all being of great importance.
Prior to a change of sport (like an up and coming ski holiday) or physical intensity level it's important to prepare the body accordingly. Here are a few tips during to consider prior to the winter season be it on skis, a board or snowshoes.
A fitness programme should train you aerobically and for strength. Specific strength, core stability and progressively challenging balance exercises should be prioritised into this training to help both performance and protect against injury: aim to include 2-3 strength and conditioning sessions per week.
As a guideline we recommend the following:
An 8-12 week training programme before your holiday
2/3 hours per week of moderate cardio as a baseline increasing to higher intensity and duration
Cross train in different sports to prevent overuse/overtraining
Strength & conditioning 2-3 times per week – such as weights, pilates, core stability or SkiFit
Our physio friends at La Clinique du Sport in Chamonix (who also feature on our running camps) have just launched a specific pre-ski strength and conditioning program known as ‘SkiFit’. Designed for all levels of snow sports (but will also be useful for all other activities too) they have taken time to look at how we ski & board and broken the movement patterns down.
The program has been developed to help everyone improve their strength and technique. This ‘pre-habilitation’ training programme is split into four phases over 8 weeks with the aim of improving strength in key muscles as well as developing flexibility and balance. Practised either in a class (classes are currently only available in Chamonix!) or with use of an 'app' can be done at home each phase builds on the previous one with over 100 individual ski specific exercises.
We are delighted to be able to promote SkiFit, part of the Be Fit Apps programme, as the perfect way to help you train specifically and adapt your body for your ski or snowshoe holiday. It's easy to set up & follow, enjoyable, affordable adding a trust worthy science to your pre-trip training.
Some of the Tracks and Trails team tried and tested it last year and really noticed the results that when stepping onto the snow for the first time that season the body already felt "prepped, ready and strong".
Prior to any change in exercise programme it is advisable to seek professional guidance to ensure its suitability however we feel that we've found the ideal pre-winter training programme that you can adopt anywhere. If you have any questions at all about how to train for any of our holidays then please feel free to get in touch and we'll be happy to advise.
Make the most out of your winter holiday by feeling strong and fit before you've even touched the snow!