How to Stay Fit and

Enlightened on the Ski Slopes



By Dana Nichols

Finding and loving the spirit of the mountains
Connect with the outdoors, breath clean air and burn calories
Do your body, mind and spirit a favor: go skiing
Snow is falling and it’s time to dust off the skis


I find the ski slopes are one of the best places to travel when you need a tangible reminder that there is something larger than you on this earth. Use these tips to channel inner warmth for the ability to be playful and powerful on any size mountain.

Physical strength on the slopes

Think young, ski young and be young. There are few sports that grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren can do together. Skiing is one of them. Staying in “skier shape” has amazing returns as it keeps entire families vital by ensuring a lifetime of healthy winter sports. When it comes to skiing, it’s worth it to stay in shape.

Conditioning and yoga tips. Skiing works muscles that aren’t used on a regular basis. Individuals who are already in fit condition can prep for the slopes by tweaking their routine. Exercises to do several times a week 1-2 months before skiing: add squats to strengthen knees and quads. Incorporate hamstring stretches in your regular workout. Target calf muscles, especially if you snowboard, with calf raises. Remember that when you’re on the slopes you’ll call on your endurance and core strength, all while working lungs harder in the thin, high-altitude air. Increase your yoga practices. Stretching all that connective tissue will come into play when your joints are asked to be flexible on the slopes, making it a superb injury preventer. Do balance movements - you’ll be glad you did hen you hit that first patch of ice off the chairlift - and don’t discount wrist-strengthening exercises, which translate from the yoga mat to the slopes more than you think. In fact, one of the most common on-snow injuries is to the hand or wrist (it’s where we tend to fall first).

Shuss time. As we get older, stretching before the first chair does wonders for our ski day. Once you’re ready to drop in, go for the easy run first. Warm-up runs are always recommended by ski instructors, and for good reason. Not only can they give legs a wake-up call, but they help you start the day with a positive, “I got this!” mentality. And a final reminder: even the best pro-skier will remind you that it’s not how fast or big you go, but how much personal style you have. Now get ready to burn 500 calories an hour (the average amount burned by a 150-pound person).

Ski with an open mind. Need another way to build strength? Throw away the idea of rivalry (who said skiers and snowboarders need to fight, anyway?) If you ski, try snowboarding. If you snowboard, try skiing. Every resort offers first-timer lessons in both. Switching it up keeps you on your toes and helps bring harmony to the mountain environment through simple understanding.

Dynamic Living Magazine Issue Vol. 1  Jan/Feb 2011 continue to page 2