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Get Ready for the Ski Slopes in the Gym

mature couple on skis in the mountains

If you’re thinking about alpine skiing this winter, now is the time to start to get ready for the ski slopes in the gym.

Actually, late summer would have been the best time to start, but the second best time is NOW.

Stamina, strength and flexibility are key to being in peak skiing condition.

Talk to me about any questions you have. And remember, even if skiing is not your thing, working out can prepare you for whatever IS your thing! Now, here’s a good general guide to how to prepare for the slopes.

  • Be sure to go on a few walks each week and take the stairs when you can. Or, if your stamina is already fair, then work in two or three cardio workouts weekly.
  • Resistance training for legs. Most of the muscle strain from downhill skiing is on your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. A nice leg circuit twice a week will help get you ready. That means squats, lunges, deadlifts and calf raises. Ask for a demonstration if you’re not familiar with proper form.
  • Skiing requires a strong core because of all the twisting and leaning forward. Get ready with planks and twists.
  • Stretch before working out with weights, walking or running – and that includes your lower back.
  • How’s your balance? Work on that as well.

If you’re a veteran skier, you know what fun is waiting for you. And if not, it’s never too late to learn.

Baby boomers make up about 20 percent of US skiers. The sport isn’t nearly as demanding as it used to be, since the equipment is so much better now. Senior discounts abound. And what other sport gets you outside in fresh, clean air amid spectacular mountain scenery?

She Doesn’t Let Anything Stop Her

Dawn L., age 60, started as a child, and she has been skiing for almost 50 years in a row – “even the years I blew out my ACLs — both knees, different years,” she says.

Dawn, a physician’s assistant and member of the ski patrol, stays in shape by hiking and biking during summers.

She practices Pilates and goes to the gym, as well, and says her core and leg strength have been instrumental in helping her bounce back after injuries and surgeries.

“Being active is very important for all seasons,” she says. “There is no off-season for exercise.” 

Skiing into His 80s 

Dick O., age 86, has been skiing for more than 40 years. He keeps up strength-and-balance workouts with a personal trainer keep him in shape for it.

“It’s not the easiest sport in the world, and I want to be able to continue it as a part of my lifestyle,” says Dick, who stays active with his wife, Sally. “I’m outside in the fresh air and I can enjoy the mountains. When you make a good run down the slope, you say, ‘Wow, look what I just did.’”

Whether you want to get ready for the ski slopes or not, exercise with a fitness professional can keep you in good shape and ready.

Talk to me about any questions you have – about skiing or any other awesome activity you want to keep enjoying.


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