One of the questions we get asked a lot by those going on their first ski holiday is 'how fit do you need to be?' so we asked our Alpine Expert and gym-lover, Georgie, for the lowdown.
Out are the days of dreaming of a summer body - we're all about being ready to hit the slopes in the gorgeous mountains! Unfortunately, we can’t sit at our desks or lounge around and watch TV all day and hope that come our French Alps ski holiday we will be absolutely fine. When in reality our bodies do go through a lot of work on a ski holiday.
Skiing and snowboarding use a lot of muscles, muscles you might not even think you use. If you haven’t trained these muscles in a while, you could end up a little achy and fatigued. Not only do you need to train your muscles, but skiing and boarding require cardiovascular, strength and flexibility.
If you're not very active, to get ready for the winter you want to start to think about your fitness about 6-12 weeks beforehand to make sure that you build up enough strength in time. This will reduce the risk of injury too.
Building up your cardiovascular fitness will mean that you are able to last on the slopes much longer than you normally would.
Try to incorporate 20 minutes to an hour, three times a week. This can be either running, cycling, swimming or even a walk. As long as you get your heart rate up to 50-60% of your maximum heart rate, meaning you should be able to easily hold a conversation whilst working out. The most important thing is that you pick something that you enjoy, this will help you stay consistent and will mean that you are more than likely going to stick with it.
In skiing and boarding, the main muscle groups you use are your quads, hamstrings and glutes. It is also a good idea to incorporate some core and back exercises into your routine. Doing these exercises will also help you last longer on the slopes as your muscles won’t get as tired. Even our seasoned skiers can feel the burn.
Our top tip. Take it easy. If you start to feel fatigued, rest and you'll be good to go the next day!
- Squats – these can be dumbbell, barbell or bodyweight squats
- Lunges – same as squats, dumbbell, barbell or bodyweight
- Step-ups – you can either do bodyweight or dumbbell
- Burpees - don't hate us!
- Plank - there are lots of plank challenges online
- Sit ups
- Russian twists
Adding yoga into your routine will help you stretch out your muscles and loosen up ready to get on the slopes. Yoga is also brilliant for balance. You'll find loads of yoga lessons on YouTube, including some dedicated to skiers.
On the slopes
Now you can go and enjoy your ski holiday without being too sore, causing an injury or being fatigued the whole trip.
Make sure you warm up before a day’s skiing and once you’re done for the day stretch off and have a lovely warm shower! And, do take advantage of those swimming pools and spas found in many of our accommodations.