Smart skiers don't get injured

It is winter – high season for skiing. Even though the Alps are suffering with profound lack of fresh snow at the moment, the pistes are reportedly in good condition. This is good news for those who enjoy carving or boarding down the groomed stuff, enjoying the sun, and getting a good workout whilst doing so.

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your ski break:

Preparation is the key:

Just like your equipment needs to be serviced, your body needs to get used to the idea of hurtling down the pistes. Many people go straight from work into a skiing holiday and expect to escape injury free – this is unrealistic. The main things to get jump started are endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. The best ways to perk up your endurance and strength are long walks (or runs) with a heavy rucksack, squats and lunges. For those who are office bound most of the time, these will wake up your leg muscles, increasing the tolerance for exercise and reduce the likelihood of stiffness and aching. Squats and lunges are best done with body weight only, and long sets (with lots or repetitions) to ensure best results. Practicing standing on one leg whilst doing some of your daily activities, or when at work can boost your balance and proprioception as well as strengthen your ankles. Nothing beats good old stretching for improving your flexibility – please refer to the stretching section on the website for advice.


What to do when there:

Before heading out in the morning it’s a good idea to warm-up. Anything that gets your blood pumping will do for a warm-up. The idea of a warm-up is to increase the core temperature in the body, and allow the muscles to be eased into action. This will help you perform better through the day, and will prevent injuries. You can find a bullet proof warm-up routine here.

After a days skiing or boarding and a warm shower, it is advisable to go through your stretching programme before heading out to après-ski. As the muscles have been contracting heavily the whole day, they need to be returned to their resting length. This will prevent the worst soreness the following day, reduce the likelihood of injuries, and increase your performance.

According to research, the danger time for skiing injuries is the third day of skiing at 4pm. This is due to fatigue in the muscles combined with raised level of confidence, sometimes excessively in relation to ability. A common sense approach is to keep your wits about you and to not bite more than you can chew.

Remember to drink plenty of water when skiing. The muscles need a constant supply of blood, which will be reduced in the case of dehydration. This will also lead to symptoms such as cramps, fatigue, and even headache. You must remember that you need more water when exercising at higher altitudes!

If you do happen to injure yourself, the rule of thumb in acute injuries is that ice is better than heat. You can read up on the subject in the ice pack instructions article.


Don't forget the after care:

Hopefully you enjoyed a great break and did not suffer any injuries. However if you have taken any falls and you are a regular patient of ours, you will know to get your spine and extremities checked for alignment. If you are a new patient and are unsure how we can help, do not hesitate to contact the clinic and speak to our chiropractors or sports massage therapists – we are always happy to help. Call the clinic on 01932 - 429584 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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