Staying fit throughout the year requires a regularly performed regimented exercise program which addresses your specific health and fitness needs.
This time of year many clients are getting excited and prepared for ski and snowboard season and assume that if they are skiing and snowboarding regularly that during their winter sport’s season, they do not need to perform a regimented exercise program. In fact, this same scenario occurs with clients who cycle, run, hike and swim during the warm weather months.
Unfortunately, the fact that you are actively performing specific sports or activities does not replace a regimented exercise program. You may be able to taper off of your regular program slightly during your sport’s seasons and modify some of the components. However, you must continue performing a regimented exercise program consistently enough to maintain your cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength/endurance and flexibility components of physical fitness which includes specific core stability training.
Otherwise, you may find that as the ski/snowboard season continues, you begin to experience overuse injuries, more falls which could lead to serious acute injuries, and by the end of the season, your general fitness level may have significantly declined.
I have many clients who come in for their regimented exercise program early in the morning and then hit the slopes afterward. This approach works very well and these clients tend to remain healthier and fitter throughout the season versus their counterparts who wear their bodies out, performing the same skills and drills on the slopes all winter long.
It is wonderful to be outdoors and enjoy our beautiful mountain environment all year long. However, if you would like to feel great all year, create a plan which will enable you to enjoy your outdoor activity and stay fit before, during and after that season has ended. Check out the tips featured this week to maintain your fitness level every day of the year! As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Staying Fit 365 Tips
• Sit down and create a written weekly structure for both your regimented exercise program days and your winter activity days.
• When structuring this plan, choose a minimum of two-three, non-consecutive days per week for your regimented program.
• Nordic skiers who train at high levels of intensity would probably benefit from a regimented program which includes a greater emphasis on muscular strength, core stability and flexibility.
• Alpine skiers may benefit from a program which includes a non-weight bearing cardiovascular endurance component (i.e. cycling, rowing, swimming, etc.) since downhill skiing, unless expert level bump skiing, is not very taxing on the cardiovascular endurance physical fitness component. This program should also provide muscular strength, core stability and flexibility training as well.
• Those that perform winter sports such as snow shoeing, snowmobiling and ice skating activities, would benefit from non-weight bearing cardiovascular endurance exercise such as cycling or rowing providing non-weight bearing cardiovascular endurance cross training aspects and these programs should also include muscular strength, core stability and flexibility physical fitness components.
• Additionally, performing myofascial release on a foam roller prior to and following your winter sports and prior to and following your regimented exercise program will improve your performance on and off the slopes.