How To Prepare For A Skiing Holiday
Heading off to hit the slopes is incredibly exciting, but can also make the beginner skier feel slightly nervous. What will you need to take? What if you get injured? What if you’re rubbish at skiing? If you’re a little anxious about your first skiing holiday, don’t worry. You already know what to pack, and you can prepare for everything else with these tips.
Skiing is a physically demanding activity and will make you use muscles that don’t get a lot of use in everyday life. You’ll also be dealing with high altitudes and low temperatures, which can make a big difference. Before you go, make sure your cardio fitness levels are good, as this will help you to deal with the lack of oxygen at high altitudes on the slopes.
General fitness helps a lot with skiing, but the best exercises for skiing should focus on improving balance, such as using a balance board or in-line skates. Sports that require a rapid change of direction, like football, are also good choices to get in shape for the slopes. For beginners, get used to the sensation of standing on a moving object by roller-skating or ice-skating. For more advanced skiers, horse riding, mountain biking, and gymnastics can all build the right kind of fitness.
Low temperates can make your muscles stiff and slow to react, with a smaller range of movement. To combat this, build flexibility with regular stretching before and during your holiday. If you’re flexible, you’re less likely to be injured. Remember to warm up before you stretch. Avoid static stretching and opt for gentle, moving stretches instead. If it hurts, stop. Before you ski, warm up and stretch first, so you’re ready for the physical challenge. Try not to push yourself too hard, especially in the cold, or you could risk injury.
If you own your own skis, have them serviced before the trip. This service should include waxing of the bases and sharpening of the edges. Ask someone to check you base grind and binding for safety. Properly ground, waxed, and edged skis are easier for turning and are more responsive. You’ll have an easier time on the slopes and know your skis are safe to use.
If you’re hiring skis, make sure that this maintenance has been done. Equipment that has been well looked after is safer and easier to use, which is very important for any beginner to skiing.
If you don’t own any ski equipment yet but are thinking of investing in some of your own, don’t start with the skis. The first thing to buy for yourself should be the boots. Go to a boot shop with a good reputation and make sure they know what they’re doing. You want to make sure the staff take the time to make sure the fit is exactly right. Even if it means spending more money, it’s important to have boots that fit correctly. Boot flex is important too, as a boot that is too stiff can make good technique harder.
Boots have three main components, which can all be customised by a good fitter: the inner boot, the outer shell, and the foot-bed. Most ski boots come with an inner, but custom ones are available. Your fitter should advise you on whether this is worthwhile for you.
If you’re hiring boots, ask for a different pair if they feel too big or too stiff. The shell of the boot should match your level of skiing, but the shop may give you the wrong thing if their stocks are running low. All ski resorts will have more than one place to hire equipment, so shop around until you find what you need.
If you’ve never skied before, or it’s been a while since you last skied, some time on indoor snow slopes can be a good idea. This will help you to feel comfortable on skis while improving your balance. As a beginner, it can also give you a head start on learning the basics before you arrive, giving you more time to actually ski on that expensive holiday you booked.
Skiing can be a dream trip, but some proper preparation can help you to enjoy it even more. Avoid injury and maximise the fun by making sure you are fit and well-prepared for skiing with properly maintained and properly fitting equipment. Take care of yourself on the slopes, and you’ll have an amazing, unforgettable trip.