Heading to the slopes to ski or snowboard? – you have got to read this first!

Ok so the last couple of days in the bay have been super cold for our standards

Winter is here and many people will head to the snow for a well earned break. While skiing/boarding comes naturally to some, others spend most of their time unsuccessfully negotiating the equipment and terrain. Whatever your level of experience, skiing/ boarding can be hazardous and contribute to injury. The physiotherapists in our practice can help. We can ensure that you are prepared for the slopes by minimising your injury risk through specific exercise programmes, fitness regimes, strengthening and warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.

To avoid injury this snow season, the physiotherapists in our practice recommend you:

Be fit to ski/snowboard

Begin to incorporate ski-specific exercises into your regular exercise routine at least eight weeks prior to your holiday. This will promote use of the muscles and joints required for skiing. Strengthen the muscles specific to snow sports (thighs, butts, core stabilisers and triceps) to reduce the risk of injury and increase your enjoyment and endurance on the slopes. We can outline ski-specific or board-specific exercises whilst prescribing a conditioning programme to improve your core stability and muscle strength. Ultimately, your performance on the slopes relies on your fitness, so talk to us about how to achieve an optimal fitness level. We have access to a number of gyms around Tauranga and can write you a ski or board specific program and you won’t be tied into a long term membership!! Talk to us about Bureta Physio’s corporate gym rates 

Look after your back

When travelling distances to reach the mountain, rest every two hours and stretch. See one of our physiotherapists for effective stretching advice, and if you have had problems with your back come into the clinic and pick up a Lumbar roll for the trip which means when you unfold yourself after the trip you are ready to go

Warm up, stretch and cool down

Before hitting the slopes, warm up like you would with any other sporting activity. Stretch your thigh, calf and arm muscles check out or blog on dynamic stretches. Start your day with easy runs to loosen up (make sure you also do this after each rest break.) Once you have finished skiing for the day, remembers to cool down. These activities will better prepare your body to avoid injury. We can show you warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.

Ski within your capabilities

Beginners should take advantage of a ski lesson and not succumb to the pressure of keeping up with experienced skiers. Don’t be afraid to rest when you find yourself getting tired. Fatigue can increase your injury risk. And remember, the more unfit you are, the more tired you will become. Injuries often happen on that last run of the day!

To avoid injury on the snowfields this winter, consult one of our physiotherapists on how to best prepare your body.

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