Fit for purpose? Are you and your Winter Sports travel insurance policy up to the job?
OKAY. Enough of that brilliant summer already. It’s now time to turn our thoughts to the oncoming winter. For many of us that means getting ready for the ski season. And we’re not talking about shopping for new ski pants. We’re talking about getting ski fit. Why bother? Why not just jet out there and get on with it? Why indeed. But, as anyone who has ever been hospitalised by a skiing injury will tell you, it’s not fun getting hurt on the slopes. If you aren’t strong enough to cope with the physical strains of skiing or snowboarding then you will be more likely to get injured. It’s a fact that more injuries occur in the afternoons when most skiers are starting to get tired after a day on the slopes. But whatever time of day it is, winter sports are physically demanding. Core strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness are all important if you are to stand the best chance of enjoying an injury free season. So here are a few tips for getting and staying fit in time for your time on the slopes.
Get some advice from the experts: Snozone, which have real snow slopes in both Milton Keynes and Castleford, offer ‘Get Slope Fit’ and ‘Refresher Packages’ for those who are planning trips. Their instructors will get you back on your feet with an hour’s practice and tuition. You can attend as many sessions as you like to get yourself back to peak before you jet off. In a recent survey, Snozone discovered that skiers, on average, lose one to two days of their holidays to lessons - so best get back to it before you go. See https://snozoneuk.com/packagedates for more info.
Get down the gym and work those thighs: OK, so this is slightly less appealing than strapping on a board and practicing on real snow but a little bit of leg work will make all the difference here. Skiing is hardest on the thighs so working them with a few free weight squats and lunges will make a big difference. The idea is to build up strength and balance at the same time. If you’ve never been to a gym before then you’ll have to do an induction to learn how to use the machines and weights and how to exercise safely. Your gym instructor should be able to help you with a few simple exercises to get you going…
Work on your balance: All board and ski sports require good balance and co-ordination so it may pay to have a go on a balance trainer. These things are easy to come by and can give you hours of fun at home whilst also helping you with your core strength and balance. They come in various guises but all do the same job – improve your ability to stand up on a wobbly surface or board. The Indo board is the surfers’ and snowboarders’ favourite. See more at http://indoboard.com/
Do some cross training: Being fit to ski doesn’t just mean being doing exercise that are specifically designed for skiers – although they will, of course, help. Cross training – and by that we mean upping your general levels of fitness through other sports – will help to improve your cardiovascular fitness. Working hard at altitude where the air is thinner will take a lot more out of you than working at sea level so the fitter you are, the better you’ll cope. Swimming is great for improving lung capacity, whilst cycling is good for the legs and running is great for general fitness.
Get bendy with it: Yoga is great for improving your flexibility, posture and balance. And, as a special bonus, it won’t feel like you’ve had a workout at all if you do it right. After a few lessons you will start to notice an improvement in your flexibility, your bad back might start to feel a little better and you may just feel a little lighter on your feet too. What this means is that you’ll be bendier than you used to be. And that means you won’t be so prone to injuries when you fall over, which, surely, you will. Find local yoga classes by checking out http://www.localyogaclasses.co.uk .
Get a good travel insurance policy: Okay, so your travel insurance policy won’t prevent you from sustaining injuries on the slopes (and we really hope you don’t) but it will mop up afterwards if you are unlucky enough to take a tumble. Getting rescued off the slopes is costly, as is medical care and repatriation if something serious happens. So getting a good Winter Sports travel insurance policy that’s fit for the job is vital. World First’s Winter Sports policies offer up to £10 million in emergency medical expenses as well as cover if you can’t ski because the pistes are closed or your hire gear (or your own gear) goes missing. You can go for up to 62 days on any one trip and take part in all kinds of winter sports while you are there. The Superior policy also includes gadget cover for your techie essentials and £2500 worth of baggage cover.
Good luck and happy skiing!