Holidays - Shape Up Before You Ski!

by : David Collins

With over 1.3 million Brits taking to the mountain slopes last year, ski holidays are popular choices for those looking for a winter adrenaline rush.

Adventure holiday companies such as Freshtraxxx offer ski and snowboard excursions for all levels and ages, throughout a range of destinations - from Colorado to Chamonix to the Baltic States.

But with an increase in visitors comes an increase in injuries as a result of skiing and snowboarding. Knee injuries are particularly common and accidents can lead to ligament damage, which could require surgery in future.

Whilst it is important to have some travel insurance in place before your trip, it is also advisable to ensure that you are fit and healthy before you hit the slopes.

Ski holidays are by no means cheap holidays, and it's no fun being out of action after only one day on the slopes, especially if you've shelled out a lot for the trip.

By preparing for holidays on the slopes through a fitness routine, you can reduce your chances of injury and help with rehabilitation should you suffer an injury during your trip.

Cardiovascular exercise will help your body prepare for the effects of being at altitude. By combining cardiovascular exercises such as cycling with exercise to increase flexibility - such as yoga - you can go a long way in helping to prepare your body for your time on the mountain.

This can be particularly important if you're not in the best of shape, but starting a routine at least 6 to 8 weeks before your trip can be beneficial to your overall health.

Remember that you're likely to spend at least 4 to 6 hours a day on the side of a mountain. During this time your muscles can become prone to strain and lactic acid build-up - which can be particularly painful when you're trying to twist and bend to steer yourself as you slide downhill.

Also, remember to take good care of your ski equipment, be it your own or rented from the resort, for if it doesn't feel comfortable it's not likely to help prevent injury.

Altitude can have an effect on your recovery rate, so it's important to make sure you have a good fitness level before taking ski holidays.

It is advisable to consult your GP for a health check if you are considering taking a skiing holiday, regardless of your ability level on the slopes.

By keeping an active lifestyle in the weeks leading up to your ski trip, not only will you feel better but you can help reduce your chances of serious injury should anything happen during your ski trip.