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Skiing & Snowboarding: Holiday prep guide

You have a 1 in 10 chance of suffering injury on the first day of your holiday - Don't let it be you!

Preparation and safety

If you are like the majority of people going on skiing and snowboarding holidays, you will be unaccustomed to the demands placed on your body. Not only will this affect your technique, balance, and endurance it often leads to serious injury.

Statistically, 1 in 10 people suffer from an injury on the first day of their holiday. To reduce the chances, you should start to prepare 6 weeks before your holiday to get the best results. Don't worry if you're running out of time though...any preparation will help.

Our top tips for an injury free holiday

Following these suggestions will prepare you for the slopes and reduce your chances of injury:

  1. Body check up: A Physiotherapy session will check your joint movement and flexibility, your muscle control and balance.
  2. Flexibility : Because snow sports demand that you have good mobility, a brief set of stretches will improve your ability significantly. Your physiotherapist will give you the correct exercises to make or break your style on the slopes.
  3. Warm Up : Because your muscles start cold, this is even more important when you ski or snowboard! A walk or jog for 10 minutes will improve circulation to make you more elastic and able to take the stresses.
  4. Equipment Check : Faulty or inappropriate equipment which can lead to problems and injury.
  5. Instruction : Technique instruction will help you establish (or re-establish) the right habits.
  6. Cool Down : Light walking combined with gentle flexibility exercises will reduce soreness and prepare you for the next days activity.
  7. Massage : Directed at the tight and stiff muscles, deep tissue massage loosens muscles which will pull the body away from the path you try to follow. Great to help your body recover after a long day on the slopes!

Learn how to fall & protect your knees

Here are some techniques for falling that will help you protect your most vulnerable area, your knees, when you fall in the snow*:

  • Relax into the fall and avoid tensing.
  • Keep the arms forward. If your uphill arm is back when you fall, you will put more strain through the knee.
  • Maintain balance and control. Knee strain occurs when you are off balance to the rear.
  • Keep your hips above the knees. When your hips fall below the level of the knees you may sit back and increase the stress on the knee.
  • Keep your knees bent when you fall. Knee stress increases when you keep your knees straight.
  • Wait...until you have stopped sliding before you get up, twisting to get up will increase the strain, especially when moving against an uncontrolled force.
  • Land on your shoulder and avoid landing on your hands.

* Please note that these techniques are only useful on snow and are not suitable for aprés ski activities.

Getting more out of your skiing holiday

We offer pre-holiday assessments including full body check ups, tips and exercise plans to improve flexibility, and reduce stress and impact damage. Book a pre holiday check up session (suitable for all standards of skiers and snowboarders) and hit the slopes with confidence!

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