The Time To Get Ski Fit Is NOW!
Well, summer, that was fun. We swam in the ocean and took naps in the hammock, we drank beer in the sun and played frisbee in the park. It was everything it should be and another one for the books, but now my tan is rapidly fading and I’m trying to fit into my jeans after months of wearing only cute, stretchy things. It happens every.single.year. and yet, here we are. Fortunately, it’s too cold for patio cocktails and too warm for snow; shoulder season is here and that means the time to get ski fit is NOW!
One of the keys to weaning yourself off summer and easing into winter is adjusting to a change in your metabolism with restraint and, if you can manage, a bit of grace. Your body is going to want fat and sugar and all the fuel it can get its grubby little mitts on as soon as the mercury takes a plunge. Shorter days and cooler temperatures kick our bodies into energy saver mode as our system tries to get us to bulk up and store calories for the long winter ahead. Resist. We’re not bears. Grocery stores will still be open in January. It’s 2015: you can make smoothies and salads and even BBQ beet burgers 365 days of the year. Prioritize lean meats, high protein legumes, nuts and grains, and all the veggies you can fit in the fridge.
Now, the muscles. Maybe you did some SUP yoga or even got out hiking and/or mountain biking a few times this summer. Unless you skied a few times a week, you lost strength in some key muscle groups and are going to need a bit of a boost. My quads are always the biggest, loudest haters at the start of ski season no matter how much I brag about being active all summer. Here in Revelstoke, we have a group fitness program run by (surprise!) heliskiers called Ski Fit and it is probably responsible for over half the town getting through December without quitting and moving to Hawaii. It’s full of squats and lunges and sitting against the wall. It hurts and it’s ugly, but it works. If you don’t have a similar program where you live, the video below is a really great alternative with lots of instruction. Bonus: there is no terrible workout music so you can pick your own soundtrack.
Cardio is a struggle for many of us. You don’t have to be an Ironman to go heliskiing, but it sure is nice to be able to keep up with the rest of your group without wondering if each breath might be your last. Swimming laps at the pool a few mornings a week is a great way to condition your heart and lungs without putting any pressure on your joints. We’ve got all winter to complain about having sore knees. There’s no need to start now. And, on that note, while it’s not necessarily a huge cardio builder, yoga is never a bad choice. Keeping things loose and limber in the preseason will help you to avoid injury when the going gets deep. Plus, it’s an extended opportunity to wear cute, stretchy things.