If you’re thinking of going on a skiing holiday in the next two or three months, are you satisfied that your body is ski-fit and up to the demands you’re about to put on it?
The sudden turn in the weather has banished all memories of those long hot summer days and as the mercury drops, so people’s thoughts are beginning to turn to snow, slopes and après ski.
Winter sports are one of the most popular holidays of the contemporary age. The days when a vacation in a picture postcard French or Swiss mountain resort was just for the privileged minority are long since over.
But now that skiing holidays are within reach of many people’s budgets, some of us get lulled into a false sense of confidence which makes us believe we simply have to turn up on the ski lift with the right gear and we’re ready to take on an Olympic-standard black run.
Yet every turn and twist loads pressure onto your body, often putting enormous strain on muscles you may not have really used for years. And that brings the danger of serious injury – not least to your ligaments and joints.
Assuming the last place you really want to spend your holiday is the local hospital’s accident and emergency department and you’d rather do without six weeks on crutches, it makes sense to get yourself into shape before you get on the plane.
During the winter holiday season, our team of physiotherapists see a noticeable upturn in business here at the West 1 Physio clinic and while we always relish the challenge of putting damaged joints back together, we’d really rather people stayed injury-free.
Being a good skier really isn’t enough when it comes to the extreme stress you put on your ligaments, tendons and joints, but being in good physical shape can really help you to avoid sustaining a serious skiing injury.
Fitness is about so much more than simply building strength and stamina – it’s the secret to having good balance and control, fast reflexes and vital muscle memory. And it can be the difference between nursing some minor aches and pains or up to a year rehabilitating a serious skiing injury.
Ski-related injuries are almost always down to a lack of overall fitness and an inability for your body to cope with the multiple and changing stresses you put on relatively small areas of your body.
Enormous torque forces come into play in a day’s skiing. Almost every muscle in your body is in use at some point or another, and the gravitational forces involved mean gargantuan pressures are sometimes focussed onto individual muscles.
If the answer is no, then here at our central London physiotherapy clinic our brilliant West 1 Physio team can help you to develop a fitness routine that will give you the best chance of walking onto the plane home, rather than being wheeled onto it.
With programmes that target muscle strength and advice on how to exercise safely, how to warm up and cool down to protect your muscles and the measures you can take to mitigate the high-impact effect of a demanding week on the snow, we can work with you to ensure you get to enjoy your holiday in the best possible way.
Knees, ankles and hips are particularly vulnerable to the demands of winter sports, so if you have a history of problems in those areas, it’s even more important to get advice before you start packing.
What are you waiting for? Not only will our sessions give you confidence when you head onto the slopes, you’ll also be a better skier for it.