The Fitness Trail: Dashing though the snow
December 6, 2013
As the snowflakes begin to accumulate, it is time to make your way out the door and enjoy this winter wonderland. There are so many options, including "dashing through the snow" on a sleigh, horse, snowmobile, skis, snowboard, ice skates (well, not technically snow, but you get the picture) and snowshoes, to enjoy this time of year and stay physically fit throughout the holiday season.
Combine these outdoor recreational activities with your structured exercise program and you may find that your pants are loose when you are toasting in 2014. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
10 "Dashing Through the Snow" Tips
• It is assumed that you have prepared yourself adequately to perform your outdoor activities (i.e. check out last year's ski preparation program at "The Fitness Trail" http://www.skihidailynews.com). If you have not, it is not too late to do so. While it is always advisable, regardless of your skill level at any activity, to prepare for it several weeks prior to the season beginning, it is better to perform some preparatory training before you slip into your winter activity gear.
• If you have been sedentary since summer, choose a qualified, certified trainer and register for a few training sessions. You will be amazed how your core stability, mobility and strength have diminished and this can lead to injury on the slopes. Money well-spent to enjoy the snow.
• Choose the days that you are going to ski, snowboard, snowmobile, ice skate or snowshoe. Yes, it is true that sometimes those opportunities arise spontaneously, but attempt to set a schedule for your activities of choice and stick with it.
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• Choose the days that you are going to perform your structured exercise program. These days are best interspersed among the outdoor recreational activities. However, we have clients that come in for their early morning workouts and then hit the slopes afterward.
• Structure your winter activities so that you have hard days and easier days and create variety throughout the season. Vary your ski/snowboard/snowmobile runs/trails; try different resorts and different activities to keep your body healthy and fine-tuned.
• Make certain that your structured exercise program is designed to take into consideration the activities you will be performing throughout the season. These programs should complement, not hinder your outdoor activities.
• Self-myofascial release with a foam roller, massage therapy with your favorite therapist followed by stretching (i.e. yoga/Pilates) are all fantastic methods of keeping the body and mind prepared for your physical skill sets. In fact, foam rolling prior to your activity of choice is an excellent way to break down the density of the fascia surrounding the muscle enabling you to move with greater freedom and control.
• Avoid static stretching prior to your activity. Choose dynamic movements that simulate what you are getting ready to do and then go have fun.
• Give yourself a recovery day from any regimented or structured activity. So, if you are a hard-core skier take a day off and ice skate or snowshoe. Recovery days enable the body to rest, repair and grow.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.