the occasional downside to skiing!

Skiing holds a very special place in my heart and has been for a long time. The views are spectacular, the air a welcome change from the sandy Dubai atmosphere, and being active in the outdoors is just my thing.

In the current climate, with COVID, ever-present and high levels of sedentariness and obesity, being active in the outdoors is the perfect antithesis to day to day life.

But health and safety are becoming more important with increased numbers on the slopes and skiing seen simply as simply holiday - no preparation required, as opposed to a sporting holiday - preparation required. Helmets have taken away the beauty of skiing with the wind in your hair but sensibly protect your head. And there are some attempts at body and knee protection, but currently, it’s not so effective so the rest of your body is still at risk when sliding down a mountain at speed, on two plastic planks.

This week skiing in Austria, my friend was taken out by a young skier who was not in control of his skiing, ploughed into her, throwing her into the air. Her tibia is fractured, arms are bruised, holiday over and the inconvenience of visiting hospital and police stations have put a downer on the week.

Skiing in control is assumed by skiers, snowboarders, ski resorts and their authorities. We all understand there are times that things get a little hairy, and we are forced to stop by conscience, fear or the ground. There are ways to help yourself stay in control whilst skiing, allowing you, and those around you to enjoy their sporting holiday!

How to help yourself stay in control -

1. Learn to ski/snowboard. Get some tips or a lesson to learn the technique of stopping and slowing.

2. Prepare yourself before you arrive.

3. Get strong. Build your quads with wall squats, wall sits, squats lunges to promote strength.

4. Practice stairs to build endurance and leg strength for a full day of skiing.

5. Get on the floor for some bridges to build your bottom.

6. Take yourself on some long walks to build stamina in the legs and some cardiovascular fitness

7. Ski within your abilities. Stick with slopes you are comfortable with, and if you’re going to push it, make sure the run is clear so you are less likely to cause an accident.

8. Hydrate - it’s exercise at the end of the day.

9. Sleep. Après ski is very tempting and part of the holiday, but try to recover enough before heading back out for a ski.

Once you’ve done all of this, get out there and enjoy!