Winter has arrived and with it, snow in the mountains and the return of skiing and snowboarding. The snow also means that we see more injuries related to skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities.
The most common injuries for skiers and snowboarders affect the knees, back, neck, wrists, shoulders and tailbone. The risk of these injuries can be reduced by ensuring that you have the correct equipment for your size and skill level, and by preparing your body for the stresses that come from enjoying the slopes.
Here are three stretches and exercises that will prepare you for a fun time on the mountain
For flexibility, use the Core twist stretch: stand with your knees slightly bent and your arms crossed in front of you. Slowly look over one shoulder and let your whole body follow until you feel a good stretch in your back and side. Hold 5 seconds and repeat in the other direction.
For endurance, train with a road, mountain or stationary bike: warm-up with an easy spin of 5 minutes and then add high intensity efforts (sprint) for 30 seconds. Spin easy for a few minutes and repeat 2 to 5 times depending on your fitness level. Cool down for 5 minutes to finish your workout.
For side-to-side agility, stand in a relaxed half squat position and step quickly side to side while maintaining the squat. As you improve, jump side to side keeping the inside foot off the ground and the focus of your weight on the inside edge of your outside foot. Perform for 30 seconds, rest and repeat several times.