There are now less than 70 days before the start of December and first lifts opening in the Northern Hemisphere ski resorts (just don't mention the 'c' word as in Covid-19). So time to get ski fit ?...
When do you start getting fit for skiing or snowboarding? Whadya mean start? When did you stop?
I don't know about you but keeping fit all year has become almost an obsession. Mouse and treadmill come to mind. I blame Strava. That annoying Trainer on the Strava App never stops nagging, pointing to my trainers when my Weekly Training is 'below weekly range' or my Monthly Fitness is in the minuses. Get back out there, it commands like Ant Middleton at his most fearsome. Clock up some more kilometres, smash a few more PRs and notch up a few more Personal Achievements on the Segments. I ran up and down a 1km hill that's 100m vertical six times just to become the Local Legend - and ended up scoring 49 Achievements.
Ultimately, though, it's staying fit to ski tour up the mountain for three hours and shred the pow that is definitely my motivation because the thing about mice on treadmills is that their little legs become pretty strong.
Of course, for café skiers cruising the blues, fitness is less of an issue. That is, until you happen to fall and find it embarrassingly hard to get up. Then you'll wish you'd spent more time on a treadmill aka Stairmaster.
If you're under 35 and reasonably healthy springing up when you fall is not an issue. But the older you get the more exercise you need to hold off the physical ageing process. I'm going to keep pursuing active adventures as long as I can until my knees/hips/hamstrings give up. As we say on our Instagram, Ageless Adventuring, it's not ageing that makes you stop adventuring, it's not adventuring that makes you start ageing.
Apart from keeping aerobically fit, it's a plan to practise balance for skiing or snowboarding. One way is to balance on one leg brushing your teeth with your eyes closed. It's not as easy as it sounds. Then try advanced balancing on a slackline. Again, close your eyes if you're really confident. Then lose a ski in deep powder? Pah, no problem, ski home on one.
Swiss high wire artist , extreme skywalker, Freddy Nock, would find brushing his teeth on one leg a walk in the park after traversing 572m down the wire of the Corvatsch cable car, 3500m high in Switzerland at -15C using only a balancing pole, no harness and no safety nets. But don't try this at home
This summer, we invested in two inflatable SUPs and have used them all summer on the South Coast in the UK, a choppy sea being a pretty good test for core and calves for balance. Even one of the Rando Chiens has come onboard with this summer alternative to ski tour outings.
Running or cycling uphill, doing endless leg squats, hanging out bouldering and skipping with rope-lashing speed like Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby are also great pre skiing or snowboarding exercises.
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