Winter is fast approaching and just last week, there’s sight of the first snow on the peak of Mt Yotei which is visible from Focus’s Pilates and Physio clinic in Niseko Japan!
As you consider your upcoming winter holiday, be it Japan or other location, it is worth putting some thought into how you are going to prepare your body for winter sports and activities. New and old injuries are very common as people go from a 2-3 hours exercise a week to a 4-5 hours exercise every day, and strenuous exercise at that!
The simple fact is, the fitter you are the less injuries you get and the more your body can keep up the minds desire to make the most of the best powder snow in the world! Most of the time we see people get injured on the first day of their holiday, often because they don’t take care of pre-season conditioning or have adequate warm up sessions before they hit the slopes.
Doing appropriate conditioning exercises in the weeks and months before your holiday will put you in the best possible shape, not just stay injury free but to make the absolute most of your trip with minimal aches and pains from over worked muscles.
It’s important to warm up and move your joints, in particular your hips and spine. These parts of your body are critical in facilitating good movement and absorbing force when you are upright and when you are not so upright (which is frequent for beginners). If they are not up to the task, when you fall the force tends to go to joints which don’t tend to absorb forces well such as the knee, wrist and shoulder.
A suitable warm up improves circulation, raises the temperature of the muscles, lubricates the joints and will also help to alleviate the effects of yesterday’s session on the slopes.
Some of the warm up exercises you can include are standing knee tuck and mountain climbers with oblique moves.
If you would like to find out more and learn a specially created winter sports conditioning program, come join our 2-hour Ski Conditioning / Injury Prevention Workshop on 2 November, Saturday, 3pm – 5pm at our Raffles Studio. If you are coming to Niseko this winter season, check out our daily reformer classes either as a stretch and release after a day on the slopes or as a warm up to get your body in the best shape to hit the slopes!
Daniel Dittmar, Head Instructor