Even though we're in the middle of Fall and I've yet to see any real signs of snow, experts say now is the time to get your butt in gear for Winter sports. Days on the slopes can be long and require a good amount of endurance, especially if you're the type who likes to visit the mountains for an extended weekend or even longer.
Veteran Winter Olympic athletes like ski racer Daron Rahlves and snowboarder Elena Hight recommend doing specific training for Winter sports six to eight weeks before the season starts. They say the key to lasting all day, weekend, or week on the slopes is to work on flexibility, strength, and cardio. A good mix of this will ensure you can snowboard from sunup to sundown. Being in tip-top shape will also help cut down on injuries.
An article in the San Francisco Chronicle asked a group of Winter Olympians and trainers their advice on getting in shape for Winter sports. Here's some of their advice.
- Stretch for 15-20 minutes every day or do 10 minutes of sun salutations. Skiers should focus on their lower bodies, while snowboarders should focus on their upper and lower areas.
- Two to three times a week, focus on strength training with emphasis on your quads, hamstrings, and core muscles. Keeping your legs and core strong helps with balance and endurance, and helps cut down on ACL injuries. If you can, use kettlebells and also make sure to do tons of squats, leg curls, and lunges.
- Do some sort of aerobic activity for at least 15 minutes every day, keeping your heart rate elevated the entire time.
Sounds doable to me. Who's hungry for powder?