Skiing can be a lot of fun and a great way to get some exercise in during the winter, but you have to be careful to avoid injuries. Professional athletes spend time stretching and warming up their bodies before each practice and event—and they are typically in prime physical condition. If you are a recreational skier who only takes to the slopes occasionally, you should do the same thing as professional athletes and spend some time preparing your body before you go skiing. Here is how you can warm-up your body to protect it against injuries while skiing.
Get Your Blood Flowing
An easy way to get your blood flowing is to take a brisk walk just before you get on the slopes. You only need to walk for five to ten minutes at a good pace to get your cardiovascular system working like it should before you start skiing. Your increased heart rate will not only move more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, but it will also increase your mental awareness and keep you more alert to what is happening around you.
Stretch Your Muscles
Here is how to stretch major muscles:
Neck: Put your head in an upright position and then tilt it downward with your chin touching your chest. Then tilt your head all the way back. Return your head to an upright position. You should then tilt your head side to side with your ear nearly touching your shoulder. Do not rotate your head around in a circular motion as this could lead to injuries.
Shoulders: Place one arm over your chest and grab it with your other arm. Pull the arm over chest toward you to stretch your shoulder muscles. Repeat the process with the other arm.
Triceps: Lift one arm up over your head and reach back over your shoulder. You can grab your elbow and push your arm back to further stretch your triceps.
Quadriceps: Lift your leg up behind you and grab the ankle with your hand. Pull your leg up to stretch your quadriceps. Repeat process with the other leg.
Calves: Bend over and grab the tips of your toes one leg at a time. Pull your toes upward to stretch your calves.
Hamstrings: Sit down with one leg out in front of you. Grab the tips you toes while bending forward and holding your position for a few seconds.
Legs: Lay on your back and raise your legs up into the air. Pull your legs toward your upper body with your hands.
Lower Back: Lie on your back and pull one leg up at a time toward your chest.
Warming-up and stretching before you start skiing will help prevent strains and sprains while you are skiing. If you need help learning how to warm-up properly, consult your sports medicine doctor (such as one from Rainbow Pediatrics) before going out onto the slopes.