Fit to Ski

Who and Why?

Jane Newman MSc BSc MMACP MCSP SRP is a fully qualified chartered sports physio, with 13 years of experience and 3 seasons working as a physio in the Alps, she knows what to look out for when it comes to ski injury prevention through to rehabilitation.

The article aims to give you a little advice on some of those questions you might have on fitness before your trip.

Peak Physio

 

Fit to Ski

How can I get fit for skiing before my holiday? 

With only a couple of months to go before the beginning of the ski season, now is the perfect time to make sure you are fit enough for your Ski Weekend. Being ski fit is the largest chance you have to avoiding an injury on the mountain.

Thinking about your ski fitness now means you have time to sort out any existing issues or injuries. If something has been bothering you for over 2 weeks it is the perfect time to visit a Physiotherapist and improve your condition before you head out for your active ski holiday.

If you are fortunate to be injury free – time to get those legs ready to go for the mountain with some examples as follows:

  • Ski squats
  • Circuit training
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Skipping
  • Step ups
  • Pilates
  • Quadriceps, calf, hamstring and lower back stretches

These are all excellent exercises to be working with. You require 4-6 weeks of exercise 3 times a week to make a significant difference to your fitness so do not leave it too late.

Common skiing injuries on the mountain are due to fatigue and dehydration so ensure you take regular breaks if you are tired. If you are skiing with people who are more advanced than you take a break as they do a couple of fast runs or do a couple of gentle slopes. Ensure you are sufficiently hydrated considering the altitude and level of exercise you are doing. Your fluid intake will need to increase considerably.

If you are unfortunate enough to sustain an injury follow a few basic tips:

If you have difficulty weight bearing after the injury or something feels like it is going to give way – seek medical advice immediately there are numerous good physio clinics such as Physi – Chamonix : http://www.physi-chamonix.com and medical centres.

If you feel just badly bruised, strained and sore, remember PRICE

The PRICE regime is a simple 5 step protocol that even an untrained person can use to minimize the effects of immediate injury. The earlier the PRICE regime is adopted the better. The PRICE regime is a protocol that should be used as soon as you are able to after injury occurs:

P is for Protection – Protect the injury from further damage.  Stop skiing, make your way to the bottom of the mountain if you feel safe to do so, if not call the piste patrol to assist you down (take appropriate contact details).

R is for Rest – Allow an injury time to heal. Continuing to ski when your injury is painful is not wise and likely to cause further damage.

I is for Ice – By applying Ice either from a freezer, an ice pack or even a pack of peas onto the injury you will reduce the pain and inflammation. Very cold products can induce hypothermia or cold burn so wrapping the ice in a cloth is advisable. Apply for 20 minutes every hour after the injury.

C is for Compression – Compression of the swollen area will help to reduce the swelling. A neoprene support or stretchy bandage will suffice.

E is for Elevation – Elevating the injury to above the heart reduces the flow of blood to the area and reduces the swelling.

At Peak Physio we provide expert Physiotherapy in the South West and welcome enquiries of any nature on 07814 00 99 18 or via our website www.peakphysio.com. If you’re looking for a local private physiotherapist to you, then Physio First’s Website is the place to look: www.physiofirst.org.uk

Happy Skiing and preparation for an injury free trip.

Jane Newman
Clinical Director Peak Physio
www.peakphysio.com