Physio: Exercise important for skiers, snowboarders

A good exercise program will addresses core and hip stability, balance, flexibility, muscle endurance and aerobic conditioning.

  • Nov. 27, 2015 12:00 p.m.

I’m sure many of you skiers and snowboarders out there have already started to dust off your equipment, checked the daily snow report, and maybe even have already headed to the mountain for some early season skiing and riding.

We are fortunate in Kelowna to have so many great ski resorts nearby.

Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to get some fresh air and exercise when it can be a challenge to stay active in Kelowna through the fall and winter.

This is especially true lately when it has been so wet, cold and dark outside.

Since most outdoor activities have wrapped up for the summer, it’s the perfect time of year to start conditioning your body in preparation for the upcoming ski season, if you are not already doing so.

A good exercise program which addresses core and hip stability, balance, flexibility, muscle endurance, and aerobic conditioning will go a long way to help improve your endurance and technique on the mountain to help you get the most out of your season.

If you are currently recovering from an injury, or if you have just been sedentary for some time you may notice a lack of strength, balance, range of motion or overall conditioning.

Before hitting the slopes, it can be very useful to engage in a progressive rehabilitation exercise program prior to doing something more demanding on your body.

Your physiotherapists can assess your condition and plot a course for your physical recovery.

In the clinic, it is not uncommon to see overuse or traumatic injuries as a result of unresolved muscle weakness.

This is often due to injury or sedentary behaviour followed by more demanding or intense exercise.

This excessive demand could come from lifting very heavy weights, running too fast or too far, attending an advanced exercise class or participating in a full day of winter activities.

While the above examples may very well be a realistic long term goal, you may be putting your body at an increased risk of injury if you engage in an activity that your body is not adequately prepared for.

Exercise needs to be consistent and frequent, rather than all or none. Set a goal to exercise small amounts each day.

An exercise program should include a combination of core stability, strengthening, stretching, balance training, and aerobic conditioning.

If you are currently recovering from an injury, or if you have been inactive for some time and are not sure where to begin, your physiotherapist can help get you on the right track by developing a safe and effective individualized home exercise program based on your specific goals and current ability.

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