Monthly Archives: September 2016

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Getting in Shape for Winter Fun!

Dave & Deb Brown, NSCA-CPT’s

As I write this article, it is a warm and sunny blue-and-gold Fall day. Dave and I have been out hiking, mountain biking and running quite a lot; soaking up the beauty. However, in a few weeks, the snow will start flying. Will you hibernate all winter as the days grow shorter or will you make the transition to colder weather activities? Hopefully, you can continue to fully enjoy all that Colorado has to offer by staying active throughout the next several months. Here are some great ideas to help you get and stay fit for winter activities:

Build a foundation of fitness. If you have not been active recently, but plan to snowshoe, hunt, ski or snowboard, get moving now to build a base of strength and endurance. The best fitness plan combines cardio work, strength training, core training, flexibility and balance work.

Include exercises that are specific to your activity. If you are a skier or snowboarder, you will want to incorporate specific movements that mimic what you will do during your activity. For example, when training for any winter sport, you will want to include integrated strength and conditioning movements for the quads, hamstrings, glutes and the muscles in your core. The core is tricky as the goal is to make it more stable front and back and rotational. If you’ve got a great base level of fitness, plyometrics and agility training can be added, especially if you will be riding moguls in a couple months. These are the muscles you use the most when playing in winter so if you can focus on them pre-season, you will have a strong start and just continue to get stronger as the season moves forward. Make sure to consistently engage in some form of cardio work such as running, cycling or cardio machines to keep your endurance up.

Include cross training. The human body can get really good at doing the same thing over and over so it’s important to add cross training. Cross training is critical as it causes the body to move differently than in our sport or choice, thus lowering injury chances. Strength train, hit the cardio machines in the gym or just engage in different activities than your primary one. Always include consistent stretching to maintain flexibility and to help avoid injury.

Get out in the cold. Start now, while it isn’t too cold out there yet. Get out walking, hiking, snowshoeing running, or whatever you like to do. Get used to the cold weather so when you start participating in your favorite winter sport your body is more capable of handling it.

Fuel your body correctly. Make sure you are eating healthful foods to support your body’s need for energy. Limit alcohol the night before a big ski day and make sure you eat a good breakfast! Carry healthy snacks when you are out doing your activity so that you can maintain energy and don’t forget to stay adequately hydrated.