January 16, 2012 11:26
| Health and Beauty
Yes, it is that time of year again. Its time to dust off those thermals, get out that wacky woolly hat and the oversized goggles because, if you are anything like us, the onset of uncomfortably cold weather is a time for celebration. It's the ski season!
However, the post-Christmas period is never the time of peak physical fitness for any of us and, as skiing is usually a recreational sport we only participate in once a year, it is generally something most people are physically unprepared for. The Harbour Club offer specific programmes for those hoping to hit the slopes which include an assessment by the physiotherapist and a ski specific programme from the personal trainers.
The statistics for snow related injuries are actually fairly encouraging with it being reported that only 2-4 persons in every 1000 require medical assistance per day, but there is no denying the fact that accidents happen, and when they do on the snow, they can be serious with long-term effects on joints, ligaments and bones. Therefore the better your fundamental physical shape the more you will get out of your winter sport.
MCL (knee ligament) sprain is the most common knee injury in skiers. This usually affects beginners who twist a knee at slow speeds. It can also occur by 'catching an edge' at speed. The ACL sprain is also common, when the skier falls backwards and the leg extends in front.
Whether you ski, snowboard, or cross country ski, if time is invested prior to your holiday, the better you will perform and the less vulnerable you will be to injury. Aches, pains and niggles should ideally be addressed before you hit the slopes. Skiing and snow boarding require endurance, strength, flexibility and balance so it's important not to concentrate solely on leg strength.
Here is a guide to some simple pre-slope conditioning exercises: