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Get fit for the winter with Mountain Rehab!
Winter is upon us, the first snow has already fallen, but are you ready for the slopes? You might be already shredding fresh pow in your mind, but how are you physically? We asked specialists Moutain Rehab to give us some tips to make sure you enjoy your snow trip or season.
Hi there Mountain Rehab, tell us a bit more about yourself!
Hi there, well, I'm Sarah, a Physio, and I trained in the UK and moved out here to Morzine in 2007 with my husband Mal because we wanted to be closer to the mountains which we love. It wasn't so much about business aspirations as just wanting to live somewhere amazing. We had spent some time in New Zealand which we fell in love with but felt too it was too far away from friends and family for us. Morzine has just as much to offer as New Zealand in terms of easy access to the outdoors and its a lot closer. We've been here for more than 10 years now, we have 2 little boys with us and have no plans to leave! The business has evolved over the 10 years and we are really proud that we have a great facility with great therapists and fitness professionals working together to help our clients improve their fitness and strength, relax and recover after a big day on the mountain or help with rehabilitation and get them back on the mountain quickly if they are injured. We really are privileged in what we do and where we live.
Realistically, how long before hitting the snow should someone start training for it and how often should they train? (both from a holiday and a seasonaire point of view)
I think you should come back from one winter holiday and get right back on the training ready for the next one! The longer the better. In reality, I think a minimum of six weeks in order to get your body used to the movements required if you are serious about it. The biggest mistake I see is people hitting it too hard in the gym one week before their holiday and actually arriving injured before they've even stood on snow. If you don't have the time then don't overdo it, but just get moving gently in some way. Swim, take gentle yoga classes, walk to work, take the stairs rather than the lift, just get your body moving.
Would you say there is a huge difference between training for snowboarding and skiing? And what would be an exercise you would recommend specifically for each?
Yes, I would, they are completely different, however, both disciplines benefit from having good core strength, flexibility and strength in the legs and also good balance.
The first few days on slopes often result in one aching body. What stretches would you recommend?
Before you cool down after your day on the mountain, try to stretch your quadriceps, gluts, calf muscles and hamstrings. If you've taken a tumble you may need to stretch your neck, chest, forearms, back.... the list is endless! Be careful not to over stretch if you have muscle pain as your muscles are effectively injured and need to be treated gently. Slow gentle stretches where you hold and breathe into the stretch are best done at the end of the day. First thing in the morning is about getting your body warmed up and performing dynamic controlled movements rather than stretching.
I would certainly recommend getting a good mountain rehab sports massage from us if you are in Morzine. Our massages are tailored to your needs by our brilliant therapists and you will definitely leave a treatment feeling relaxed, recharged and ready to go the next day. It's also a good idea to have a massage when you arrive in the resort to de-stress from your normal busy life and get yourself into holiday mode. Helps prevent injury too! Our therapists come out to your accommodation or you can come to our treatment rooms in central Morzine.
Obviously getting fit is important for a snow trip, but so is eating right! What's your number 1 snack on the mountains in order to avoid giving in to a daily crepe or two? Haha!
To be honest, I don't think you should be denying yourself crepes when you are on holiday, but maybe you could go for the buckwheat galettes with egg cheese and ham rather than a Nutella crepe for a longer lasting energy snack. Try to keep hydrated too, we really don't tend to drink enough during the day when we are on the mountain all day.
Last recommendation for someone who is trying to get their fitness right to get the best of their trip/season?
Work with a PT if you are not sure how to train well. Try to see a physio back home and get on top of any injuries before you go on holiday. A lot of the time I find that I see people in the resort with an exacerbation of an injury they already had back home. Prevent this if you can.
Thanks Mountain Rehab! If you are in Morzine this winter and have any worries about an injury, go check them out!