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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting your body ready for skiing

Northstar is scheduled to open November 16th, and even though it's still warm in Sausalito, I'm getting fired up!
Will you be ready to ski? Will your little ones ski circles around you? Will you be too tired to even get in the hot tub? Pre-season nutrition and exercise are on my mind, and I'd like to help you think about them as well.

I've taken several approaches over the past few years, some more effective than others. Two seasons ago, I worked out with a personal trainer focusing on core strength and balance. That delivered some benefits, but my cardio fitness was lacking. Last season, I skipped the gym and only cycled and paddle boarded a bunch. That helped with balance and cardio-vascular fitness, but my skiing suffered from a lack of core strength. The first 6 weeks of the season were hard, and I boasted about losing 8 pounds from November 18th through January 30th.

Now that I think about it, I realize that dropping a ton of weight at the start of the season is nothing to boast about. It's more of a sign that I hadn't prepared well enough to don that blue coat, the Northstar Ski & Snowboard School name tag and my skis.

This season, I've broadened my workout focus to encompass core strength, cardio, leg strength and flexibility.  And most importantly, I'm establishing nutritional habits that will have me at my fighting weight on day one.

None of this could happen without a lot of motivation and support.  Vail Resorts, Northstar's parent company, has some great resources for mountain employees, and takes us through a "Fit to Ride" evaluation prior to our starting work.

Locally, I've been working out with the great team of trainers at Crossfit Sausalito.  On the nutrition and good habits front, I just started doing a 60 day program called The Whole Life Challenge.  The Challenge is an online social game which inspires you to eat right, exercise and stretch everyday by allowing you to earn or lose points and track your progress. While there are prizes and a ranking of the 3,000 people who are doing it across the globe, it's much more about connecting with others than competing with them.  People are sharing lots of nutrition advice, recipes, and tactics for drinking enough water, getting enough sleep and making time for that yoga class.

Over the next 60 days I'll share some of the best tips with you here. If you're embarking on your own pre-season training regimen, post a comment here, or on the "This Mountain Life" Facebook page.

Get after it!  I've got a feeling we have powder days ahead where the advance workouts will pay huge dividends.


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