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Thinking About Hitting the Slopes This Season? Here’s What You Need to Know From Your Denver Physical Therapist

October 23, 2019

When it comes to outdoor activities in Colorado, perhaps one of the most popular is skiing and snowboarding. The centennial state is known for its vast amount of ski resorts and destinations where powder addicts can fulfill their craving for the best possible action on the slopes. The 2018-19 season was filled with snowfall, providing endless opportunities for skiers and snowboarders to carve into their favorite run, offering both recreation and exercise is one fell swoop. But before you get amped up to take it to the mountains this year, it’s important to be prepared, as an accident on the mountain can be extremely serious to your health, possibly even deadly. Here is what you need to know before you take it to the slopes this year from your Denver physical therapist.

Stretch Early and Often

It is especially important to regularly stretch during the course of a ski season, as this is one of the best preventative measures you can take to ensure you don’t become injured. It’s crucial to stretch all parts of your body that you will be using on a regular basis, as these will be much more vulnerable to injury. You will want to focus primarily on your lower body, as this will be the area that you will be using the most to traverse down the mountain. It’s important to make sure you are stretching before you hit the slopes and afterwards, as this will help you prevent injury more easily than if you did not stretch.

Areas which you should think about stretching include the hips, as you will be using this part of your body to turn. Engaging in squats while having your knees bent, making sure to keep both feet on the ground, is a great way to enhance your hip strength. Rotating from side to side while in this position will help to keep your hips loose, while also keeping your lower back engaged throughout the process. Stretching your hamstrings and calves will also help to provide the protection you need when you are hitting the slopes.

Aerobics and Cardio Exercises

One of the important things you need to be focused on prior to engaging in skiing and snowboarding is to make sure you are in peak physical shape in terms of your cardiovascular health. Although heading down hill may appear to be an easy activity to the laymen, anyone who has spent any amount of time on the mountain skiing and snowboarding knows how intense and grueling a day on the slopes can be. It is important to make sure you are in optimal cardiovascular health prior to hitting the mountain, as it will come back to bite you if you are not careful.

Prior to skiing or snowboarding, it is important to engage in regular activities which raise your heart rate. Anything such as running, riding a bike, or jumping rope can be a helpful way to make sure your endurance level is where you need it to be prior to the ski season beginning. Many injuries can occur when your endurance level is not where it needs to be, causing you to strain yourself and overexert your body. If you are regularly engaging in cardio activities, you will be more prepared to handle the stress that can come with hitting the slopes. Additionally, you will get much more enjoyment out of your day, as you won’t be constantly needing to catch your breath after every run.

Make Sure Your Vehicle is Ready for the Snow

Although it is absolutely important to think about all of the various ways in which you need to get ready physically for the ski season, you also need to be very mindful of the things needed to make sure your vehicle is ready for the season ahead. Skiing and snowboarding can be one of the most enjoyable activities you engage in in Colorado, but it is not worth risking your life for if you haven’t taken the necessary precautions to ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition. Anyone who has spent any amount of time driving on I-70 in the winter time knows how treacherous the highway can be, especially in the midst of a snowstorm.

Prior to heading up to your preferred ski resort, make sure your vehicle is ready to handle whatever a Colorado winter will be ready to throw at it. If you are not driving a vehicle with all-wheel drive, it is important to carry chains with you, as this is a new consideration not only for safety but also to remain compliant with traction laws. Additionally, regardless of whether or not your car has AWD, you will want to make sure you have the best possible tires to handle the roads. Studies have shown that tires make more of a difference in terms of driving in the snow that all-wheel drive, and it is important not to get arrogant simply because your vehicle has AWD. Consider investing in snow tires to double down on your car’s traction, as this can be the difference between spinning out and crashing on the highway, and driving safely and smoothly to your destination.

If you are looking to improve your physical health situation is and are in need of physical therapy due to an accident or other physical ailments, contact Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness today and we will be happy to assist you with your first steps towards recovery. We have an extensive team of qualified physical therapists and specialists who care deeply about their clients and go above and beyond the call of duty to provide the highest quality treatment in the industry. If you are looking for a therapist who will carefully assess your individual needs and formulate a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to your needs, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness is your preferred choice for the physical recovery process.