Professional athletes take steps to avoid illness and injury. Injury can be particularly disruptive, especially if there's a long rehabilitation process followed by physical training before you can return to your sport.
So, it's worthwhile taking some sensible precautions to minimise your risk and maximise your enjoyment of our great sport.
The most obvious point is also the most inconvenient: skiing well and skiing safely require reasonable physical conditioning.
Simply put, if we don't train we'll break.
Fortunately, a lot of the physical activities that produce the training we need are fun in their own right. So all we need is a commitment to be active, to engage in physical activities all year round, paying attention to the athletic qualities:
- aerobic fitness
- flexibility, coordination and agility
- strength and power
The PDF chapter below highlights effective ways to have fun while you develop these qualities. Just download and enjoy.
The next step you can take to avoid injury is: ski within your abilities.
This is familiar advice and is part of the FIS code of conduct for winter sports enthusiasts, but there's a well-considered way of applying this that can be overlooked.
When you're skiing on the public piste, keep at least 20% of your athletic capacity in reserve, so that you can cope with unexpected incidents. This means:
don't exceed 80% of the load that you can work with safely.
We're familiar with using this approach in gyms, on bicycles, etc. working at less than our maximum intensity, to achieve specific results. It's critically important to take that approach on skis. Otherwise, the slightest complication will cause an accident, for you or others.
And please remember that "don't exceed 80% of the load that you can work with safely" refers to a few high load moments through each day. Most of the time you will be skiing less intensely than that.
Take it easy and have a great time!
The third way to avoid injury is to learn how to manage the forces of skiing accurately.
We can make life safer for ourselves through:
- Accurate and well-timed movements,
- Fully developed movement patterns,
- Learning how to direct the forces, generated by the snow and skis, accurately and safely,
- Reading the terrain and snow accurately and responding with well-executed techniques, tactics and strategies.
Very good skiers do the best thing, at the best time, in the most effective manner.
I hope that helps!
Other articles on related subjects include:
I hope you enjoy them.