Getting Ready for
The snow is coming
soon. Are you ready to play? Whether you are a fan of downhill
skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing or cross-country skiing, its
time to get in shape for winter sports.
Remember - an outdoor
workout is no fun if you aren't prepared - physically and materially.
In other words, you need to be physically in shape. But you also
need to have the proper gear to make your outdoor excursions as
fun as possible. So, here are some tips to help you prepare for
fun in the snow:
- Being cold takes
all the fun out of winter sports. Take a trip to your local
outdoor supply store and spend a few dollars on some good waterproof,
sweat repelling, breathable clothes. Your best bet for warmth
is fleece. And for moisture wicking, go with polypropylene or
a similar fabric. Don't forget about covering your head and
your hands. These often-uncovered spots allow for a lot of heat
loss. Look for a warm hat that fits comfortably and doesn't
scratch. My favorite is wool lined with fleece.
- If you aren't so
lucky to have snow where you live, but get the wetter stuff
-sometimes referred to as "liquid sunshine" - don't
let this stop you from getting out. Pull out a waterproof jacket
and some wind pants and be on your way!
- If you plan to hit
the slopes this year, it's well worth putting in some time now
to get your legs ready. There's nothing worse than having to
retire to the lodge early due to rubber legs when you could
be taking one more run. Plan for two days each week of the following
exercises: squats, lunges and stair steps. Two sets of ten repetitions
of each exercise should do the trick.
- If you typically
jog or cycle, consider switching to these exercises: stair climbing,
cross-country skiing, or rowing. These exercises are pretty
intense on the legs and also include arm movements. Don't forget
how much you use your arms when you ski.
- If you belong to
a gym that offers a winter conditioning class - by all means,
join it. These classes can be a great change of pace, plus they
are a tough workout.
- If you don't belong
to a gym, try to include exercises in your routine that move
in lateral directions. We tend to do all forward movement, in
a very regular and stiff pattern. But when you are out in the
wilds of winter - you have to be prepared to go anywhere your
skis take you. And for me, that's not always the direction I
- Don't be fooled
into thinking that alcohol warms you up. In fact, it can provide
you with a false sense of warmth that may cause you to allow
your body to get even colder than it was previously. Maintain
a safe body temperature by dressing warmly and staying on the
move. Know the signs of hypothermia.
- Keep your head about
you. Winter accidents happen when people forget about the power
of Mother Nature.
For more information
check out these winter weather safety rules at: weathereye.kgan.com