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Skiers need to stretch, exercise before hitting the slopes

By Lori Pritchard | Posted - Jan 10th, 2013 @ 7:05pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Ski outings don't always end in euphoria. Injuries can happen and are often the result of not being in shape or properly prepared. Some tips for conditioning are being offered by specialists for the health initiative of the week.

With ski season in full swing, many people are hitting the slopes. But they need to remember that before they strap on their skis, they need to begin with proper stretching. Any fitness program starts with loosening up your muscles, according to physical therapist Beth Gilmore.

"And you can do hamstrings and calf muscles," Gilmore said. "Those are all used a lot while you're skiing."

People do need to be careful if they are hitting the slopes without a basic fitness level. At least three months of conditioning will strengthen the core to prevent injuries.

"Biking or a regular gym routine is good," Gilmore said. "If you can keep your quad muscles strong and your glutes strong, they have a big impact in preventing knee injuries and knee injuries are pretty common in skiing."

There are a few basic exercise workouts for mogul skiers. Most of the routines emphasize the skiers "squat" position and an inexpensive elastic band.

Another very important tip is to stay hydrated. And most skiers now wear a helmet to avoid injuries or the "one last run" syndrome.

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