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Snow Is Falling!

With many of you being keen skiers, I thought a few tips to have you carving up the mountain with a grin from ear to ear is in order! Many people go to the snow and come back falling apart, either having pushed it so hard their immune systems have caved in or their bodies couldn't keep pace with the mind and they spend the next 3-6 months in rehab with injuries. Let's avoid both these scenarios! We still want to have fun and make the most of the precious time in the mountains, but pace yourself and remember there are other people on the moutnain too.
  • Prepare your body to avoid injuries. Ideally you should training 2 months prior to make sure you are fit but also to have the muscle strength to protect your joints, especially your knees and ankles. It's never too late to start - work on the legs and buttocks!
  • While at the snow, eat lots! You need extra fuel when in the cold to keep you warm, especially when you are burning up 100s of calories in a matter of hours. One day's skiing is probably more exercise than you would do in a week. Think hearty stews, casseroles, soups, root vegetables. Eat lots of good quality fat which provides long-lasting energy and helps insulate you in the cold: coconut oil, full fat dairy, extra virgin olive oil, oily fish such as sardines, kippers, mackerel, salmon and trout, nuts and nut butters, avocado, some good quality chocolate.
  • Breakfast is the key when skiing. Having a bigger breakfast than you ordinarily would while at home, is crucial. It will kick start your metabolism to keep your energy levels running throughout the day and stops you craving sugar later so you can keep skiing longer. I usually have porridge and fruit, followed by 2 eggs and wholegrain toast!
  • Food on the slopes is expensive so take snacks which you can easily fit into the multitude of pockets in your ski jacket: nuts and dried fruit, nut balls, chocolate bars - there is a reason chocolate was created in the Alps, you need the fat, a little sugar with some cacao antioxidants thrown in (avoid white chocolate which is only sugar!). Perhaps take your own sandwiches if you want to avoid queuing up for lunch.
  • Try not to pump yourself full of caffeine on the long drive there and back as well as throughout the day. You will pay for it later once you are home! Take a good quality multivitamin with you to keep you boosted instead.
  • Drink water! Everyone forgets in the cold but remember you are working hard, losing fluid in sweat as well as the indoor heating drying out your skin.  Every time you stop for a break, grab a bottle of water or refill your own. If you're too cold, ask for a cup of hot water or herbal tea. 
  • Sunscreen is a must in the snow. The sun is much harsher up in the mountains, especially with the reflection off the snow. I use sunscreen plus zinc on top to protect my face. A heavy moisturiser is also essential once you come off the mountains for the day as the air is thinner and central heating is drying. Coconut oil works well as it is quite thick and is great for your skin.
  • A good quality Magnesium supplement helps replenish your msucles after working out all day, reduces cramps and replaces your electrolytes. Take each afternoon as soon as you come off the slopes and remember to stretch!
  • Avoid binge drinking. Being higher in altitude, alcohol will affect you faster. Try a herbal tea to warm you up and hydrate you first before heading onto the booze. Pack some tea bags to take with you. Not to say that isn't lovely to unwind after a day's skiing with a couple of glasses of wine over dinner, even better if you are sitting around a fire!
  • If you're having trouble with your circulation in the high altitude, Gingko biloba increases the peripheral circulation to the brain and extremities.
  • If you are skiing for a week or more, take a day off to rest or finish early before you become tired and accidents happen. There are always beautiful walks in the mountains, stretch out your body with a few laps in the local swimming pool, rejuvenate your muscles with a massage, or curl up by the fire with a good book. 
  • As thrilling as skiing is, it's also a dangerous sport. Wear a helmet - it keeps your head warm with air vents if it's a hot day and it also means you will come off the mountain alive! Helmets are all the rage overseas and are becoming increasingly common in Australia.
  • Breathe in the mountain air! Have fun, laugh and play - no need to prove you're the fastest or most radical skier on the slopes. Come home invigorated and smiling!


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