How to Keep Fit for Skiing During The Summer
It’s now June, which sadly means that skiing season has come to an end. With exception of a few resorts that are located in high alpine environments, like Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and Mount Hood in Washington State, all the resorts have now closed and snow is only something that we can see in our dreams. Here we will be talking about some of the ways to keep fit for skiing, during summer months.
This is not to say that summer is entirely time to mourn for the loss of steep trees and face shots though. In fact, this time of year is filled with its own joys that can offer just as much excitement and fun in the outdoors as skiing. If this isn’t enough to convince you of the joys of summer, try framing your summer activities and adventures as a way to stay in shape and keep fit for next year’s winter season. Here are some of the best summer pastimes for staying in great skiing shape and keeping fit all summer long. Whichever activities on this list (or not on this list) that you find yourself drawn to this summer, remember though, that the most important thing to keep fit for skiing during the summer is simply making sure that you stay active.
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In many ways, biking is the equivalent to skiing but during the warmer months of the year. For one, this sport works for the same muscle groups. This makes it the perfect way to keep your legs strong all summer. Those who spend a lot of time biking when its warm out can count on starting their season on snow with a feeling of being more capable.
Although all types of biking can help one keep fit for skiing, cross-country mountain biking is by far the most ideal. This is because the long climbs can work leg power and strengthen one’s aerobic abilities. The results are both better endurance and a higher (or maintained) level of strength. The climbs are not the only aspect of this type of biking that is great for skiing training though – descents, especially when they involve navigating complicated trails through woods, are very reminiscent of what it’s like to ski trees. The constant changes in obstacles mean the mind must stay engaged and focused, making this a mental workout as well as a physical one.
Other types of biking can still be great to keep fit for skiing, but they don’t offer the advantage of both the mental and physical components. Road biking is awesome for working out, especially if you choose a route with some significant hills. Conversely, down hilling offers the adrenaline filled, mentally engaged aspect. Since many downhill courses are accessible by chairlift, you won’t get the strength or aerobic aspects though. Feel free to try all the different styles of biking and choose the one that you like the most, but know that cross country mountain biking will be the best if your goal is to keep fit for skiing. If you opt for mountain biking but you are not sure how to choose among many of the bikes on the market, we can help you with our guide on the best mountain bikes.
If running is more your jam than biking, partaking in this sport instead can still work well to keep fit for skiing all summer long. However, put your energy into trail running instead of running on a treadmill or pavement, as the uneven terrain will better mimic aspects of downhill skiing. Having to navigate complicated trails requires you to pay greater attention to your surroundings, thinking and reacting as you move. This is quite similar to the thought process required to ski safely and efficiently. Trail running will, therefore, keep your mind sharp for the upcoming ski season.
Trail running is also preferable to running on pavement since it is easier on the knees. As skiing is another sport that hammers the knees, try to give these important joints as much rest as you possibly can during the offseason. If you want to find out more, and you need more information on this, make sure you read the guide on the best knee braces for running.
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Many skiers are finding themselves drawn to Stand-Up Paddle Boarding, also known as SUP, during the summer months. One of the reasons is that it is so darn fun, but another is that this sport is a great way to work on balance and core. Many yoga studios offer SUP yoga classes, where participants take downward dog and tree pose while also maintaining their balance on a SUP. Simply paddling around a lake is also a great workout that will help you to work on these factors though. Once you feel experienced to truly up to the ante, SUPs can also be used to navigate rapids. Only attempt that if you are confident in this extreme environment though.
Get over the fear of looking silly and invest in a pair of inline skates to keep fit for skiing this summer. The movement of skating is quite similar to skiing, and although going over flat ground is not something that you will (hopefully) do a lot as a downhill skier, it can be incredibly beneficial to keeping your skiing muscles strong. Make this activity more difficult by going up and down hills. The up-hills will help improve your endurance, while the down-hills can help you work while turning.
Although most of us don’t want to spend our summers in a gym, strength training should not be neglected as part of a well-rounded regime to keep fit for skiing during summer months. In this sport, strong legs and core are the most important. Work in two to three workouts each week that concentrate on each of these muscle groups. For a more comprehensive routine, make sure to include at least one arm intensive workout as well.
So, it’s time to take the next step. Choose one of the activities from the list to keep fit for skiing during the summer. The choice is yours but let us know which one is your favourite and how did it go.