Most people think of winter as the season of reduced physical activity. Are they right? You will learn today how to take advantage of the winter season and get the most out of it! Which sports in particular should you focus on and, above all, how should you prepare yourself for them?
Skiing. The most popular winter sport!
Skiing is of course the number one winter sport on all the slopes of the world. A very exciting and rewarding sport, but unfortunately also a rather risky one. It is mostly skiing that “helps” fill physiotherapy clinics after the winter season with patients suffering from knee injuries, broken legs and arms.
Don't forget that safe skiing requires excellent technique, stamina and strong muscles. A few weeks before you leave for the mountains, work on stabilizing your entire body and strengthening the muscles of the torso and legs. Also, try to improve your balance and coordination. In addition, make sure your sports gear is right for you. This will minimise the risk of injury and your downhill skiing will be safer.
The snowboard, just one will do.
This eternal rival of downhill skiing keeps gaining popularity year after year. Compared to skiing, snowboarding does not lead to so many injuries, since with both feet attached to the board, you are not so vulnerable to twisting movements of the knee joints. However, this does not mean that you do not need to prepare for snowboarding.
Strength of leg muscles, improved stability and flexibility of the trunk and slightly bent knees are the most important aspects to focus on before the skateboarding season. It is also a smart idea to use additional wrist stabilizers, as wrist fractures are the most common snowboarder injuries seen in physiotherapy clinics.
Cross-country skiing. The perfect choice for your heart.
Cross-country skiing is one of the most effective physical activities to help you improve the efficiency of your respiratory system and the endurance of virtually all of the most important muscles in the body.
Still, it is a demanding sport and you need to prepare yourself for it when it comes to the technique. Even the best world-class athletes cannot always avoid falls, and therefore you should minimise the risk of injury through training and coaching with an experienced instructor.
Ice skating. The art of coordination and balance.
Some people may not have the opportunity and time for a skiing trip to the high mountains in December. Ice skating is a winter sport that does not require long distance travel.
And it is available to all, regardless of age. The youngest children, their parents and even grandparents can all enjoy skating. It does not require great fitness and the movement on ice greatly improves coordination and balance. Clearly, slippery ice carries a greater risk of falls, and therefore it is a good idea to get some prior training, for example, by practicing roller-skating during the summer months – a sport which is a great introduction to ice rink exploits. For additional protection of the joints most commonly injured in falls on ice, you may want to wear wrist and knee pads.
Winter trail, or running for the hardiest.
It has been said that there is no bad weather for running… there are only badly dressed runners! There is a great deal of truth in this saying, popular among runners. With good equipment (trail shoes, gloves, winter jacket/blazer), running along forest trails covered with snow can be as fascinating as running in the spring and summer season.
Winter trail, or running in the winter season, fortifies the body against cold, improves resistance to diseases and enhances the efficiency of the respiratory system. It also has a salutary effect on blood circulation and builds up form, which will boost your athletic performance in the spring. This is a readily accessible sport, requiring no specialised equipment and bringing many health benefits. All you need to do is dress well, brace yourself for the lower temperature and start running!