PDF How Not To Breake A Leg While Skiing - The Truth About Skiing Volume 3

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Table of contents

One of the most important facts is that adjusting to altitude takes time. Taking it easy in the beginning and spending a night at an intermediate elevation, such as in Denver, can help you feel better in Granby. As you go up in elevation, atmospheric pressure goes down, which means oxygen molecules are farther apart. As a result, when you breathe in there are fewer oxygen molecules in that volume of air compared with the same volume of air at sea level.

For most people this difference only becomes noticeable at altitudes above about 5, feet. This is normal; your body is working harder to get the oxygen you need. This increase in your breathing causes other changes in your body that make it important for you to adjust from your regular routine. The most important thing is to stay well hydrated and not with alcohol, at least not for the first day or two.

Your kidneys need to do extra work to compensate for chemical changes from the increased breathing, plus the air is generally drier at altitude and you will lose more moisture when breathing harder. Staying well hydrated and drinking more water than you do at home will help you adjust to the altitude.

There are a number of signs and symptoms that are frequently associated with mild altitude illness. The most common is difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep, especially the first night or two. Choosing the right approach to help you sleep is important.


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Avoid medications, or any substance, that suppresses the respiratory drive, such as most of the standard sleep aids and alcohol. These may help you sleep a bit better but they will inhibit your acclimatization. The other very common complaint at altitude is a headache. Over the counter ibuprofen and possibly acetaminophen will help with the altitude headache and may also help with acclimatization.

Some folks may feel nauseated at high altitude and, while vomiting is not common, anti-nausea medication can be helpful. A final comment on medications; Acetazolamide or Diamox is a useful medicine that your doctor can prescribe for you prior to coming to SFL if you are concerned that you will struggle at altitude or you have had altitude sickness in the past.

Exercising such as cross-country skiing at altitude can be frustrating as your sea level performance will be diminished at 9, feet. Your times for a set distance will increase and you will get more winded than you are used to at home, especially going uphill.

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The best solution to this is to train before you come and arrive at SFL in good physical shape and to be happy and proud of the performance you can achieve during the week. It takes about 10 days to two weeks at altitude to regain your sea level performance. The fancy altitude simulators and hypoxia training aids generally do not work and should be avoided. On a final note, while it will be common for many of us to have some mild issues with altitude at 9, ft.

Signs that there is a more dangerous problem are things like staggering while trying to walk or difficulty doing simple everyday tasks, or having trouble catching your breath at rest. While we will all be more short of breath when skiing, or even walking upstairs, we should not be short of breath without doing something exertional.

If you feel any of these symptoms please see someone on the medical team right away. There are many additional resources that cover physical conditioning, health and fitness. Some of them are listed in this section:. We would like to thank John Elliott who spent countless volunteer hours developing the draft of this document. Additionally, we wish to thank Carlton Heine, M. Kiel Hovland, Wellness Center Manager, Denver Federal Center contributed information to the sections on balance, strength, stretching and flexibility routines. To see easy ways to incorporate exercise and stretching into your daily activities, go to Ten Easy Steps to Increase Fitness.

You are signed up for Ski for Light! Getting Ready for Ski for Light Cross-country skiing is a great way to exercise and experience the outdoors in winter. The conditioning and training guidelines are grouped into several categories, including: A. Balance and Conditioning B. Strength Training C. Endurance and Aerobic Training D. Stretching and Flexibility E. How Much Is Enough F. Training on Your Own Before Coming to Ski for Light Select activities and exercises from the following suggested Training Categories to customize your workout schedule or fill out the Weekly Training Calendar we have provided.

Strength Training These ski-specific strength training suggestions focus on three general areas of the body where strength is important: the upper body, the abdomen or core and the legs. Endurance and Aerobic Training There are many options here. Endurance and Aerobic Training for a list of activities D.

Stretching and Flexibility Having good flexibility allows you to develop good ski technique and to avoid muscle fatigue and injury. How Much Is Enough Cross-country skiing is great fun, but it can be physically taxing because you might be skiing for several hours in a day.

Physical Conditioning

Skiing at High Altitude Often the best snow is in the mountains at elevations above where most Ski for Light participants live or train. Weekly Training Calendar for Advanced Skiers and Guides Now that you have some specific suggestions for improving your balance, getting stronger, having more endurance and being more flexible, how do you put this all together in a sensible way and build gradually until the week of Ski for Light? You can populate your Weekly Training Calendar with the specific activities of your choice from the following links: A.

Stretching and Flexibility The Weekly Training Calendar includes recommendations for how much time should be spent on these activities or how many repetitions also called Volume , recommendations for how vigorously they should be done also called Intensity , as well as recommendations for the number of days per week these activities should be undertaken also called Frequency. Stand with feet parallel and shoulder width apart.

Lift the left foot off the floor and slowly step farther to the left until you can gracefully put it back on the ground. Repeat several times.

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Then do the same with the right foot. Place your right hand on the wall or on the back of a sturdy chair. Lift your left foot up a couple inches out in front of you and hold for 30 seconds. Try not to lean on the hand touching the wall or chair. Then, turn around and put your left hand on the wall or chair and raise your right foot. Tightening your core meaning your stomach and butt muscles , standing up straight and raising your chest will help you balance. While holding onto the back of the chair to keep your balance, try moving your raised foot around and swinging your free arm.

Place your hand on the wall or chair back as in 2 above. Gradually let go, so you are balanced on one foot. Hold for 30 seconds and as you get better at this, aim for one minute. Yoga Tree Pose: Stand with the inside edge of your feet touching and your heels apart so that your feet form an upside down V. Turn your left foot out to the left so that your knee points slightly to the left. Place your left heel on your right ankle, with your left toes touching the floor. Tighten your core and stand as tall as possible. Hold for as long as you can, striving for 30 seconds.

Putting your hands on your hips and tightening your core will help you balance. As your balance gets better, slide your left foot away from the floor so it rests on your calf and if you get really strong, you can place your left foot on your upper thigh! Your arms can also be lifted above the head with palms together in a prayer position. Repeat on the other side. Attach a bungee cord or fitness band to a stationary anchor, such as a post or the leg of a heavy couch or bed.

Tying a knot and placing on the other side of a closed door would also work. The cord or band should be attached at about ankle level.

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Pull this leg laterally left to right like you are sweeping the floor with your foot. Now change your position in relation to the anchor so you can move your foot from front to back.

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Repeat with the other foot. In addition to improving your balance, this exercise will strengthen your quadriceps muscle on the top of your leg , your hamstring muscle on the back of your leg and the adductor muscle on the inside. The tighter the band is stretched, the stronger you will get. Hold the anchored bungee cord or band in one hand. You can now exercise arms by pulling your arm from front to back. Then move your arm from side to side.


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