Head for the Hills this holiday season

Head for the Hills this holiday season

Despite growing up in Canada, I've never been a fan of snow. Sure, it looks nice when it's freshly fallen but if you ask me, it's really only good for one thing and that's winter sports. I grew up skiing and some of the best times with my family were spent on the slopes. Now that I'm an adult, I don't go outside in the winter nearly as much as I used to but that can change.

Head for the Hills this holiday season

Winter is a great time to get moving, and not just in the warm confines of the gym. There are a number of sports to get you moving and keep you fit until summer roles around again.

Skating Hockey Snow Shoeing Building a snow man

Skiing and snowboarding are amazing workouts -- have you even come back from a day on the slopes and not felt completely exhausted? In fact, just two hours of downhill skiing burn 1,118 calories, according to this website -- and we all know that 2 hours of skiing isn't much ... we usually spend all day on the hill.

And since it's such a good workout, it's important to remember to get in shape for ski season, whether you'll be spending a good chunk of time in the show or are just planning on going for a few runs. Here are some ways you can get prepared:

  1. Cardio endurance: As with any sport that you'll be doing for prolonged amounts of time, it's important to make sure you have the stamina to withstand it. But unlike other sports when short bursts of intensity are ideal, those training for winter sports would benefit more from longer workouts at a low intensity.
  2. Building muscle: When you're skiing or snowboarding, you need a lot of leg muscle. Squats and lunges will be particularly beneficial, especially with weights.
  3. Balance training: Balance is one of the most important aspects skiing and snowboarding and you should work on yours to reduce the chance of injury. Using stability and BOSU balls during your workout will help with this. Also, working your core can help improve your balance.
  4. Flexibility: When you're out in the cold all day, you're muscles tend to get a bit stiff. Working on your flexibility beforehand will keep them from tightening up on you. Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility and strength.

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