Skiing is very exciting, but coming away injured from a day on the mountain is a major bummer and can potentially compromise your entire season. You might want to keep a few simple safety suggestions in mind if you’re planning to hit the slopes soon. Men’s Fitness talked with John Guay, Director of Skier Services for Deer Valley Resort in Utah and these were his pointers:
• Skiing is a workout, especially for your legs. Feeling good when you’re on the slopes will largely based upon your general activity off the mountain. So … workout. Consistently. If your muscles are used to regular wear and tear, you’ll not only appreciate it so much more when you’re on the hill, you’ll even be strong and much more likely to avoid getting hurt. Moreover, being physically fit will help your body to adapt to the altitude change at the resort.
• Once you’re ready, build on your skill level and only go to more advanced terrain. Despite the fact that you know what you’re doing, it isn’t a bad idea to take it easy at the beginning of the day before tackling the super technical stuff.
• Follow the regulations. There are guidelines posted at all resorts and sometimes on your lift ticket, too. Basic things such as when and where you should yield to others, skiing at your skill level and instructions for merging on a run will all help to guarantee that everyone goes home safe.
• Stay alert at the lift. This one may sound funny, but if you’re not watching and attentive, you can get hurt before you ever get started, or right when you’re in the middle of an amazing powder day.
• Listen to your body. If you start to feel tired, call it a day or take time to hydrate and eat some food. When you’re tired, your performance is going to be compromised, so stop before you get hurt! If you start to feel yourself going down, don’t shy away from it.
• Take pointers from a ski instructor. All resorts offer lessons to teach basic skills or help advanced skiers improve their form and technique. It’s never a bad idea to brush up on this stuff and see the payoff in your performance.
The whole point is to ride safe and ride smart. These tips can help you do what you love, and walk away feeling anxious to hit it again. Venturing out, breathing the fresh air, and navigating powder safely is what it’s all about!