47

MomTalk.com November 20, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


MomTalk Most Popular Articles

Most Popular Articles



Sign Up for the MomTalk newsletter today!





Email Marketing by VerticalResponse




Instantly watch from thousands of TV episodes & movies streaming from Netflix. Try Netflix for FREE!



152403_Mar Coupon Code 125x125

Zazzle launches customizable Doodle Speakers

zulily: Daily deals for moms, babies and kids

126905_Shop Green Baby at Diapers.com + Free 2 Day Shipping on $49+

307728_Save Better - 125x125

Plan to Ski This Winter? Start Training Now!: Energy Express

skis.jpg

By Marilynn Preston



Going downhill skiing this winter? Lucky you. Skiing is a fantastic way to have fun outdoors. But it's not for sissies. Downhill skiing requires strength, agility, stamina and concentration. Come to think of it, so does a good marriage.



Skiing also requires preparation. Why? Because downhill skiing is not a fitness sport. It won't get you into shape the way running, biking, even cross-country skiing will.

skis.jpg
By Marilynn Preston

Going downhill skiing this winter? Lucky you. Skiing is a fantastic way to have fun outdoors. But it's not for sissies. Downhill skiing requires strength, agility, stamina and concentration. Come to think of it, so does a good marriage.

Skiing also requires preparation. Why? Because downhill skiing is not a fitness sport. It won't get you into shape the way running, biking, even cross-country skiing will. Indeed, to ski well and safely, you should be in good shape before you go. (I am reminded of that wonderful Dave Barry quote: "Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.")

So step No. 1 in getting ready for ski season is to be involved in a year-round fitness program that meets the basic minimums: at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity, at least three times a week, plus some targeted strength-training sessions twice a week. Sound familiar? Please say yes.

FITNESS FIGHTS FATIGUE. Why bother to exercise year-round when all you really like to do is ski? Because a conditioned skier has more energy, more stamina and better control. An out-of-condition skier will tire more quickly, and fatigue is the great enemy of skiers. When you get tired, you can't control your skis, your judgment gets impaired, and next thing you know, you're flat on your back and the Ski Patrol guys are asking for your insurance card.

WORK ON FUNCTIONAL LEG STRENGTH. Most aerobic sports will make your legs stronger, but to get ready for downhill skiing you need to focus on strengthening the specific muscles you use in skiing. In downhill, you're in the tuck position most of the time, moving up and down at the knee to take those bumps and moguls. You need to strengthen your muscles in that precise arc of motion. Most health clubs have leg machines to help you do that, but an easy, cheap alternative is to climb stairs, two at a time.

Here are a few more excellent exercises you can do -- at home, starting today -- to make your upcoming ski trip safer and more satisfying than ever.

THE 90-90 WALL LEAN. This isometric exercise will give you legs of iron in the classic ski-tuck position, and you can do it pretty much anywhere. Stand with your back toward the wall, your feet about 15 inches away from the baseboard. Lean your back against the wall, and slide down until your hips and knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for as long as you can, using your breath to direct strength and energy into your quads and calves. When your legs get exhausted and scream at you to quit, ease off and carefully come back to a standing position. Time yourself, and try to hold the position 15-30 seconds longer each day. Do it every day, and when you go skiing, you'll have more control, more endurance and more fun. (To make this exercise even more challenging, raise up on your tiptoes.)

SIDE JUMPS. Avoid that tree! Slide around that mogul! To boost your strength and build your confidence, try this agility drill. Stand beside a book and jump over it, sideways, back and forth, building up to 25 times. When that's easy, add another book, and another, and another, until you're able to sideways jump over a stack 12-inches high or higher. Be careful doing this. Don't fall.

STEP UPS. Here's a great way to strengthen your hip flexors, quads and calf muscles. Get a sturdy, nonslip wooden box or stool that is 12- to 20-inches high. Put on your athletic shoes and step up onto it repeatedly, first leading with your right leg, then your left. Be sure to fully extend your leg each time you step up. And let yourself down slowly, in control. Do it at least 10 times with each leg, and increase that number every day.

LEG RAISES. Try this at the office while you're daydreaming about 3 feet of powder. Sit in a chair, grab the underside with both hands, exhale and straighten your legs until they are (near) parallel to the floor. Keep them raised as long as you can. Breathe! Relax and repeat five to 10 times.

ENERGY EXPRESS-O! START YOUR SKI TRAINING NOW!
"I run on the road long before I dance under the lights." -- Muhammad Ali

Marilynn Preston -- fitness expert, personal trainer and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues -- is the creator of Energy Express, the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the country. She welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to MyEnergyExpress@aol.com.
COPYRIGHT 2007 ENERGY EXPRESS, LTD.



Categories: Health & Wellness, Women's Health,


New FeatureRelated Articles: Emotional-Strength Training: How to Visit The Sick: Energy Express, Your Own Space is the Place to Start Exercising: Energy Express,