Heavy duty aprés ski combined with the effects of high altitude and strenuous exercise can place you more at risk of injuring yourself on the slopes. High altitudes cause dehydration, the effect of which can be compounded by insufficient water intake. On a normal day we lose 1.5-2 litres of fluid and during exercise this can easily double, treble or quadruple. Beer, wine, caffeine and fizzy drinks all add to dehydration. Skiing after lunch, after your muscles have cooled down and when you are tired, can also place you at risk of injury.
So, what else can you do to avoid injury? Simply take it easy on the first few days and drink plenty of water. Most injuries happen during the first or last run of the day, so it is important to warm up thoroughly and stretch the muscles, and to stop when you are tired. Take a break but not for long enough to cool down.
You do not have to be super fit to ski, but you should prepare yourself. Do not assume you are fit for skiing because you play another sport. Good preparation before you go, and stretching before and after skiing means you will be more likely to come back in one piece.
Finally, when you’re on the slopes, don’t forget your ski etiquette:
- Show respect for others and control your speed
- Leave enough space when overtaking
- Do not block the run – stop at the side of the piste and when you start again, look up and down the run to make sure it is clear
- Show respect for signs and markings
- Do not drink and “ski”!