the Four Main ComponentsJoin us in making this your best snow season yet by being Fit For Snow!
Once you are in Steamboat, we have no doubt that you will be excited to hit the slopes. But don't forget that we are at 6900’ to 10,500’ above sea level, and your body has to work a little harder to stay warm while you ski and ride. Fluctuating blood sugar levels result from going too long between meals and from food choices you make for meals and snacks (like eating too many sticky sweets). Did you know that as blood sugar levels fall, reaction time increases by up to around 1 second, the quality of our decisions reduces, and our concentration lapses? All this can lead to reduced performance while out on snow, and an increased risk of injury. We recommend snacking between meals on foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, and low in fat and sugar. It is great if the snack has a little protein as well. Meals should be well balanced with complex carbs and protein. Check out the healthy meal and snack options available to you at our cafes and cafeterias around the mountain, including Honey Stinger waffles and pieces of fruit.
If we start to get dehydrated our performance on snow declines and our reaction time increases. As mentioned above, this can also lead to an increased chance of injury. Drinking large amounts of water only at meal times is not the way to hydrate effectively – we need to be drinking consistently throughout the day. Coffee and beer are not hydrators – better choices are water, coconut water and electrolyte drinks. Juice and soda are too high in sugar and can lead to a sugar crash. Check out the Zico Coconut Water at our cafes and cafeterias as a great hydration option.
Core Strength and awareness
There are many reasons why our posture may be like it is – cultural, injuries, tight muscles, weak muscles, positions we work in. When we are skiing and riding, our bodies will work most effectively and efficiently if our spine is in a neutral position – the curves of the various parts of our spine are in the middle of their range and so there is minimal stress. This may look a little different for everyone, but finding this happy place at the top of every chairlift before you take off down the hill sets you up for a great run. Core strength in this position is also important – whether you are interested in Pilates or yoga or other core strengthening and stabilizing exercises, having a strong core can help improve athletic performance and reduce your chance of injury.
Skiing and snowboarding are athletic – the fitter we are, the better able we are to ski and ride for most or even all of the day, although it is especially important to head down before you begin to feel very fatigued, and of course at Steamboat you can ride the gondola down, which is really the best way to get to the bottom on a busy day. Fitness includes cardiovascular fitness and balance/proprioception/reaction time training. Try challenging yourself to increase your activity level before your ski holiday – it may just be a month, or 2 months or 3 months before – but it will definitely help you be stronger and safer on the mountain as well as fitter for life.