Physical recovery after heli skiing

Muscle recovery after heliskiing

Heli skiing is exhilarating but also requires a degree of physical fitness. What can you do if you haven’t had time to follow a ski fitness programme and you find yourself with sore legs? Here are the team at Bighorn’s five simple steps to aid recovery and reduce muscle stiffness

1) Eat some carbohydrate

Altitude leads to an increased carbohydrate requirement as you have a higher resting metabolic rate. Skiing also uses carbohydrate for fuel in both blood sugar and glycogen in your muscles. After an epic day’s heliskiing snack on ‘good’ carbohydrate like bananas, dried fruit and potatoes. The chef at Bighorn can prepare delicious banana bran muffins, honey nut granola bars and potato blinis with smoked salmon and lemon creme fraiche.

2) Hydrate

Drink lots of water to help flush out toxins and reduce muscle soreness

3) Massage and relaxation

Increases the flow of blood to tissues, which can prevent soreness. Enjoy a special apres-ski sports massage in luxurious Bighorn spa or relax in the huge outdoor hot tub.

4) Stretching

Elongating muscle fibres enhances recovery and reduces stiffness. Prolonged stretching helps muscles to have a fuller range of motion thus reducing the chance of strains. We can arrange personal stretching sessions with a qualified physiotherapist.

5) Active recovery

Gentle aerobic exercise increases the flow of oxygenated blood flow to muscles which aids the removal of lactic acid.

Get fit for your heliski trip in 6 weeks

Bighorn has access to a staggering amount of world-class skiing, over 1 million acres of pristine powder are yours to explore. To maximize enjoyment of your heliski experience, fitness is paramount. It’s not too late to build strength, improve stamina and encourage flexibility for this season. Our Bighorn fitness expert advises that you can make a real difference to your overall fitness in as little as 6 weeks.

Heliskiing is a full body workout and whilst many people focus on leg strength, training your whole body will ensure you are gaining true control of your movement. Angela Parker, owner of Body Inspired Fitness in Los Angeles advises, “properly training your core as well as your arms and back will take your skiing to the next level”.

Incorporating cardio activity such as running, cycling or swimming will also boost your performance, especially as you’ll be exerting yourself at altitude.

Many people forget to stretch after exercise, but this is equally as important as the work out itself. Thorough stretching will increase your flexibility, giving you better mobility in all joints. This in turn will allow you to be stronger over a greater range of movement. You will also be less susceptible to injury.

Try the following training programme 3 times per week to improve your overall ski fitness ready for the holiday of a lifetime:

  • Squat jump 10-12 reps
  • Push up hold and row 30 reps (15 rows on each arm)
  • Lunge jumps 20-24 reps (10-12 on each leg)
  • Russian twists 30 reps (15 on each side)
  • Lateral jumps 20 reps (10 on each leg)
  • Deck jumps onto a fixed platform 10 reps

Then take a 60 second rest and repeat the set as many times as you can in 30 minutes.

Now stretch…

Quads – lie on your stomach and bending you right knee gently pull your foot back to your butt with your right hand, hold or 30 seconds, then repeat on the left side.

Hamstrings – lie on your back with your knees bent raise and feet on the floor. Raise one leg straight up and gently pull towards you. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Back – on your hands and knees raise and round your back towards the ceiling and hold for 30 seconds.

Shoulders – standing straight clasp your hands behind your back and lift them away from your body, hold for 30 seconds.