Melbourne Physiotherapy Pilates + Fitness Group

Staying Fit For The Slopes

Physiotherapist, Jack Ingram writes after a snowboarding trip between lock downs:

“Whether you are considering a last-minute trip to the snow in 2021 or you have you sights set on the 2022 snow season, similar to all sports, injuries to ligaments, muscles and bones are always a chance to occur. The most common for skiers being knee injuries such as an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or meniscus injury, whilst snowboarders are 50-70% more likely to be injured than their skiing counterparts, with injuries more commonly in the location of the wrist, shoulder and ankle such as sprained ligaments, bone bruising or fractures.  

However this is no reason to cancel you winter holiday! Here is why injury prevention is such a pivotal component to enjoying your favourite mountain location.  

As many of us know, exercise not only increases our muscle’s ability to produce force but also absorb ground reaction forces upon heavy landings and large knocks. Whilst cardio-respiratory fitness with aerobic training allows longer periods of time to stay out on the slopes before becoming fatigued. Benefits also include: 

  • Bones becoming thicker, denser and more robust, even reversing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.   
  • Disc to become thicker and more hydrated in our spine.  
  • Ligaments to become thicker allowing greater support for our joints, weightlifters have been shown to have ACLs 2 times thicker than the average person. 
  • Strength training has shown to be just as effective at increasing flexibility as stretching. 
  • Runners/marathon runners have been shown to have hip and knee cartilage thicker than the average.  
  • Movement further reduces Pain, promotes healing, and improves mood.   

Unfortunately, many have been experiencing peaks and troughs with their physical activity throughout COVID-19 restrictions that have led many recreational athletes to cease their usual sporting activities. Long rests from physical activity can further predispose individuals to aggravating old injuries or prompting new injuries to occur upon attempting a hasty return to normal fitness regimes such as sports and gym regimes. Here at MPG, we would like to limit any such risk with a tailored exercise program to be supervised and managed by our own health professionals as we get you back on track to achieve your health and fitness aspirations.”

Jack in action: Hakuba, Japan (2020).

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March 14, 2024
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