Congratulations you've had a successful day on the slopes, a wonderful lesson, and a snow day full of fun memories! So what now? You don't have to wait for your next lesson to start improving.
Before you have your next lesson it's time to think about what things you can do to make your next lesson(s) and day on the mountain even better.
Taking care of your body is one of the first things you should do. After a long day of lessons and riding, most of us are going to have sore muscles and a tired body. Getting hydrated and eating a good hearty meal is a great way to start the recovery process. You've had a long day of body movement, so take care of yourself. After you get back to your hotel or home it's time to relax your body. Hot Tub or Warm Bath
Hot tubs can ease pain by taking the weight off joints and muscles. The jets massage away the knots and aches in your muscles. It's a classic après ski social event for a reason. Just be sure to drink plenty of water while you're in the tub.Salt Bath or Bath Bombs
If at-home bathing is more your style, adding some epsom salt or a bath bomb can help make the relaxing more beneficial. Ice Bath
Yes, even though you were in the cold and snow an Ice bath can help ease sore and aching muscles. The easiest at-home method is getting two large bags of ice from the store, fill the tub with cold water, get in, and then add the ice. Unless you do this often, don't exceed eight minutesMassage
Getting a massage helps your muscles, tendons, and joints all receive some focus to help relieve the swelling, tension, and range of motion. There are several types of massages from relaxing Swedish Massages to the more performance style of Sports Massage. Always go with what your body needs most. Stretch
Stretching helps keep muscles flexible, helps to reduce pain, and can lead to a reduced risk of injury as well as increase your performance. I usually stretch before and after putting my boots on. It gives me a chance to wake my body up before putting it to good use.
Just laying on the floor and using a foam roller has so many benefits. Much like a massage, you can use the roller to correct muscle imbalances and relieve soreness. Put on a good tv show to distract you from the pain and roll out those legs.
2. Freeriding on the Mountain = Practice
You don't have to wait for the next lesson to progress your riding. Freeriding, riding with family and friends is the best way to apply your new skills while having fun. Take what you learned from your instructor and apply it on the hill. Getting more riding time while working on a skill helps the skill become a habit. So what new skill did you learn? If the terrain is too difficult to practice the new skill, go to a familiar lift or run and practice there. Once you feel like you have progressed, it's time for another lesson and possibly to learn a new skill.
3. Fitness Ideas
Now that you've been on the mountain, you might have a better idea of where your fitness could improve. Being fit can lead to a more enjoyable day on the slopes.
Being at higher elevations can make breathing harder than normal. Working on your cardio is a great way to get your lungs ready to last all day!
Cycling - A great way to work on your fitness, it's low impact and causes less strain on your legs/knees than other forms of cardio. So whether its outdoors on a trail or indoors on a stationary bike, cycling helps build your stamina and leg strength
Hiking/Showshoeing - Just getting used to elevation can be hard for some of us. Especially if you're from a place near or at sea level. Being outside in the crisp cold air and hiking at elevations higher than you're used to can help build up your lung strength. Don't forget to pack extra layers, water, and food.
Stairmaster - Walking around with heavy boots on your feet all day can wear down those legs. Spending 15 minutes every few days on a stairmaster can build up your legs while working on your cardio as well.
Core - Strong core muscles help you maintain correct posture and reduce strain on your spine.
Legs - Your legs do most of the work while your skiing/riding, so if they are the sorest muscle then squat workouts will help.
Back - Even with proper riding posture your back can get tired and ache.
Taking a yoga class or doing yoga at home helps to increases mobility, flexibility, and helps relieve muscle stress.
More fitness related beta created by local athlete, Chris Spealler can be found here.
4. Replan your next lesson.
Think about your last lesson and time on the mountain. What things would you have done differently? Was your lesson a Private Lesson or a Group Lesson? What was the temperature like, and the snow conditions? Were you rushed to make it on time? Looking back at these things can better help you plan for an even better day. Time Management
Were you rushed last time you got to your lesson? Were the lines for breakfast or rentals long? Road conditions can also be a factor for when you will arrive at the resort. Sometimes leaving just a little earlier can help avoid the crowds and stay ahead of others. Private vs group lesson
Now that you're getting ready to take another lesson, think about your goals and needs. Private lessons give you a more focused lesson that concentrates on YOUR riding. Whereas in group lessons, you can meet others who are at a similar ability level and can help improve your skiing/riding in different ways.Proper Layering
How was your body temps? Were you too hot? Too cold? If you were too hot last time, maybe a lighter or no mid-layer. If you were too cold add a thicker jacket or sweater.Gear
Whether you own or rent your gear, think about how your equipment performed. Did your boots fit? What size was your board or skis? Do you want to rent a larger size? Smaller? It's always a good time to reaccess your gear because feeling good in your gear leads to great days on the hill.
More great information on ski lessons curated by a local mom can be found here
5. The Night Before
Now that you've taken care of your body, strengthened/stretched your muscles, and booked your next lesson, it's time to get some good rest the night before to help make your next lesson the best it can be! I'll see you on the mountain!