A retired surgeon, Terry McEnany, MD, spends his winters in Colorado. Dr. Terry McEnany has been teaching people how to ski for nearly two decades.
These following tips can make your first time on the slopes more enjoyable as a beginner skier.
– Steer clear of powder.
Perfecting technique is important when first learning how to ski. Areas laden with powder create unnecessary challenges during the learning process, and you will likely spend much time getting stuck, rather than practicing. Allow yourself to keep full attention on the basics by selecting groomed terrains to practice on to ensure surface consistency.
Try to use “detachable” chair lifts
These operate on two different- speed cables. One cable carries the lift chairs quickly up the hill,, while the other slows the chair down at the loading zone. The latter is critical for beginners because it gives you more time to situate yourself on a seat when loading and to comfortably exit the chair at the top of the lift. View a resort map to locate this type of lift.
– Look straight ahead.
A common mistake new skiers make is looking at their skis while in motion. Avoid this and keep your sightline at least 10 feet ahead of your skis. Identify obstacles, such as a group of people or a change in the surface, quickly consider how to prevent a collision or fall, and execute your plan.
A former cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, Terry McEnany, MD, has since retired and taken on a new career as a ski instructor. Dr. Terry McEnany teaches through Ski and Snowboard Schools of Aspen, Colorado, where he helps skiers to navigate the slopes healthfully and skillfully.
Healthy and safe skiing requires not only a firm grasp on technique but also attention to proper nutrition. A skier typically burns between 400 and 750 calories per hour, and this energy needs to be refilled at proper intervals. A healthy meal before the day’s session is essential, as it provides the glycogen that muscles need to perform at high levels.
Lean protein also helps to ensure that the body maintains adequate stores of glycogen, which the muscles can draw from to fuel extended ski sessions. Foods such as sandwiches and cereal with milk, which include both carbohydrates and protein, are strong choices for providing the muscles with short and long-term energy. These foods are particularly helpful for skiers to eat during a lunch break, which is essential for keeping the athlete strong throughout the afternoon.
It is also important for a skier to follow the ski session with a healthy snack or light meal. Carbohydrates and protein support muscle recovery and help the skier to refuel, while fresh fruits and vegetables provide the nutrients necessary for overall healing and wellness.