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Stay Safe on the Slopes:
Avoid The Last Run of the Day

06 JAN 2015 - BY JOSEPH TYSON

Picture the scene. You have been up on the slopes all day, starting on the blues and then working your way up to a few black runs. You can't count how many times you've been up on the ski lift but one thing is for certain, you have gotten your money's worth.

But now the sun is starting to set. You feel invincible, breathing in that fresh mountain air, but as you head to the lift for that final run, you realise your legs are starting to feel a bit heavy.

Sound familiar? If you've been skiing before, it should do. The hardest part about skiing is knowing when to call it quits at the end of the day. In fact, most injuries occur on that "one last run" when you are tired, aching and you've physically had enough.

Such is the curse of the skier. Once you start, you never want to stop. However, knowing when your body is telling you to head down to the lodge could save you a lot of grief in the long run.

Here are a few tips to keep you active for longer and also to let you know when your body is saying "let's turn in".

Muscle fatigue

Muscle fatigue is a big issue for skiers. When you participate in this sport it exerts a lot of energy and, as such, takes its toll on your legs.

When your muscles enter a state of fatigue they become less responsive and less able to do what you require them to. Obviously, this makes skiing much harder and potentially dangerous. And so when your legs start to feel strange and heavy, it's time to call it a day.

Don't be fooled by adrenaline

Skiing is a buzz. Flying down a mountain at rapid speeds is great fun and causes you to have an adrenaline rush. However, the fun you're having and the chemicals released by this rush can sometimes mask how you feel.

At the bottom of a run you're likely to feel amazing from the last trip. But by the time you've got back up to the top, this might have worn off and your true fatigue will reveal itself. But once you are at the summit again, saying no to one last run is even harder, even if you don't feel 100 per cent.

Towards the end of the day, take a few breaks after runs to make sure you are really up for another or if it is the adrenaline talking.

Don't be fooled by adrenaline

Listen to aching muscles

One of the most simple ways to know you've done enough skiing for one day is that your body will be aching quite a bit. Staying in position while you ski involves a lot of effort from your core and legs and after hours of doing the same thing, it can soon catch up to you.

Late on in the day, you may start to ache a little and this is a good indicator you are getting close to your limit. Don't go all out, call it a day and come back tomorrow when you're fresh.

Take breaks throughout the day

No one wants to stop, even if it's just for a minute. But a few little breaks will give your body a rest and keep you active longer. When you stop, make sure you drink plenty of liquids. Keeping hydrated is an essential part of skiing, you can read more about this in our guide on the topic.

Take Breaks ski

Know your limit

This isn't a warning sign but it's good advice and heeding it will keep you out there for longer. Only ski within your ability. If you try and take on runs that are above your level, you are more likely to over-exert yourself and cause burn out. As well as this, you run the risk of having an accident.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with trying the next step up, but only when you are sure you are ready for it. Remember, stay sensible and stay safe!

Further advice from across the internet

http://welove2ski.com/ski-safety
http://skiing.about.com/od/safetyforskiers/a/skisafety.htm
http://skiing.about.com/od/skiingglossary/g/bindings.htm
http://skiing.about.com/od/safetyforskiers/a/skicode.htm
http://www.breakthroughonskis.com/Pages/_private_lessons/lessons5.html
http://www.breakthroughonskis.com/Pages/_private_lessons/lessons5.html

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