Skiers warned ‘get fit before your holiday’

12th November 2012, by Abi Butcher

People heighten the risk of injury if they ski when unfit

People heighten the risk of injury if they ski when unfit

Novice skiers are being urged to get fit for their skiing holiday — with the warning that failing to prepare heightens the risk of serious injury on the slopes.

Research by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has revealed that 33% of people learning to ski for the first time risk serious injury if they don’t get fit before hitting the slopes.

As a result, ABTA has produced a Winter Sports Checklist with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, giving skiers guidance on how to have a “safe and healthy holiday” on the snow. The list covers such topics as safe drinking, sun and snow blindness, use of helmets and safety on the piste.

The checklist also covers European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) and travel insurance, as the ABTA research also discovered that 31% of people who go on a ski and snowboard holiday fail to take out adequate insurance with specific winter sports cover.

The ABTA research, released at the end of last week, also revealed how four in ten (39%) of skiers and snowboarders have injured themselves at least once.

Britain’s Chemmy Alcott, who makes her return to the World Cup downhill circuit later this month in Lake Louise, knows only too well how important fitness is for helping to prevent injury, and recovering from it.

“There’s no beating around the bush, skiing is a dangerous sport, but there is lots that can be done to prevent injury — first and foremost is getting in shape before you hit the slopes,” said 30-year-old Chemmy, who is supporting ABTA’s Get Fit for Ski campaign.

“This will result in a double whammy positive — your body will be better prepared to handle the physical excursions of skiing and you will be able to ski longer for harder thus getting more value for money.”

To help skiers prepare properly, the Get Fit for Ski campaign website includes a downloadable series of exercises and stretches developed by Dr Craig McLean from Putney Chiropractic in London, specifically tailored to those heading for the snow.

For more information visit

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