Alpine Skiing – A Total Sport

Most of the people enjoy winter, snow and of course winter sports. Alpine skiing is one of the favorite winter sports for most of the people. It involves muscular effort at the level of thighs, legs and abdominals; speed, balance, orientation in space, skill, lung capacity therefore alpine skiing is a total sport, besides altitude, which requires the body specific conditions.

A Technical Sport

Skiing is a technical discipline. It is therefore advisable to start taking some courses in order to assimilate the basic techniques – how to stop, to turn, to make a slip, to fall… – and gain confidence. Good reflexes taken, skiing will only be enjoyable. Plenty of ski schools all over the world and instructors offer courses at any level.

When to Avoid Skiing

Apart from the usual indications against sport, there are risks of skiing related to altitude. A chronic heart disease, chronic respiratory failure, and certain blood diseases prohibit the stay at more than 2,500 meters above sea level.

In other cases, a doctor’s opinion may be necessary, in case of pregnancy (1st and 3rd quarter), stabilized heart disease, chronic bronchitis, children under 18 months, asthma triggered by cold or effort, and any disease that requires regular monitoring.

Preparations before Departure

Even less fit people are attracted by the charms of skiing. Thus, many people go on the ski slopes after several months of inactivity.

Ideally, of course, a sporting activity is needed throughout the year, otherwise a small preparation a month before departure is recommended. Emphasis will be placed on the legs, constantly worked when skiing, with 3 goals:

1. Muscle: to avoid pain in the legs in the morning, practice short exercises, bending legs, slots, squats, exercises related to the chair (seated, back to the wall, without support). In everyday life, prefer the stairs to the elevator.

2. Stretch: to prevent accidents and favor muscle recovery, stretch your legs: front and back of the thigh, calf.

3. Work the balance on the skis, as our legs bear our weight, and take over turns, bumps, speed.

The Most Frequent Accidents

Each ski season is associated with accidents like fall, collision between skiers, against an obstacle. The practice of alpine skiing has indeed its risks. The most affected skiers are beginners, children under 11 and those over 55 years.

Sprains (36%) and fractures (25%) are the most frequent accidents. Then there are contusions (18%), musculoskeletal injuries, tendonitis (7%), wounds (5%), dislocations (3%), and head injuries (3%).

The Knee Sprain, a Classic Ski Accident

Representing one third of the accidents, knee sprain injuries are the most common one. Each year about 15, 000 skiers are victims of the most serious forms of knee sprain, fracture of the anterior crossed ligament. This ligament is one of the four ligaments of the knee and it provides a considerable part of the stability of the knee. This sprain sometimes requires surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation. Women over 25 are 3.5 times more at risk than men are.