4 Ways To Get In Shape for Ski Season

The countdown to ski season has begun!


It’s time to get in shape.  Of course, I know you can’t get in top physical condition in a month but on the other hand, anything helps.  You see, I am not a burpee maniac like my neighbor Darhl.

Everytime I see her, she’s just come back from an intense workout such as Burpee Bootcamp or Orangetheory Fitness’ “Hell Week Workout.”  She’s training side-by-side with women 20 years younger than her. Darhl is constantly rowing, jumping over boxes, and rocking the burpee.  It shows, she is in great physical shape.

I wish I were more like her as I say to myself, “Shoot, I am only at 3,346 steps for the day. How am I going to get to 8,000?” But then I sit down at my computer the kitchen counter.  I haven’t seen the “Red Zone” on my heart rate monitor all year.

Ski season is fast approaching. I want to enjoy skiing from day one instead of constantly stopping to rest when my quads are burning and my heart is pounding out of my chest.  I need to “Be Like Darhl” and bump up my workout frequency and my intensity.


Here is my 30 day pre-ski season workout plan:

Endurance – 10,000 steps

Every step counts so I plan to take 10,000 of them everyday.  They add up quickly when you focus on them.  When I first got my Fitbit Blaze, my goals was 8,000 steps a day (from an average of  3,500.)  When I took the stairs instead of the elevator, took short walk breaks, a treadmill workout at lunch and grabbed my dog and her lease after work, I doubled my steps.

To hit 10,000 steps, I’ll need to kick it up a notch with an added daily walk or run.

Goal:  10,000 steps every day for the next 30 days

Flexibility – Yoga and Pilates

Downward Dog and Open Triangle Yoga poses are a skier’s friend. Prevention magazine says, “We lose flexibility in our muscles and tendons as we age. Stretching can help.”

In yoga or Pilates class, when complicated moves come up, I just stop and stand on my mat. I scratch my head at the strong and nimble yoga regulars. I’m not one of those “twist like a pretzel into an eight angle pose with your legs off the ground to your side” kind of a girl.

I do love the combination of strength and flexibility I get from a solid stretching routine in the morning.  And frankly, it helps me wake up and start my day relaxed yet energized.

30 Day Pre-Skiing Goal:  Take a yoga or Pilates class once a week and do an online yoga or stretching routine at home for 20 minutes every morning.

Overall Fitness: High School Gym Class Workout

Coach Martin (my high school gym teacher) had some classic moves that still work today. Did you like gym class back in the day? I loved it. Coach Martin blew his whistle and barked commands, “10 push ups, people. Let’s go!”

Then came burpees, squats, a run around the track and up the bleacher stairs.  No equipment was needed. All I need to replicate this today is a sweatshirt and a good pair of shoes.  Having a coach prompting me, made workouts easier but now we have fitness apps.  Obviously, you can hire a personal trainer to design a program for you or you can use one of the many apps with built in workout programs.

30 Day Pre-Ski Season Goal:  Do a Coach Martin style or boot-camp workout twice a week to increase overall fitness.


Ski Specific Exercises – U.S. Ski Team Workout

As a novice skier, I am no expert, so let’s turn to the U.S. Ski Team for advice. They recommend (big rubber) band walks, lateral box jumps and squats with weights for starters.  Check out their exercises – here.

30 Day Pre-Season Goal: Add a ski specific workout routine twice a week.

Now I just need to write these workouts in my calendar. Since I’ve long since graduated from high school, I don’t have gym class in my schedule.  Coach Martin is not standing behind me with his megaphone and whistle.

But the mountains are calling me. The corduroy runs are my internal motivator.  I tell myself, “Nancy, get up and go.”  Do you do the same?

We have all heard the saying,

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

I’ve been wishing I’d get in shape, and now I have a plan to be ready for winter.

What’s your “get ready for skiing workout plan?”  Share your tips in the comments below.

Nancy L. Anderson, CFP is a financial planner in Park City, Utah. You can find her onFacebookTwitter, her blog NancyLAnderson.com, and for tips on Transitioning to Retirement on Forbes.com.

3 Responses

  1. Mary Lynn Wilson says:

    Nancy, the P90X Plyometrics DVD is our go-to to get ready for skiing. Great for balance, leg strength and lateral movement. Looking forward to skiing Deer Valley in February.

  2. […] Nancy L. Anderson, CFP is a financial planner in Park City, Utah.  You  can find her on NancyLAnderson.com,  Facebook, Twitter and Deer Valley Ski Resort Official Blog. […]

  3. Thanks for sharing these tips. I need to get in shape because I am going on a ski holiday next week!

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