It is finally ski season once again, and it’s time to hit the slopes for hours of fun outdoors. However, for those who are suffering from a knee injury, skiing is hardly an inviting winter activity. The same can be true for seniors, who may have stiffness or discomfort in their knees.
However, skiing doesn’t need to be a painful experience for seniors. Here, we look into the different ways to prepare for skiing on aging knees.
Skiing for Seniors
Each time you ski, your knees work hard to perform the intense physical activity required. The steeper and tougher the hill, the more your lower body works every muscle and joint to maneuver through the numerous twists and turns. Your joints aren’t as flexible as they used to be. This is why you need to prepare yourself before you head out and ski.
The following are things you can do to prevent ski-related injuries.
The first thing you need to do is to prepare yourself mentally before you ski. This means that you need to choose a ski trip that matches not only your skill level, but also your body’s level of resilience, which may be less than when you were younger. Make it a point to select the right snow condition and the right runs, as well as the best time of the day to go out. Skiing is less taxing on the joints earlier in the day, when the slopes are fresher and haven’t been carved and hardened by skiers and snowboarders during the day.
2. Loosen up.
You need to enhance your flexibility to make the most of your ski adventure. Try soaking in a warm bath a few hours before you ski. This aids in loosening your muscle tissues and allows you to stay focused on the sport. An invigorating epsom salt soak is ideal for replenishing your body with magnesium for increased stamina and energy.
Work on your range of motion prior to skiing. Do some lower-body stretches when your muscles are already warmed up with a few minutes of exercise.
3. Stay fit.
Ideally year-round, but at a minimum for a few weeks before your ski trip, perform regular exercises that will improve your balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. By doing this, you can minimize stiffness or pressure on your knees, sparing your joints from a significant increase in wear. Additionally, taking supplements containing hyaluronic acid and glucosamine can reduce stiffness.
Preparation lets you have more fun
Skiing is an enjoyable activity for youngsters and seniors alike. Just be sure to prepare yourself physically and mentally before the ski trip so you can have the best experience possible without any excess strain on your aging joints.
Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht, M.D is an orthopedic surgeon and ACL specialist with years of experience in treating sports injuries.
With his help, along with his professional staff at the Institute of Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine in San Francisco, you can get the most effective treatment for faster recovery and healing.