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im out of shape, should i not bother skiing?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
hi there, im new here, would like some advice, ive only skied twice, once last year in vail and year before in park city, i love it, only a beginner, im scheduled to go to tahoe in a little over a month, but have a few concerns

im 6'2" 250+, and out of shape, i only will ski the beginner slopes but last year i was so tired halfway thru a day even on those slopes id almost give up, now, i pulled a muscle in my back last month and aggravated it playing flag football last weekend but i dont want to go to the doc

am i just being stupid and should cancel the trip and not risk further injury, or should i give it the ole college try and if i dont like it, i can gamble, go snowmobiling find other stuff to do (for 8 days mind u)
post #2 of 28
I'm horribly out of shape too, fat and old! I've been teaching and skiing for a week and I'm still a wreck, in fact I'm on the net so I don't go to bed too early.
I'd say, get some Skins, get some anti-inflamm drugs, and take LESSONS. You're working too hard at it. Learn to ski easy, not use every muscle you've got.

I should take my own advice. I've got the Skins, got the drugs (thank god), but keep being lured down steeps and lately bumps. Not good.
post #3 of 28
Some solutions:
Don't over exert yourself, get a 1/2 day ticket, especially the first day.

Tahoe resorts vary in altitude, don't go too high! Altitude will affect someone with low fitness level.

Minimize alcoholic beverages, drink plenty of water. If you are a smoker, use the vacation as a change of pace and time to quit.

Taking lessons will help you get the most out of your physical effort. They will take you to appropriate places on the mountain, and the instructional time means you are not skiing hard all the time.

The payoff is that as you get better, skiing gets easier, and you get to access a lot more of the mountain. A high level of fitness is not necessary, but progress this year might motivate you to do more to prepare for next season.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
cirque, i don't smoke or drink so those won't be the problem, and i will prolly take 2 lessons while im there to get re-acclimated and hopefully get back with the lvl 3 class, my problem in vail was my legs were so sore by noon i wasnt having fun, and my back wasnt hurt then..but i so want to improve this trip so i can at least do some darn blue runs, i feel like a wus only doing green, esp with how much fun it is..
post #5 of 28

Works for me.
post #6 of 28
Drink scotch (lots of it)..it works for me
post #7 of 28
I'd go see a doctor if your back doesn't heal up. But yeah, dude, totally go ski. Skiing is a sport virtually anyone can enjoy. If you get tired, hit the lodge for a break. Every run is gold. Last year I cracked/broke 2 ribs on the first day of a week long trip. With the exception of the day after, I got at least a few runs in every day. On one hand, it hurt like crazy every time I flexed my ribs, and 5 or 6 runs may not be "your money's worth" for a lift ticket; but on the other hand I SKIED THAT DAY. Oh, and the pain helped me keep a nice quiet upper body - I skied great.. hah!

I guess it ultimately depends on what's important to you. But if people waited until they were in top physical condition to excercise, well, there'd be a lot fewer ski resorts!
post #8 of 28
First, swallow your pride and go see the Doc. Second, It's never too late to start get back into shape!!! 4 weeks should be MORE than enough time to gain some basic fitness. 30-60 mins 3-4 times a week should do it. Walking, easy spinning on an excercise bike, light aerobics, that's about all you need at your level. Not to be mean, but why let something that you can change (your fitness level), stop you from doing something really fun/cool? From your post, it almost seems as you are searching for excuses not to go. Skiing, when done properly, can really be pretty minimaly taxing physically (I taught a frail, 75 year old woman a few years back and she did fine.) I ski a lot at lower levels (instructing) and my heart rate is generally less than walking up a flight of stairs. From a bigger picture point of view, why not use your annual ski trip as a stepping stone to overall better fitness. The hardest part is starting...
post #9 of 28
Whether you go visit the Doc for your back or not, smearing Tiger Balm on sore or pulled muscles really can help them become more functional.
post #10 of 28
Originally Posted by jbaileyjr

im 6'2" 250+, and out of shape
Try to get in shape, its never too late to start.

I came back from Snowbird in May (perfect weather, perfect conditions, perfect vacation) and knew that my fitness level was poor. My Doctor told me my ideal weight was 185, but I was not medically overweight at 249 (?); she also said all health indicators were very good. A little confused with that kind of advice, I decided to control calories and work out at the YMCA every other day for about 75 minutes. A fitness instructor at the "Y" gave me a basic circuit training and elliptical equipment routine.

I used Jenny Craig to reprogram the dietary habits and maintained 2000 calories a day using controlled portions. I did this for about 10 weeks. I now maintain a small portion diet permanently on my own.

I added Rollerblading to make it a little fun. I try to do 30 miles a week in two or three outings. Rollerblading is great for ankle, leg and core strength. Coordination and balance have improved also.

I tried to run, but found that my back doesn't like impact. Running on grass is not an option, locally.

I've lost 33 Lbs. I hope to lose another 30 by this time next year. Preparing for skiing is going to add a few quality years. Anything that motivates!


post #11 of 28
jb, if the only thing that bothered you other than fatigue was sore legs, four weeks is plenty of time to do the one thing I add to my daily brief exercise/stretching routine every fall to prepare for skiing.

I call it wall sitting. You stand next to a wall, step away far enough that when you sit back and place your back against the wall your femurs are level and your tib/fibs are perpendicular. When I start in the fall, I can stay positioned like that for 10-15 seconds before the burn makes me quit. After about a month, I can wall sit for two to three minutes. I never have sore quads after my first few days of skiing. Everything else (especially the shins) hurts, but not my quads. I'm eight inches shorter than you but only 30 pounds lighter.
post #12 of 28
Wall sits are good, but biking is probably the most skiing-appropriate form of exercise you can do.
post #13 of 28
well i am 5'8" 230 lbs and i can ski just fine actually pretty good..i do stretch quads,ham strings ,and calves for about 20 min before i drive up "ski 3 days a week" and i have muscle inbalance in upper leg so i need to exercise with thera-bands 3 days a week .we also mountain bike for the other season.
Also you should take alot of lessons while your there... a good instructor will teach you that its not a full body work out and its really quite easy with new ski technology...skiing in a wedge at 250 lbs for 4 hours will kill your legs..turn them right into jello making day 2 a nitemare ...I know this as fact because i was there once and will make for a miserable ski vacation"great for drinking"
post #14 of 28

first things first

Getting in shape starts with weight loss. You will need a program with specific guidelines: Weight Watchers. I keep touting this program but it is a fantastic way to learn how to take off and keep off the lbs. You will learn so much about eating and diet and proper weight. Try it for a month with an open mind (remain teachable).

Next is conditioning. Lots of ways to get a program here. Start slow and pick a mild program. The idea is to do no harm. Becareful who you pick for a trainer. You need to be in this for the long haul. Pain and suffering make it easy to quit so easy does it.

Good luck. These things have helped me and I let myself slide for a while. It feels good to see progress.
post #15 of 28
Originally Posted by jbaileyjr
am i just being stupid and should cancel the trip and not risk further injury, or should i give it the ole college try and if i dont like it, i can gamble, go snowmobiling find other stuff to do (for 8 days mind u)
I think you know the answer to this. There is a lot of sympathy here for your situation. Go have fun in the snow. Just don't over-do it. I am starting a new club here for the Extremely Mediocre Skiers. Our motto: Just Do It, Then Stop For a While. (and loosen up good, first)
post #16 of 28
Brave post. I can't add anything to waht others have said except for encouragement. And I'll echo the stuff about skiing better, not harder. The reason it is difficult is because you are fighting the mountain. It can take very little energy to ski low angle slopes.

But look at this as an opportunity to improve your health and well-being. If I can make a simple suggestion you don't nbeed to start a weight-lifting regimin or run 5 miles a day, etc.. Just get out there and do a lot of walking. Recent studies are showing that moderate but lengthy walking can be just as effective in weight and cardio health as more strenuous stuff. And maybe some Yoga -- that can begin to give you a good snese of your body and create s core strength and flexibility - just don't over-emphasize flexibility as you will be more prone to injury.

On the green vs. blue thing -- don't make a big deal about it. Some of my most enjoyable skiing is on very moderate terrain -- you can really learn a lot and this is how you begin to trust yourself and your skis working together. I know in this country peoiple talk about 'setting goals' and 'wroking for what you want' but to me the point is the journey, not some abstract goal. Whatvever you do, do it because you enjoy it. But to enjoy it you have to show up!
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks all for your advice so far, im definitely going to go, back is feeling better, my legs do hurt alot after skiing and i will probably jack my back up worse but i dont care i need to ski, dying for this vacation, now if i can just find someone to ski w/ me in tahoe ill be better, and it needs some snow
post #18 of 28
It's a cycle. Not in shape -> don't do anything -> get into worse shape

Replace it with Do something --> miniscule change for the better --> want to do more - -> do more -- get in better shape.....

Don't beat yourself up; beginner skiing is the hardest skiing to do, (other than competitive skiing or full-tilt all-out blasting). All that snow-plowing, wedging, tense muscles, etc. Once you get some skills it gets easier and more fun. Go for a couple of hours at a time. Add more on as it gets easier. Don't over-do it on the first day/trip.

How many years did it take to get out of shape? Start getting back in shape slowly. There is no rush; you will arrive when you get there.
post #19 of 28
After 2 weeks, i'm in shape now! I can walk up the hill to work without dying, there's at least an inch off my tum, and I don't need to wear my Skins any more. about time too. I'm sure it's never taken 2 weeks in the past. Getting old is hell.
Now, when my stupid knee stops hurting, no bump on the hill will be safe.
post #20 of 28
Originally Posted by yelloboy
Wall sits are good, but biking is probably the most skiing-appropriate form of exercise you can do.
Rollerblading is as good if not better than biking. Rollerblading requires a standing position (identical to skiing) all the time, works the feet and ankles and challenges balance and coordination. Work those fine muscles!


post #21 of 28
something to keep in mind as well, if you are taking lessons, ask if there is are any instructors that either specialize in heavier students or if there are any good/heavier instructors. While weight can be a detriment in leg burn, working with the right instructors can improve your success dramatically. Hell, I passed my Level III exam at 240 lbs (and I'm only 5'8"). Being heavier there are different aspects of skiing that can be easier or harder. An instructor who can understand these differences can make big strides in your skiing (most importantly in my book is that a heavier male/female skier's CM is different from that of a fit male/female's CM, adding the extra weight drops and moves forward the CM slightly, a heavier students CM is more similar to a blend of typical male and female CM's).

Something else to keep in mind for leg burn, make sure you strech really well before, during and after skiing. When you're skiing, take the time to strech to distribute some of the lactic acid build up, your days should be at least a little less painful and a little longer.
post #22 of 28
Originally Posted by yelloboy
Wall sits are good, but biking is probably the most skiing-appropriate form of exercise you can do.
Cycing is very good and I've got around 3K miles on my bike(s) this year, but beforewarned about cycling and skiing. Cycling can build an imbalance between thigh and hamstring strength that, in the right situation, can contribute to ACL injury. Make sure you add some excercise(s) to build you hammies as well...

post #23 of 28


Good points. Your post makes me think of my heavier ski buddies. Some of these guys can really ski. It surprises me. Reduced weight seems to really make difference for me. I always suspect them of "hanging in their boots".

Skiing is a sport where you can carry a little extra, it seems.
post #24 of 28
Ooooof, this is the first year I have felt "fat". I have started to eat better and to look for a reason to "walk" somewhere. But I need to start getting into some sort of shape, other than the "round" (shape) that I am in now.
post #25 of 28

you were skiing just fine this weekend!..
post #26 of 28
Originally Posted by paul jones
Skiing is a sport where you can carry a little extra, it seems.
post #27 of 28
Originally Posted by iriponsnow

you were skiing just fine this weekend!..
After you left, my feet were getting very slow in the bumps.
post #28 of 28
Originally Posted by yelloboy
Wall sits are good, but biking is probably the most skiing-appropriate form of exercise you can do.
I take a spin class at least two days a week during the winter to keep my legs in shape for the slopes. If you're not up to the intense workout that a spin class offers, just ride a good staionary bike for a minimum of 30 minutes three days a week.
(Spin bikes and especialy a spin class concentrates on the total round turns of the pedal stroke, so you get the hams and quads in shape at the same time)

And MOST IMPORTANT!!!!! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!!!
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