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Blog :: 09-2012

Getting (and staying) Fit for the Ski Season

It happens every year. When mid April rolls around, we hang up our skis and pack away the gloves, jackets and thermal base layers to make room for swimsuits, shorts and sandals. Along with the outwear and sports equipment, a lot of us hang up our workout programs as well. Skiing is a great source of exercise, we're not arguing otherwise, but staying in shape in the off season is an equally important part of preparing for the ski season to come. Here's some tips for defining your ski season workout.

Skiing in Vermont is one of those sports that engages a lot of different muscles in a single top-to-bottom run. And if you ski like Bode Miller, we might be talking less than a minute here. That's an aggressive workout to say the least, so in training it's important to focus on flexibility and stamina versus brute strength. Some strength is definitely important, but improving balance and endurance is what will help keep you charging the hill until last chair.

1.  Start with some cardio. Biking, running, or using an elliptical or stationary bike will help to get your heart rate up while you can work on breathing. It's important your heart and lungs are in shape before you try for a long day on the slopes. Vary up the length and intensity of your workout a few times a week.

2. Build some strength. There's no universal ski workout that works for everyone. It's important to train the muscles you'll be engaging most on your skis and focus on your weaker areas. Following a Tough Mudder workout wouldn't be a bad place to start.

A few places to start... Squats and lunges are a great way to work your quadriceps. Deadlifts with some weights or a medicine ball will strengthen your hamstrings and glutes. Calve raises can also help your downhill posture. Box jumps will improve your explosive power for crushing the moguls on Mount Snow's Beartrap trail. And don't forget your back and arms, they're a key part of maintaining good form on the slopes.

3. Don't forget to relax. Part of exercising, and skiing, is knowing when to stop and getting plenty of rest. This helps to avoid injury and ensure you'll be ready for first chair on the next big powder day.

If you need a place to rest after a long day on the hill, we've got a great selection of winter rental homes, just a short hop from the lift line.

Top 5 Vermont Fall Activities to do Before Winter

There's a common saying about Vermont weather -- "Don't like it? Wait five minutes." Just as the forecast is known to change drastically in the Green Mountains, the seasons are also known to change dramatically and over, what seems every year, a very short time. This is especially noticeable when it comes to fall in Vermont. The transition to cold weather always seems to catch some people off guard and underprepared.

Not only are there important and practical to-do's that must be tended to, but also a handful of fun and enjoyable fall activities that no one should miss out on. Here's a list of the top 5 Vermont fall activities to check off before Old Man Winter arrives.

1. Get out and enjoy the fall foliage The Green Mountains are renowned for having some of the most colorful and eye-catching foliage colors in the country. Every year thousands of leaf-peepers flock to the valleys, riversides and covered bridges to capture and immortalize these breathtaking images. Savvy 'peepers visit Vermont ski resorts to ride the chairlift and get a birds-eye view or hike to hidden fire towers dotted among the state's many vistas to admire the fall color palette at its finest.

2. Stack some Firewood There's a long-standing romance between Vermont and firewood. Not only does it serve as the primary source of heat for many homes, but everything from the cutting and splitting, to the stacking and burning represents a feeling of accomplishment and the time-honored tradition of living off the land. Plus, nothing compares to the thawing warmth of gathering near the wood stove on a cold Vermont winter night.

3. Go apple picking Vermont harvest season is a necessary part of shifting from fall to winter and apple picking is one of the best parts. Wandering the orchard rows is a great activity to do with kids and the reward is crisp, juicy and delicious. Mmmm, cider donuts.

4. Winterize your home As the nights cool, it's important to start checking your heating system, clean the chimney and close the storm windows to ensure your home stays toasty and efficient throughout the winter. Here's a great winter checklist to complete before the snow flies.

5. Attend an Oktoberfest or other fall festival Despite the many responsibilities we have when winter in Vermont is approaching, it's important to remember that fall is time for celebration. Summer has passed, the harvest is done and there's a wealth of fresh food, and beer, to enjoy. The Mount Snow Oktoberfest is a great place to sample some of the finest fall brews and browse a bevy of artisan crafts to add some fall flavor to your home.

Want to enjoy fall without the work? Visit one of our Vermont rental homes and leave the wood stacking and winterizing to us.

  • P.O. BOX 415, 9 Haystack Road, Wilmington VT 05363