The last couples of days were amazing regarding snow conditions. Beautiful snow, sunshine and uncrowded slopes are the standard at the moment. What a beautiful winter season start !
As you arrive back to your chalet after a day on the Courchevel slopes, your legs and perhaps abs, are telling you the real truth about your day... They have worked hard and now they starting to get sore. You just want to lay down to drink your tea in the comfort of your place, nursing your tired body and sore muscles with a massage. So... What can be done to reduce the pain ?
Here are a few tips as it is my job as a physiotherapist, osteopath and sports massage specialist in Courchevel, France to fix it.
What’s causing your muscles to be sore ? Well like most of our visitors in Courchevel, you are maybe skiing or snowboarding 1 or 2 weeks per a year. It means that especially your quadriceps are not used to this kind of activities, trained muscles are not sore. So it's not because you did a good workout but more likely that you pushed yourself too hard and you are doing something your body is not used to. In that case a full day on the slopes of Courchevel.
After your ski or snowboard session, your muscles will develop micro tears which leads to a reduced range of motion, a loss in muscle strength, pain, stiffness, and that feeling of general tiredness. the symptoms appear generally 12 to 24 hours after your work out and can last for up to 3 days.
- Again and again, the most important part is to prepare your body to exercise. At least a month before heading to Courchevel, work out properly and ask your trainer or even send me an email to request a tailored made program that you can do at home. The idea is to slowly awakened your body and muscles, sending the info that some particular parts of your body will work hard during your ski session. Quadriceps, gluts, and abs are mostly involved on the slopes, don't hesitate to send me a request for a training program before you go.
- start slowly, wake up in the morning when your body is telling you the first couple of days, your body have to adapt to altitude and recover from your flight.
- warm up your muscles correctly before hiting the slopes of courchevel. A really simple exercise is to just climb stairs a few time and accelerate slowly as you repeat. 5 to 10 floors is good target before skiing. Avoid eccentric work out to warm up, it creates more micro muscle tears.
- Hydrate a lot and ad a bit more salt in your food. Water is your best friend especially in the dryness of altitude, you ll prevent an excess of lactic acid which leads to muscle cramps. Salt is a good idea unless you are on restriction as it gives a good chemical environment for muscle action.
- Go on a protein rich diet. It is as simple as building a wall of bricks. Your body needs bricks to repair, grow, and be healthy. I would personally go on that lovely raclette. Muscles are made out of protein so help them being strong and repair them self.
- Stretch yourself after your hard day on the slopes. An australian study says it doesn't help, but a lot say it does. Well in my opinion it helps a lot especially on muscle tension. I do most of my sessions with some physio stretches. Whatever the needs, if it's a physio session, an osteopath session, or a sports massage session, i always do stretching for my clients.
- Eat well. Proteins, carbs and fats are keys for muscle maintainance and repair process. Keep in mind that this muscle process takes place a few hours after your work out and during your sleep, so it's easy to time your mountain meal. Favore fatty acid to reduce inlammation, you can find them in avocado, fat fish, free range meat, walnuts.
- Heat is your friend only between work out, and BETWEEN is a really important word. Don't jump in that lovely chalet jacuzzi straight after the slopes as heat heat can improve inflammation. Prefer ice or snow on your muscle for a bit, or a good cold shower. Heat, sauna, hammam got to be done hours after or before skiing. It helps a lot to drain lactic acid and improve blood stream.
- Keep moving your body, ask me for a recovery work out, it helps drainn your muscles, and improves recovery.
If you are still in bad muscle pain, well ring your frenchphysio i got over 14 seasons on my belt and i know what your body needs. Book a session for osteopathy, physiotherapy or a sports massage in the comfort of your chalet in courchevel.