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Hitting the slopes 101

skier in the air with snow flying below their skis

If you’ve always dreamed of skiing down snowy slopes, winter is the perfect time to learn. However, before you purchase skis or book a week at a ski lodge, use these tips to help you get started safely.

Seek expert help
If you want to downhill ski (beyond the bunny hills), then be sure you get proper instruction. Even if you have family or friends who are veteran skiers, you still require the expertise of a certified instructor. Look online for ski instructors near you or book a few lessons at the ski resort you plan to visit. Getting ski instruction will reduce your fear and allow you to progress more quickly.

Wait to buy equipment
Sure, you want to look like you belong on the ski hills, but ski-equipment is expensive! Don’t invest too much before you are sure that you really want to make skiing a longer-term hobby. It’s better to put your money toward more lessons over ski fashions. Consider borrowing equipment or renting it for your first skiing season. When you are ready to invest, see our sidebar checklist to make sure you buy only what you need.

Condition your body
If you have never carried ski equipment before, just know that it is quite heavy. Additionally, skiing well takes a good deal of strength, flexibility and balance, so you’ll want to condition yourself for the sport. Before you hit the slopes, make sure you train appropriately. Seek out a trainer who can show you proper form and moves.

Be patient to progress
When you are just starting out, it can be frustrating to be on the small slopes, but learning the basic techniques is important. Plan to spend at least three to four sessions getting comfortable on the bunny hills before tackling anything larger. Be patient, and before the end of the season you could be enjoying faster and more thrilling hills.

Reward yourself après-ski
Once you’ve spent a day on the hills, be sure to stretch your body. This will help reduce soreness in your skiing muscles. A warm bath can also help. Of course, you’ll want to refuel with a healthy meal and maybe even a glass or two of your favorite adult beverage or hot drink.

Good luck on your new skiing adventures! Follow the tips above and you’ll be safely speeding down the slopes in no time.

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