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The Traveller's Magazine
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If you’re booking a last-minute deal and heading off to the snowy slopes for the first time this winter, make sure you’re prepared. Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports but can also be one of the most dangerous. Here are a few top tips for a safe and fun holiday on the slopes.

Preparing yourself

Skiing is an extremely physical sport which requires a combination of balance, agility and strength alongside constant awareness of others around you. This may sound extremely challenging but once you get the hang of it, it is definitely worth it. No matter how much skiing you expect to do during your holiday, it’s always a great idea to prepare before you depart and do a little exercise. Running and cycling are good to start, so too are daily routines of sit-ups and squats.

Acclimatizing yourself

Most visitors to ski regions and resorts will have travelled from towns and cities with a warmer climate, it is therefore important to give your body time to adjust to the drop in temperature before hitting the slopes. This is a great excuse to explore the resort, finding out the best places to shop and eat and even making new friends.

Choosing the correct equipment

Paying for professional equipment for your first time skiing isn’t always the best decision; it’s always better to try the sport before you invest in it. The most important thing is to make sure your equipment is safe and comfortable. Most ski hire shops and rentals will help you choose the correct boots and skis for you and will fit them free of charge. In terms of clothing, the best way to avoid getting too hot or cold whilst on the slopes is to wear several layers, and always remember to apply sun-cream (even if it doesn’t appear sunny) and the correct eye protection.

A good equipment is the key to safe skiing

Getting started on the slopes

Most resorts are less crowded during the low season (and much cheaper too!) which gives plenty of time and space to work on your technique – perfect for beginners! The other option is to pay for lessons. Many tour operators offer learn to ski or packages for people of all ages. These deals are ideal for first time skiers as they usually include all the extras that you need on a ski holiday including lift passes and safety tips. The best bit about ski-schools is you are never alone – you can all take it in turns to laugh at each other’s spectacular falls!

Taking time out

As much fun as it is, skiing is also an extremely physical activity. Make sure you take plenty of breaks throughout the day for rest, food and drink. Many people report the after-ski is always the highlight of a skiing holiday… Enjoy!

Img: flickr cc bobaliciouslondon / Yotut

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