Skiing involves a series of highly complex interactions between both upper and lower muscles including your abdominals, hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. A highly exertive form of exercise, it has renowned health benefits. However, with your body undergoing such strenuous movements for days on end it is important that you relax and condition these muscles. Luxury ski chalets come equipped with optimal wellness facilities to ensure you and your body are well cared for, and to help you recover from a hard day on the slopes.
Nothing relaxes the muscles like heat and steam. A hamman is a large heated room functioning as a stream room, as well as a place to wash and exfoliate. Steam raises the body temperature stimulating the immune system to increase the production of antibodies and interferon, effectively drawing out toxins. Amongst the benefits of a hamman are muscle relaxation, pain relief, respiratory benefits, firming of the skin and the promotion of sleep.
Swimming is a low-impact therapy for injuries, as when you are buoyant there is no stress on your bones, joints or connective tissues. It helps strengthen the abdominal muscles which can become strained when skiing, as well as stretching you out from head to toe with every stroke. It also serves as "muscular meditation" with large muscle groups being used in a rhythmic, repetitive fashion.
Plunging into an ice bath after travelling at such strenuous speeds aids recovery, and reduces muscle pain and soreness. Soreness occurs when waste products such as lactic acid accumulate in your muscles through the blood vessels. Cold water temperatures constrict blood vessels, flushing these waste products out of the affected tissues. This means that having an ice bath after an injury helps prevent swelling and bruising caused by fluid build-up.
Stepping into a Jacuzzi will dilate the blood vessels and improve circulation, which is essential after skiing in cold temperatures. Jacuzzis can also reduce soreness in muscles and joints as the water jets inside it provide something of a deep-tissue massage, soothing muscle spasms and speeding up recovery time.
A great way to increase blood circulation to stiff muscles and joints is having a massage. Muscles and joints are warmed by extra blood circulation, enhancing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to them. This effectively removes waste products, reducing pain. A massage relaxes muscle tissue, which may lead to increased joint space, range of motion and improved function.
Photo credits: The Chalet Photographers