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Skiers need to get in shape before hitting the slopes

The National Ski Areas Association reports that 51 million American skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes during the 2011-2012 season. As the beginning of new ski season approaches, many winter sport enthusiasts are anxiously awaiting their first skiing outing of the season. But before you gear up with your new or used ski equipment, experts say it's important to ensure your body is prepared for the physical demands of alpine skiing.

According to Reuters, experts say skiers should start getting ready to hit the slopes at least six weeks in advance. Preparation should include exercises that focus on aerobic training, muscle strengthening and stretching.

"Start training with an elliptical trainer or stationary bike, or running or walking," physical therapist Robert Forster told the news provider. "Build up to 20 to 30 minutes three times a week."

Participating in exercises that mimic the rapid back and forth movements skiers experience on the mountain will also help you prepare. Investing in some simple plastic cones can help you set up a course in your home to do this.

No matter how well you prepare for the new ski season, it's important to remember to listen to your body while skiing or participating in any other sport, as fatigue can lead to injury. Keeping updated on the snow conditions is important as well.
 

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