Snow joke: how to look after yourself on a skiing holiday
Holidays aren’t just for summer; for as long as people have been taking vacations, those who’ve been able to do so have gone on winter holidays. Let’s be honest, there are few things winter holidaymakers like to do more than hit the slopes between December to February. However, while that may sound just the ticket to you, you may want to bear in mind a few things so you remain healthy on your skiing break.
There are no heroes when it comes to dressing for a snow holiday. Yes, you may want to look your best, but leave that for après ski; when you’re on the slopes and otherwise out and about you’re well advised to wrap up. Sure, many winter activities are designed to keep you warm (from skiing to snowboarding and curling to ice-skating), but once you stop and stand still you’ll catch cold faster than a snowman freezes when the temperature drops below zero. A snug winter coat, woollen socks, boots, a hat, gloves and thermal underwear are the way to go. Think layers and make sure you really think through what the little ones will wear.
Hydration and nutrition
More on hypothermia below, but if you’re unlucky enough to suffer from it, it may partly be because you not properly hydrated. Why? Because the water in our bodies, among other things, works to regulate body temperature; the less water the body contains the more likely its temperature can be thrown off by cold weather – and worse, you can therefore suffer hypothermia. It’s important too when you go on a snow holiday to maintain your vitamin and nutrition intake – you’d probably make it a priority when the temperature drops at home so why not on holiday? Two nutrient supplements you might try for good cold-weather health are Green Magma UK (to boost energy, improve sleep, reduce stress and increase immunity and mental alertness) and Detoxadine (a nascent iodine product that supports thyroid health and balanced hormone levels, as well as immunity and healthy blood sugar).
Stay safe on the slopes
For people who love trying out new activities – especially those that involve speed, agility and a touch of glamour – it’s hard to top skiing. However, if you’ve never done it before or you’re very much a beginner, you absolutely have to follow the safety practices your instructor teaches you and always bear in mind your ability (or lack thereof). Skiing can be dangerous, it can easily result in injuries like broken bones or worse, so take care.
Also, make sure you get your lessons from a respected instructor, are kitted out in the correct clothing and gear for the slopes, and stick to trails/runs that match your level. Also bear in mind too that if you haven’t experienced high altitudes much before they may not actually suit your body; you may feel nauseous owing to the slightly reduced oxygen level. Take your time and allow yourself to adjust to your new surroundings.
Beware wind chill
This one may sound a bit over-cautious, but it’s as well to remember it… in the worst case scenario, exposing yourself to temperatures some way – and especially a long way – beneath freezing (0°C/ 32°F), when accompanied by wind chill, could potentially lead to frostbite or hypothermia. Check the Wind Chill Index (the temperature felt by the body when air temperature combines with wind speed) where you are each day – and don’t take it lightly.
Protect your skin
Most people associate strong sun and the harmful UV rays it emits with the summer – and rightly so. However, it’s as well to be wary of them on a winter holiday too; especially if you’re halfway up a glistening, white-snow-blanketed mountain on a bright sunny day. The UV rays will be reflected off that snowy surface like there’s no tomorrow – at least 80% of those emitted from the sun, in fact. What you should do on such days is to tool up with sunscreen (factor 30 or higher) and sunglasses/ goggles with 99% or more UV protection. After all, the sun’s the sun, whether it’s summer or winter!