To The Mountains: Tips on Prepping for an Awesome Winter Holiday

This winter I went on a family vacation to Colorado where we skiied and snowboarded the week away.  Here are a few of my personal insights and tips on making the most of your holiday.

breckenridge skiing

So I totally appreciate some good ol’ vacation time.   Little bit of doing nothing, eating, sleeping in, and relaxing.  Sounds like a good time to me.  Holiday seasons can sort of take a toll on your waistline and workouts.  So a vacation that seamlessly works in exercise, I’m in paradise.  A skiing winter snowy freakin paradise.

My favorite thing about skiing and snowboarding is that it’s a vacation and exercise combined into one.

I.  Love.  It.

… getting up early, pumped to hit the slopes…

…the walk to the lift in the altitude (breathless), feeling the oxygen pumping through your system and the excitement of the day pending…

…the anticipation building as you ride up the lift…

….feeling the freedom and exhilaration of hurdling down a mountain…

…. picking up speed, the wind against your face and snow against your feet, the mountain guiding you through turns and passes, reading her as you cut down the slopes and curve through her mighty tresses.

Not to mention the burn in your thighs.  Win, win.

2013-12-30 collage ski vacation


  1. PREPARE:  Check the weather forecast and bring layers .  Pack mini first aid stuff – bandaids, neosporin, alcohol wipes, hand warmers.   Hydrate.
  2. WORKOUT PREP:  Make sure to up your cardio and hit legs and core before hitting the slopes… all my sea-level people will tell you the altitude will kick your ass.  Here’s a good strength circuit designed by Rob Shaul from Mountain Athlete that works on muscle strength and endurance for skiers and boarders.
  3. FOOD & ALCOHOL:  Fuel yourself properly!  Get a well balanced breakfast.  Bring healthy snacks in pockets or small backpacks for refueling during the day.  And try to get in a couple of glasses of water at night before imbibing in more fun, yet dehydrating substances.
  4. SAFETY:  Wear a helmet.  It’s actually cool now.  Bring your ID and (if possible) your insurance card.  Just in case.  Charge your phones, keep in communication with your group and have a game plan on what to do if people get split up.
  5. WARM UP & STRETCH:  Yeah I’m talkin to you.  Do some squats and push ups, sit ups and jumping jacks in the morning to get your blood flowing and your muscles limber.  In the evening do some static stretches, focusing on the quads, calves, hips, and hamstrings.  You’ll have less chance for injury, more flexibility and shorter recovery times.
  6. ENJOY YOURSELF:  Don’t be so focused on getting the perfect instagram shot of the ski lift or the mid-mountain selfie that you forget to enjoy the beauty of what’s around you.  Enjoy those moments.

And of course, have a safe, fun winter holiday.

2013-12-26 14.19.01

The mountain waits for you, indifferent yet yearning for your worship.

The beauty of the scenery and the crispness of the air are worth the visit, and it’s worth the physical benefits.


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