by admin on December 2, 2010

The fluffy stuff is back and the mountains are open.  If you’re a skier, you know what the first day of skiing can do to your understanding of just how low a toilet seat can be.  No matter how fit we are the pain and apparent weakness that invades our Quadriceps (Thigh) muscles between 24 and 48 hours after opening day is a killer. So why, even when we keep up with our fitness during the off season, do our legs scream and lose their power so that just as we lower ourselves onto the throne, they fail us and we fall with a mighty crash. Never mind getting up again without a handrail.

The answer is that we get “DOMS” Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it’s accustomed to, particularly when we’re using the muscles in a lengthened position, such as running or skiing downhill.  The pain is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle fibers, coupled with metabolic waste material buildup and inflammation.  The muscles go through a cycle from soreness to muscle spasm to contractions and tightness.

So…the big question is “How can I avoid DOMS this year? And if I get it what’s to be done?

Well, if you can hold off on that first glass of après ski glühwein, a good cool down of 10 or so minutes of light exercise such as walking or swimming, or a 60% effort spin on the stationary bike at the hotel gym is the best possible solution.  But if that takes too much discipline, a hot tub when you get back to the room followed by some gentle stretching is a good alternative.

Once you get home, take it easy for a few days while your body heals itself and begins its adaptation to the increased workload you’ll be subjecting it to this ski season. Another great way to recover from DOMS is to get a good massage – muscle temperature and blood flow are increased, bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to the injured site. This helps to relax the muscles and wash away the chemical irritants responsible for the pain.

I wish you all unlimited fresh tracks this winter.  As always if you have any questions or need any assistance please be in touch with us at Bayswater.

My best,

Heather Scheibal, RMT

Heather Scheibal

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