Head for the slopes! ....m

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Registered: 12-31-1969
Head for the slopes! ....m
Wed, 12-06-2000 - 3:28pm

Head for the slopes! ....m


Head for the slopes! Julie Lando

When I was growing up, every Wednesday night my parents would take my sister and I to Ski Roundtop. Half Pipe, Fife & Drum, and Minute Man were our destinations and we would race each other down the mountain to see who was the fastest. We loved winter because it was time to ski!

Downhill skiing is one of the great winter sports. Geared to all levels of experience, people love this sport for the exciting ride down. Whether you are on the bunny hill (ski lingo for beginner) or the black diamond slopes, downhill skiing is great exercise and a wonderful family outing.

Skiing improves muscular strength and endurance while targeting the muscles in the entire body including the legs, buttocks, abdominals, back, shoulders and triceps. Depending on the length of the slope, skiing can give you a good aerobic workout and can help you improve balance, coordination and agility.

Before you head for the slopes, consider the following to make sure you have the proper equipment and clothing:

Basic equipment: Consider renting skis, poles and boots before you buy. Most ski areas or in-town ski shops rent equipment -- call around for more information. For your eyes: Although your normal sunglasses will keep the sun and glare out, they are almost useless if it's snowing. You will want to have a good pair of goggles. Layer up! Dress in layers so when you are inside resting, you can take off a few and get comfortable. Make sure the layer closest to the skin is made of a synthetic material such as acrylic, nylon, polypropylene or wool (think long underwear), not cotton. When cotton gets wet, it will remain damp and does not keep you warm. Don't wear jeans! I repeat, don't wear jeans! If you are a beginner, you may be spending a great deal of time on the ground, which makes for a very wet bottom. Purchase a pair of waterproof pants (or consider buying a used pair)-- they will keep you warm AND dry. Talk to an outdoor outfitter for more information. Keep your hat on! Approximately 30 percent of body heat is lost through the head, so wear a hat when it's cold. Take a lesson! Whether in a group or individual, a lesson is a great way to learn the safe way to ski and stop. If you've skied before, taking a refresher course is always a good idea.