How to Recuperate After Skiing

Whenever you engage in vigorous exercise or sports such as skiing and snowboarding, you run the risk of suffering from pain and stiffness after the activity. Known as delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS), this is not a serious condition; however, it can interfere with your ability to walk, climb stairs, or even sit comfortably for the next few days.

While there is no surefire way to prevent DOMS—even the most highly conditioned athletes can experience soreness depending on how hard or how long they go—you can reduce the associated pain and speed up recovery time by trying one or more of these treatment options:

  • ski snowboard sore musclesTake an over-the-counter medication such as Advil (ibuprofen), naproxen sodium (Aleve), or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to reduce swelling and provide temporary pain relief.
  • Gently stretch or foam roll any sore spots in your calves, quads, hamstrings, or IT band. You can find general stretching and foam rolling instructional videos on YouTube, as well as routines designed especially for skiers.
  • Soak in a hot bath or jacuzzi or sit in a sauna to loosen tight muscles, promote circulation, and promote recovery.
  • Replenish your body’s energy stores by eating balanced, nutritious meals and drinking lots of water in the days following your ski run. Fruits (especially cherries, bananas, melons, and pineapple), complex carbs (rolled oats, brown rice), and lean protein (poultry, fish) have been shown to have positive effects on DOMS, while adequate hydration is always a key to recovery.
  • Follow the RICE treatment protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation) for muscle soreness that persists for more than three days. If you suspect that your pain is being caused by something more serious than DOMS, stop all strenuous activity and see a doctor as soon as you can.

Skiing and snowboarding are tough on your body, so don’t be surprised if you need to spend a few days recuperating after each session on the mountain. Just be sure to use some of the above treatment ideas to relieve your exercise induced muscle soreness and help you get back on the slopes as soon as possible.