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Vail Fit: How to Maximize Your Stamina for Your Colorado Ski Trip

Are dreams of fresh powder swirling in your head? If you’re caught up in the excitement of planning your Colorado ski trip, it’s easy to overlook an important factor: your well-being and stamina. Sure, some soreness comes with the territory of skiing and snowboarding, but there are ways to mitigate it with the right prep so you can ski day after day. Here are some tips, recovery options and alternative activities to keep in mind for your Vail ski trip.

Ski-Fitness Training

As fun as hitting the slopes is, it’s also a workout! The best way to ensure you’ll be up for the challenge is to plan ahead. That means training well before you leave — a couple months out is ideal, but anything helps. Strengthening exercises like squats, lunges, planks and wall sits provide a full-body workout. You may think legs are the focus, but it’s just as important to have a strong core to keep you balanced. Mix in some cardio and you’ll build your endurance in no time. Not only will your lungs be better off at the higher altitude, you can help reduce the chances of an injury by getting in shape. Get more tips for ski conditioning.

Once you’ve arrived in Vail, do a quick warm-up each morning before catching a lift up the mountain. A basic yoga routine or some stretches, lunges, leg and arm swings, and hip and torso circles will loosen you up and increase your circulation. Fuel up on a healthy breakfast — and don’t forget to hydrate and continue drinking water throughout the day.

While you’re enjoying freshies, breathing in the alpine air and taking in the gorgeous scenery, don’t forget to pay attention to your technique. Beyond “pizza” and “french fry,” the right body posture is key to navigating safely down the mountain and alleviating strain on your body. Keep your skis parallel and hip-width apart, bend your knees and hips equally, lean slightly forward and push your shins against your boots. When it comes to mapping out your day, mix in easier green and non-mogul runs, especially if you’re getting tired.

A woman is receiving a spa treatment. She is laying on her stomach and has gel stones on her back.

Get Your R&R

Like we mentioned earlier, soreness is inevitable on a ski trip, but there are many ways to rest and recuperate. At the end of the ski day take a few minutes for quad and glute stretches as a cool-down. If your hotel or condo has one, the hot tub will be calling your name. A soothing soak will certainly help you relax, but icing any achy spots can be even more effective. The Spa at Gravity Haus Vail has a thermotherapy circuit that includes a hot tub, sauna, steam room and cold plunge so you can get the best of both worlds.

Those looking for serious recovery methods have plenty to choose from in Vail. Check out Recovery Lab at The Ritz-Carlton Club and Bloom Spa at The Sebastian Vail for therapies like oxygen inhalation and Normatec compression boots. Recovery Lab also offers a Localized Cryo Inflammation Treatment and a mild hyperbaric chamber.

A group of huskies prance and smile and they pull a dogsled through the snow near Vail, Colorado.

Things to Do on Off Days

For a multi-day ski trip, it’s a good idea to build some well-timed days off into your schedule. After two or three days on the slopes, take a break for a variety of things to do in Vail besides skiing.

Spas in Vail boast a wide assortment of relaxing and specialized treatments designed to rejuvenate you in no time. Indulge in a healing massage, luxurious body treatment or refreshing facial. On the flip side, you can stay active with even more (non-skiing) winter fun. Snowy activities like tubing, ski biking, snowmobiling, dog sledding and sleigh rides are easy on the legs and sure to thrill. You can even try your luck at wintertime fishing.

Vail is known for its charming atmosphere, so spend some time exploring the villages. Browse the vibrant shopping scene to find gear, jewelry, high fashion and more. Or pop into galleries and admire dozens of public art pieces around town for a dash of culture. While you’re not skiing you can learn about the sport’s history at the Colorado Snowsports Museum and see unique artifacts.

No itinerary is complete without dining and entertainment, and Vail has you covered. From lunchtime patio breaks on the mountain (no skis required, just take the gondola) and après-ski hotspots to delicious restaurants, breweries and distilleries, and bars with live music, there’s no shortage of places to cheers to mountain life.

More Things to Do on Your Colorado Ski Trip

Looking for more things to do in Vail besides skiing? Check out these resources to build the perfect itinerary: