Whether it is your first ski holiday, or you’re counting down the winters until you get your free pensioner’s liftpass, preparation for the physical aspects of skiing are always vital. Preparing yourself physically for the strain skiing can put on your body is something which Fit for the Slopes have been championing since the website was founded in 2011.

For many of us, getting fit for the slopes might seem like a chore. If you’re not a fitness enthusiast, getting in shape for your winter chalet holiday can seem like a lot of hard slog just for the enjoyment of a week away. Here, from Delicious Mountain Chalets, Meribel reassures us that it’s worth all the effort.

Humble Beginnings

I can remember my first full day on the slopes on my first chalet holiday in Meribel. I’ve always been into sports and generally try to keep in pretty good shape all year round, so a few extra gym sessions in the weeks before departure weren’t too daunting and I just saw them as an exciting aspect of the build-up to my much-anticipated luxury holiday. I had booked some lessons on a local dry slope, too, so I had a reasonable idea of how important it is to prepare yourself physically and mentally for your time on the pistes.

But although I would have considered myself fit for the slopes, nothing would have prepared me for the physical demands of dramatically failing to ski. Skiing itself is not hugely tiring, when you’re good at it. But when you’re averaging six or seven crashes per descent, it can be utterly exhausting, as I was to discover. So prepare yourself mentally as well as physically: the first day will likely be the hardest.

Eat, Sleep, Ski

One of the many great things about luxury chalet holidays is that everything is done for you, which means there is plenty of opportunity for recovery. With a chalet host catering for your every need, you can almost literally eat, sleep and ski for the full duration of your stay. When you get back from the mountain each afternoon, there will be food and drink waiting for you. And, although most chalets will want to impress you with their selection of cakes, every chalet table has a big bowl of fruit and a jug of water to give your body what it needs for proper recovery and refueling.

You shouldn’t expect chalet catering to be slimming, exactly, but it should always be good nutritious food – and so long as you take it easy on the wine and cheese, a restful night’s sleep will be assured. The next morning, the chalet breakfast table will be full once again, offering plenty of choice extending far beyond the temptation of pain au chocolat. Something like porridge will give a lower glycaemic load, making you feel full right the way through til lunch. After refueling with a filling chalet breakfast, you will once again be fit for the slopes.

Chalet holidays aren’t just about skiing

If the physical demands of skiing for seven days straight are too much, it’s worth keeping in mind that chalet holidays have a great deal to offer, even for those who prefer not to ski. In a modern ski resort such as Meribel, there are so many shops, bars, restaurants and other apres ski distractions that some visitors to the Three Valleys prefer to skip the skiing altogether and just enjoy the atmosphere of being in a bustling ski resort.

If you start to feel the strain of skiing during your holiday, a mid-week day off or just a couple of earlier finishes might be a tempting option and good way to let your body and mind recover. As the rest of the party head for the lifts in the morning, the chalet will become a real haven of calm – so pour yourself another coffee before heading for the hot tub.

…And they’re not just about winter either

Chalet holidays really are so much fun, and if you keep this in mind throughout your pre-holiday training, it will become easier year-on-year to get yourself fit for the slopes once again. But, of course, it would be much better for your mind, body and spirit if you stay fit all year round. So maybe a summer chalet holiday is in order? The mountains aren’t going anywhere, and neither are the chalets, so get yourself in training for the hiking, biking, sailing and many other activities which are on offer during the warmer summer months!