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Your on-mountain guide, curated by Halfdays
If you’ve ever been skiing, you know there’s a good chance you’re going to feel your thighs burning and wake up sore the next day. Nobody knows the feeling better than Halfdays co-founder, former Olympic freestyle skier, and certified badass Kiley Mckinnon. Kiley is the master of how to work hard, play hard, and ski Halfdays. We sat down and picked her brain for the best tips and tricks on how to stay happy and healthy in your boots.
According to Kiley, the key to preventing injuries is to spend some time preparing your body for ski season. The secret formula for an injury proof skier is strength and endurance. Kiley’s favorite ways to stay in shape include running, hiking, HIIT workouts, and cycling. Kiley says, “Stamina and quad strength are your best friends during ski season!”
She also recommends balance and flexibility training like pilates, yoga, and formal physical therapy if needed. Don’t skip the knee stabilization exercises! Kiley emphasizes that before you jump on the chair lift, it’s vital to take a second to loosen up the legs so they’re ready to go.
Kiley’s soreness prevention techniques are simple, effective, and actually very enjoyable.
“I like to sit by the fire and lay back with my legs up on the wall to help with circulation. Then, getting in the hot tub after a day of skiing is one of my favorite things ever. I don’t think anything can beat it.”
If you don’t have access to a hot tub, a bathtub is a great alternative- try adding epsom salts to level up your self-care. Kiley also recommends using a foam roller to self-massage sore spots on the legs or a massage gun for pinpointing more stubborn knots. Pick a spot on the floor by the fire and follow up the rolling with some down dog!
Altitude sickness is no joke, and headaches or nausea can set in fast at elevation. Kiley says the best way to prevent this is with hydration! “Make sure you are staying hydrated before, during, and after your time on the mountain. You are likely exerting yourself more than you think when you are skiing so drinking plenty of water is a must. I love Liquid IVs for extra electrolytes!”
Some other great electrolyte products we love: Goodonya and Ultima. Try them out and find a fav flavor to keep yourself cruisin’.
When you’re up early to get to that first run of the day, it’s easy to skip breakfast and tell yourself you’ll remember to pack snacks next time. Don’t make that mistake! Kiley says breakfast is a skier’s best friend… “My go-to before a day of skiing is a breakfast burrito and an iced- yes, no matter how cold it is- vanilla latte with oat milk!”
You won’t regret a nutritious start to the day, especially when lunch time rolls around and you don’t need to ravenously search for the nearest lodge. Kiley is a self-proclaimed sucker for the overpriced mid-mountain meal.. “But don’t forget you can use your Epic or Ikon pass for a discount!” If you’re a bit more savings-savvy, jst pack a sandwich and a granola bar in your pocket and keep rolling.
After skiing, you’ll probably need a big, warm dinner to make up for a hard day’s work. Kiley’s favs are pasta dishes or veggie burgers. “I think the biggest thing is to make sure you are fueling your body throughout the whole day, getting the nutrition and protein needed to stay energized all day long. This will look different for everyone according to their needs!”
All that talk about nutrition got us feeling inspired (and a little hungry)… here’s an idea for quick, on-the-go snack:
Anything you want… chia seeds, chocolate chips, craisins, raisins, white chocolate chunks, m&m’s, pistachios, coconut flakes. Seriously, anything.
Shape the dough into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate for a few hours. No need to bake it.
Throw a ziplock in your jacket pocket and hit the trails.
So, whether you’re tearing down double diamonds or s-turning the groomers, skiing isn’t easy on the body, and taking care of yourself should be a big-time priority! Just remember Halfdayers- Prepare, prevent, hydrate, and eat. Recovering like a pro isn’t so hard after all!
Bailey Ness is the CEO and Creative Director at Nesscessity, a creative marketing agency based in Denver, Co. When she isn't busy running her business (#bossbabe), she loves to ski, run & brunch.@baileynesss
Kiley McKinnon is the co-founder of Halfdays and a former Olympic Aerialist at the 2018 Winter Olympics.@kiley.mckinnon