Our new Snowgrrl contributor Tracie, based in the Swiss Alps, shares her and her friends’ tips for staying fit off season.
Fall in the Alps
Chilly air, vivid colors, and frosty peaks peer over us from the mountaintops to remind us that winter is on her way to the Alps. Swiss cheese and chocolate lure us into a warm comfort. We must not become too complacent lest we skimp on our preparations for ski season. Earlier this month, I gathered a few ski friends to help with the fall harvest of our small family vineyard. During the harvest, we had the opportunity to catch up on each other’s summers and learn what each person is doing as pre-season preparations.
Off-Season Swiss Fitness
Friends age 23-59 discussed how each is preparing for the upcoming winter/ski season, while harvesting grapes in the countryside. Here are their strategies:
I like to keep fit before winter by hiking and exploring all the local mountain huts we have around us with family and friends. Nearly every weekend we choose a new “cabane” (hut) to explore. We hike there together and spend the night in good company and a magnificent environment before hiking back the next day. For spending time in good company and keeping in shape, it’s a win-win!
I hit the weights hard to get in shape for the season. I try to lift relatively heavy weights 3 times a week. Those workouts are also a great for cardio. I add in some biking, hiking, kickboxing, straight cardio on the non-weight days. In addition, I’m doing a 100 day burpee challenge together with a 100 day squat challenge.
For me, mountains are an all year play (training) ground and I can never get enough of them! Autumn brings an amazing spectacle of colors. The sun still warms the vineyards, while we smell fallen leaves. The cold crispy mornings and the excitement of the first dustings of snow make me truly feel alive! I’m a believer in making sure you enjoy what you are doing and also in cross training. Fall temperatures are great for doing aerobic activity. You can find me on the bike, on long mountain hikes, climbing a classic alpine ridge or picking grapes at a friend’s vineyards… all in good company. When home, I do a few proprioconception exercises every evening which are great for the core and for balance on the skis. Of course, I finish with good food and rest.
After 14 years as a professional athlete, I’m fairly tired of completely organized workouts. I know it’s important to keep fit so I try to enjoy my fitness with long dog walks, hikes in the mountains, and cycling. A few weeks ago, my husband and I got a tandem bike and had a blast riding around. I’ll continue to do rides this winter on the indoor bike with Zwift, an online Virtual Reality biking program.
Stay tuned for more updates throughout the season from Tracie and her crew!