Breakfast Television Visits GPP – Chelsea Sheppard, Physiotherapist

This year we had the great pleasure of welcoming CityTV’s Breakfast Television to GPP for a morning full of tips on off season, in season and on-the-slope tips for skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers.

Dawn Chubai and the Breakfast Television crew joined us to show simple exercises which can be done in your own home can help prevent you from injury on the ski hill or in the snowy back country.

The first segment demonstrates a warm up for skiers or snowboarders that can be done immediately before your first run of the day to prevent the risk of injury. As seen in the video, exercises that warm up your core (thoracic rotation) and all the joints of your lower body (squats) will help to promote blood flow, wake up your nerves and muscles and lubrication of your joints to prevent injury on the slopes.

Next were exercises to prevent injury that could be done at home during the winter or the summer. Our Pilates instructor, Melina demonstrated an exercise called “bird-dog”. This exercise works to balance the muscles around your stomach to optimize your alignment during skiing and snowboarding. Next, our Physio, Lina and a friend of the clinic showed how exercises that involve balancing on an unstable surface can be beneficial in training your body’s ability to withstand a bumpy ski hill to prevent an injury to the ankles and knees.

The third segment is a taste of what we do at our clinic…Pilates rehabilitation. The first exercise was “standing leg work” to gain strength and stability around the hips and core. This exercise is beneficial for many winter sports beyond skiing and snowboarding. The effects of this strength training are transferrable to even snowshoeing, hockey, figure skating or ringette. The next exercise was a demonstration of “footwork” on the Pilates Reformer. There are many possible benefits from this exercise, however in this segment we show how a simple exercise can help train the core muscles, realign the hips and teach the body how to distribute forces through the lower body effectively.

Lastly, we discussed snowshoeing injuries and tips/exercises to prevent them. Snowshoeing, although seemingly simple, requires a lot of body strength. For this reason, it is important that the body is adequately prepared for a day of exercise. Ensure a proper warm up, and prepare yourself for the weather with proper clothing, hydration and snacks. Also, if you are carrying a backpack with you, look to see if your back pack has supportive straps around your waist to distribute the load appropriately through your spine. A simple exercise such as lifting one knee at a time while sitting (ensure you keep a stable and neutral spine) can help strengthen your core to prevent injury while snowboarding.

We had such a great time with the Breakfast TV crew and hope we left you with some helpful tips for the next time you hit the slopes!

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