Prewinter Jump Start

Cold-weather battle plans from the nation's top fitness advisors

    Photo: Gary Brettnacher

CONSIDER THIS sad tale: Last year a friend—we'll call him Steve—had to cancel a ski trip to Whistler after he severely wrenched his neck when his clock-radio alarm went off blaring Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle." He was supposed to catch his flight that day.

Steve's story is particularly tragic when you know that he had spent two diligent months preparing himself for winter play. He'd followed an accomplished ski coach's detailed baseline fitness regimen that comprised four core elements: strength, endurance, speed, and flexibility. By its completion, not only was he in great shape, but he had reduced his chances of injury (on the slopes, at least) significantly. Steve had also invested in some decent training clothes to eliminate any excuse not to work out when the weather turned nasty. And to further ensure that he careened into snow season healthy, Steve consulted an immunologist to help him fortify his immune system and keep the army of germs hosted by his phlegm-spewing coworkers at bay.

On the following pages we offer you a similar pre-winter training program. Our one-size-fits-all plan will help you start your winter sport—skiing, snowshoeing, broomball, whatever—in shape, not just finish it that way. The conditioning program has worked for University of Utah skiers; the immune-system advice comes from one of the country's foremost germ experts; and the clothing tips will not only change the way you think about training wear, but will provide much-needed aid to our fashion-challenged friends. And may we offer some final advice? Tune your clock radio to a jazz station.

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