By Laura Jackson

We already know that our body is the most vital piece of ski equipment we have, and that we can’t just go replace it for a newer model when it stops performing. So, what will you do this do this year to prepare for ski season? We asked some local experts to share their secrets.


99bIn the late 1980’s, after many years of playing sports — and numerous knee surgeries later — doctors told Joel Loane he needed to find new lower-impact ways to train. Running was no longer an option, so he started searching for new ways to stay in shape, safely strengthen his knees, and ski each season free of pain.

Loane then created one of the most innovative, effective pieces of training equipment ever invented for skiing. When he first showed his non-impact lateral conditioning machine to doctors and physical therapists, they encouraged him to introduce it to the public. Initially supplying only the U.S. Ski Team, Loane’s company, Skier’s Edge™, has since become the exclusive official supplier to the world’s best ski teams, including Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Canada. It’s also used today as a conditioning machine throughout professional sports as well as at many universities, sports medicine clinics and rehab centers.

Part of the beauty of its innovation is the customization that is possible with Skier’s Edge products. Loane believes this allows his company to share the gift of great skiing with a wide range of users. He explains, “We have machines that enable a first-time skier to become comfortable with the body positioning and ‘edging’ motion allowing them to really advance their techniques. We also have machines that allow the best Alpine ski racers in the world to maintain a competitive advantage through aggressive interval training.”

The company’s newest advancement, the Bootmaster™, was launched in 2014. It allows the use of ski boots while training on the machine to give the
most realistic skiing experience possible, along with an amazing opportunity to master proper positioning and form.


100USSA High Performance Chef Allen Tran understands that there’s a big difference between just eating food versus fueling your body with the proper nutrition for all you demand of it. As both a dietitian and trained wellness coach, he believes eating right means making sure the fuel in your internal gas tank is not just high quality, but capable of providing sustained energy.

He explains that your body needs all three major “macro” nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein and fat. Although carbs often receive a bad rap, they are the main source of energy for the body, and the key is to make sure the carbs you eat are tailored to your activity.

101“When you’re not moving and exercising very much, those carbs can be stored as excess fat,” said Tran. “However, if you’re doing something that requires a lot of energy, like skiing, then you really need those carbs.”

Tran describes his philosophy: “I think of energy from food as a campfire. The foundation of your fire should be big logs that burn for a long time. Complex carbs like whole-grain foods (whole wheat bread, oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta), starchy veggies (sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, whole fruit) are all great options, as they burn slowly and give sustained energy.” However, he also believes if you’re doing something strenuous, you may also need “kindling” that burns hot but burns-out quickly.

“So if you need a quick burst, fast-burning carbs like energy gels, sports drinks, fruit snacks, and pretzels have their place, but should be used only as needed.”

102To build muscle and become stronger, as well as to handle longer and more difficult runs, protein is still king. “The highest quality protein comes from lean meats, dairy and nuts,” said Tran. “I like Greek yogurt, as it’s about twice the concentration of protein as in regular yogurt.”


103“Regardless of your sport — Alpine, Boarding, Telemark, Cross-country or others, and whether it is a passion, or just for the casual enjoyment of winter’s gifts, we all want to optimize the opportunity to perform our best, have the most fun, and minimize the chance of injury,” says Parkite David Belz, owner and teacher at The Shop Yoga. He explains how yoga can be a great tool in realizing this goal and so much more.

Skiing requires a rhythmic balance of athletic skill and the surrendering freedom of soaring down the mountain with grace. In yoga, the art and scope of balance also go far beyond the physical, past the body’s learned ability to maintain a given pose without tumbling over. “There are many styles of yoga, but all, at one level or another, seek to harmonize breath with skillful movement and action,” describes Belz. He explains that while some styles focus more on alignment, some on spirit and others on flow, they all cultivate greater body awareness, life balance, and a capability that can increase your enjoyment on the slopes too.

“Yoga helps cultivate the strength, flexibility, balance and focus that are essential elements to optimal health, performance and fun,” says Belz. “And while it may sound like a cliché, the practice of yoga does bring all the pieces together to create a synergy of mind, body and spirit.”

So strong is Belz’s belief in the life value of yoga for everyone, that he has offered all classes at his successful studio, both for locals and visitors, on a voluntary donation basis since 1997.

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