Skiing is a great way to relax the mind and exercise the body, but it has always been seen as a young man’s sport. But is skiing safe for elderly? Are the trends changing now? Let us find out.
Many factors make skiing a safe, relaxing, and healthy exercise option for elderly people. However, older people should consider skiing after thoroughly getting their health and medical conditions examined.
According to a survey, 18% of all skiers (about 1 in 5) are over the age of 55, which means that skiing isn’t as rare in older adults as people tend to think. Many people, after their retirement, want to travel and visit new places such as ski resorts to enjoy their time after retirement.
The number of senior skiers is rising due to better ski equipment, faster chairlifts, and better grooming on the mountains. It makes skiing safer and more accessible for elderly skiers.
However, skiers who are relatively inexperienced are at a fall risk, which could be especially dangerous for older adults. You should learn to ski on safe ground before going for actual skiing on mountains. You should know when skiing is safe for you and when it is not. In this article, let us explore these things further.
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Can You Ski at 70?
Cross-country skiing is a nice, low-impact exercise for your body and does not put a lot of pressure on your knees. Many people ski in their 70s as it is an excellent way to relax. Many senior skiers suggest learning skiing activities as it is never too late to ski.
Apart from skiing, there are a lot of other things that you can do at a snow resort, such as snowboarding, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, or cross-country schussing.
At 70, skiing can be dangerous. However, everything in life has some risks, including getting out of the bathtub or sliding down a mountain. You cannot eliminate these risks, but you can work on them to minimize them.
When you ski in your old age, you should follow proper techniques and use suitable equipment to reduce the risk of falling or getting an injury during skiing. People who follow the proper methods to ski in their old age can safely ski without worrying about engaging in an accident.
Is Skiing Better for Older Adults?
Older adults experience age-related changes, including decreased flexibility, issues with balance, reduced power, and loss of muscle mass. These changes can lead to an injury while skiing and, more importantly, make it difficult to heal.
Doctors advise people to continue a sport they like at an early age; it helps maintain physical health and fitness. If you live near a mountain or like winter you can choose skiing for your health. You can also choose other less strenuous options from winter sports, including snowboarding.
Some forms of skiing, such as cross country and downward slope skiing, have a low impact on the knees. People with arthritis can tolerate skiing better than running or walking.
There are many ways in which older skiers can avoid many injuries and risk losing balance. You need to start training how to ski with minimal impact on the knees about 3 to 4 weeks before you go out on the actual skiing slope.
Skiing in the mountains can be risky, but you should learn to ski to stay fit and healthy in your old age. If you take proper lessons, you will not have to worry about injuries while skiing.
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Can Elderly People Learn To Ski?
Yes, it is never too late to learn skiing. You can learn to skin at 50 or at any age. However, you should learn it after knowing its risks. You can quickly start learning or continue skiing at an older age if you stay in good shape.
You should check with your physician or doctor before beginning skiing; your knee joints may need to be strengthened. Your physician may recommend you do hip abduction and balance exercises before starting your ski lessons.
Before learning to ski, you will have to improve and maintain your balance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. You may get minor injuries while learning to ski, but you may need surgery or lengthy rehabilitation if you get a significant injury. The chances of getting major injuries are low because of improved ski equipment, so you should give skiing a try.
With the help of better equipment, ski run maintenance, apparel, you can get back on the slopes or learn to ski. You can use new and better skis as they are lighter, the boots fit perfectly, and are more comfortable and warmer.
You can also get special training for seniors over 50 from many ski instructors. The ski resorts groom the slopes to perfection every night to offer optimal safety for seniors.
Seniors learning to ski for the first time will not have to unlearn old styles of skiing or any bad habits. However, if you are a returning skier, you will have to adapt your skiing to skiing recommended for seniors; it will help maximize your experience on new advanced skis.
Seniors should also learn to ski as many ski resorts offer discounts on tickets for seniors, which makes it affordable for many older adults.
In some unfortunate cases, seniors never return after their first ski lessons because of improper preparation. Some seniors wear the wrong clothes or are out of shape and usually don’t return after the first day. You should prepare before you start your beginner senior ski lessons.
You should complete the following recommended conditioning checklist for older skies, including:
- You should get a doctor’s consultation and get a physical exam before your lesson.
- You should start a low-impact regimen exercise, including half-squats, stretches, lunges, drive-ups, leg curls, and crunches. You should avoid plyometric exercises like box jumps.
- You should add weight training to your exercise program. You can start with light weights and fewer reps.
- You should avoid training too much. You can alternate between biking, walking, stretching, and active rest.
- You should purchase the best equipment for ski apparel, helmet, skis, poles, boots, or board. You can also rent ski clothing at the resort.
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Why Do Incidents Occur During Skiing?
Many people when ski encounter with an accident due to their mistake
There are many reasons for incidents at ski areas to occur, including:
- Skiing too fast or out of control can cause an accident.
- Stoned, distracted, intoxicated, reckless, and rude skiers cause more accidents on slopes.
- Skiers ignore trail etiquette, proper rules, and warning signs and violate right-of-way protocols.
Tips to Safe Skiing for Seniors
You should remember these tips to make your skiing safer when you are skiing. Some tips include:
Many skiers don’t follow the proper attitude when they ski; they are wild, reckless, and careless. These skiers don’t think skiing is a dangerous activity. However, being reckless can lead to accidents.
It is a good thing that when people grow old, they also become more responsible. You can use your sense of responsibility, avoid carelessness, and enjoy your skiing with more safety.
- With the sense and knowledge that you are not immortal, you can achieve a proper attitude and keep your skiing safe.
- Older people who help in household work have learned to respect their limits. Know your limit, and you will not overdo skiing.
- If you start skiing at an early age, you indeed have learned from the experience and observation that alcohol abuse can create more trouble than it’s worth. You should avoid drinking and skiing.
Proper equipment is essential for senior skiers. You should have gear from head to toe; it makes your skiing safer and boosts your confidence knowing you are at low risk of getting injured.
You should consider this equipment to boost your defense against injury during skiing, including:
- Helmet: It is the first rule for safety gear. You have already learned to use a helmet while traveling on a bicycle or motorcycle. So using a helmet will be easy for you when you ski. You should purchase one helmet and use it, especially when skiing on hard-packed ice or snow.
- Wrist guards: you can get wrist injuries while skiing, so you should use a wrist guard to prevent injuries. However, you should resist the temptation to stop a fall by using your hand, even if you are wearing wrist guards. You can still get injuries or may make things worse.
- Impact shorts: Falling is common in skiing; you should minimize the impact of falling on your hips by using impact shorts. These shorts protect your backsides and hips when you fall due to losing balance. You can get an impact short for both men and women.
- Knee pads: Don’t think that knee pads are for sissies. Many athletes, such as volleyball players, use knee pads to protect their knees from injury. Knee pads are soft pads containing cloth and plastic. You can also use knee pads for skiing. Knee pads help keep the knees warm, best for wearing in cold regions.
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People who don’t use proper techniques are more likely to get hurt. If you don’t use appropriate methods, you may put more stress on some parts of your body that are not suitable for senior skiers. Senior skiers with the poor technique are also tired out quickly.
Many people may not want to spend their time or money on the lesson because they think using skis and poles is easy and don’t need any new lessons. However, You should learn proper skiing techniques specially designed for seniors before you go to the mountains.
You should not overdo your training or skiing; if you are feeling too tired to go on, you can call it a day. It is better to rest than get an injury at the end of the day.
Here is a nice video that explains proper skiing techniques for older adults:
You should follow the code of responsibility to protect yourself and other skiers around you. When you are on a slope, safety-promoting behavior is crucial. Many ski areas recommend skiers the following rules to follow, including:
- You should avoid people ahead of you as taking over them can lead to an incident.
- You should always stay in control and avoid or stop other people or objects. Making contact with them can cause you to fall.
- You must not stop skiing where you are not visible from above or obstruct a trail.
- You should use devices that help prevent runaway equipment.
- When you start skiing downhill or merging into a trail, you should look uphill and yield to others.
- You should observe all posted signs and warnings when you ski in a new area. You should stay away from closed areas and closed trails.
- You should only use a lift when you have the proper knowledge and the ability to ski, load, and unload safely.
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Self-protecting tactics help skiers to avoid a number of incidents and accidents. You can use several self-protection tactics, including:
- You should stay away from beginner areas, as most beginners are likely to bump into you and cause you to lose balance.
- You should avoid crowds, crowded ski resorts, and days when the public is the most.
- You should maintain a predictable rhythm of turns when skiing.
- You should remain with your friends or family.
- You should vigilantly monitor your surroundings and uphill activity.
Cost of Skiing for Seniors
Skiing is affordable for seniors as most ski resorts offer discounts on lift tickets, food, and ski equipment rental. However, the cost of skiing at a ski resort depends on the popularity and size of the resort.
The average price of skiing for two senior skiers for one day on the slopes is around $500. The expense to ski may rise when you select a big resort. However, you can take a big family ski trip if you get a seasonal deal or offer from big resorts.
You can also use ski passes to get discounts at many ski areas. Some ski passes, including Epic Ski Pass and Senior KBA Pass, offer seniors to ski at a discount price.
Top Ski Resorts for Elderly People
There are many first-grade ski resorts available for senior skiers. Some gold award-winning ski areas for seniors include:
- Alta Utah
- Mt. Hood Ski Bowl Oregon
- Lake Louise Ski Resort in Alberta, Canada
- Waterville Valley New Hampshire
- Whitewater Ski Resort British Columbia
- Whitefish Mountain Resort Montana
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With proper attitude and technique, you can make your skiing activities safer. The number of senior skiers is increasing thanks to safe ski resorts and adequate equipment. You should follow the tips to make skiing safe for seniors.
You can spend your retirement with your family and loved ones at a ski resort during winter with these tips. Many ski resorts are doing a better job to make their resort safer for seniors by grooming slopes and installing high-speed chairlifts.
We hope this article has given you enough information for you to make up your mind about skiing. Skiing can be a fun and relaxing activity for people of any age, and if you follow the right protocols, techniques, and protective gear, it can be a harmless activity for you to enjoy.
Do share this information with others like yourself!