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Performance

Why You Should Never Ski into Shape

Skiing off the couch is always a bad idea.

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Humans are flawed beings, prone to lazy rainy fall weekends of Netflix binging and Chinese-food ordering. And then the lifts start spinning, and we think we’re Bode Miller.

Well, according to Shannon Bahrke, two-time Olympic freestyle medalist, World Cup Champion, and AIM U’s fitness instructor, we are not Bode Miller. “Skiing into shape is the perfect recipe for injuries and a weekend gone bad that lasts the rest of the winter,” she says.

Bahrke was known for being one of the hardest working athletes on the circuit, recovering from two knee injuries to win a bronze in the 2010 Olympics, eight years after she won silver in Salt Lake. “Fitness is everything,” she says. “You have to take care of your body.”

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She recommends always being proactive with strength training and preparation, in addition to maintaining a baseline of fitness every day. “Get inside and get down to work,” she says. That doesn’t mean you have to take a dedicated ski-fitness class, however. Yoga, pilates, just joining a gym and going can make a big difference. Swimming builds endurance and cardio, or try something completely new like raquet ball, which is fun, social, and it gets your heart pumping and your lateral movement firing.

Another tip is to arrange to meet friends for exercise dates. It keeps you accountable and makes it way more fun, Bahrke says.