Foot For Thought In Winter Sports

Ski season is fast approaching. Days are ticking, snow is building and feet are itching to get in to a good pair of boots! Perhaps you're a snowboarder, or even an ice skater at heart. Maybe you're a beginner, and looking to try them all! Whichever you are, there's one golden asset you possess but may neglect on your winter break- your feet.

When out on the slopes or gliding across a rink, you want to have fun. You want to get the most out of your day, and be comfortable at the end of it. You need your feet to participate in these worthwhile activities, so it is essential to look after them well- this means a little bit of prep, taking precautions during, and even some pampering when you're finished. Think of how glorious it feels to slide into a velvet-soft, comfy pair of slippers. It is true that when our feet feel good, we feel good. Sometimes we forget!

One thing to not forget, is being fitted properly for a pair of boots. The ancient Romans were the first to construct distinct left and right shoes- before that, shoes could be worn on either foot! Imagine ski boots being the same for each foot- it would be chaotic, not to mention hell on your legs and feet! For optimal comfort and support, it is particularly important to have ski boots, snow boots and ice skates professionally fitted. You need to try them on with any winter sport orthotics you require and the socks you will be wearing with the boots, which should be thin and lightweight, yet still able to provide proper cushioning and support- ask for a material that has insulation but draws perspiration away from the foot, to prevent blistering. The boot itself should be neither too loose nor too tight- walk around the shop in them, make yourself at home- request a cup of tea?

Speaking of tea, cake goes with tea and the next tip is a piece of cake! Stretching may bore you, but I'm sure that lying in a hospital bed is probably a bit more boring than your average muscle prep session! So, here's what to do- stretch your foot and leg muscles properly before beginning, and start activity gradually. Muscles take longer to warm up in the cold and are therefore more prone to injury. Pulling a muscle, getting cramp and obtaining a number of injuries is all too easy- it can happen in the blink of an eye (or the turn of a ski boot). Don't risk it. A stitch in time saves nine. Oh god, did I really use that ancient proverb? Well, you get the drift. Stretch your feet!

As you near the end of the day and start to feel fatigued, try to decrease your activity to prevent injury. Wind down, think about a rich hot chocolate and reflect on your awesome snow session. Maybe you're a little sore, your feet are fatigued or you simply desire some pampering. Well, now is the perfect time to make that drink whilst giving your beautiful feet a little TLC. Treat yourself to a foot bath in front of the telly, get someone to massage them or use some foot scrub with silky moisturiser to feel luxuriously rejuvenated.  Remember, taking care of yourself results in the ultimate freedom out there- you are ready for another incredible day!