Winter is coming and we are counting down the days until the lifts open. To make the most of our first days on the hill, it helps to have a good base of fitness.

A good dose of strength, balance, coordination and aerobic fitness is key to ski with confidence, agility, lightness and will help reduce the risk of injuries.

Skiing to me means carving, enjoying the sense of freedom, having no fear, being in complete control: to make this possible our body needs to respond promptly to the signals our brain sends, turn after turn.

Most of the time we let our hectic routines drive us, making it hard to dedicate time to our fitness. But staying in shape doesn’t always mean going to the gym or being inside. Make being active a lifestyle. So, while the fall offers us a few more warm days and we wait for the first snowfall, I suggest you take advantage of outdoor activities to get in shape or maintain it – enjoy the fresh air, the mix of colours and smells. The positive feedback from being outside in nature – producing more vitamin D from the sun and the resulting endorphins - can create a state of euphoria and happiness. We recharge our batteries while working out.

Get outside, get close to nature, go for a walk among the hills, a bike ride, explore a new trail or get together with your girlfriends for a half hour yoga session on the grass…the options are many, diverse, easy to access and free.

Besides walks, hikes or bike rides, there are a few specific strength exercises you can do for a total body workout. You can do these in the park or your own backyard, and do not need any extra equipment.

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Below are three exercises, which we will refer to as “stations”. Look for a flat surface, and start off with the first station then proceed on to the next ones with no rest. Complete the circuit 3-4 times:

15 push ups.

Lay down prone, with your palms facing down and spaced apart just a little more than shoulder width. From a bent arms starting position, straighten your arms maintaining your core and lower body aligned & stable, and go back to the beginning position.

15 ab crunches.

Start off laying on your back with bent knees. Keeping your lower back on the ground, bend your upper back moving your forehead towards your knees. Do not forget to keep your elbows distant and keep the space between your chin and your sternum steady.

15 backward lunges.

(15 each leg). Start from a straight standing position and step backward with a wide step to create a 90 degrees angle of the front leg knee, then gradually go back to the starting position, squeeze your glutes and go back to start.

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What are you waiting for? Tone up your muscles, strengthen your joints and get ready for the snow season while enjoying the rest of fall outdoors!