7 Fitness Tips from Holleigh Alexander-Ramsey
Holleigh Alexander-Ramsey, Executive Director of Spa & Wellness has over 10 years experience in the spa and wellness industry with specific oversight and focus on holistic well-being. Her spa management experience includes Starwood Hotels Luxury Collection, Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts as well as private, luxury golf & spa clubs. Holleigh is a member of IDEA Health & Fitness Association and works closely with her team of certified fitness professionals to create exceptional fitness and wellness activities and experiences both indoors and out for our guests.
Fitness Tip #1
Go for a hike. Hiking for ski readiness requires more than just a walk around the block; the object of the hike is to strengthen your legs and your core and a great and fun way to accomplish this is to go vertical. So, add hills into your hikes, big hills, small hills, doesn’t matter, just add a long, gradual incline. Easy does it on the decent focusing on your core to keep you slow and steady to avoid knee discomfort or injury. No hills or mountains outside your doorstep? Hit the gym and hop on a treadmill instead.
Fitness Tip #2
Focus on your core. For something different with added benefits, try Pilates…either a mat class or on the Reformer for a higher degree of difficulty. Don’t worry if you can’t get to a gym, there are some great Pilates videos that you can do at home. If Pilates isn’t your thing, here are some basic core-strengthening exercises that will also fit the bill…
- The Plank - get in a pushup position on the floor and support your upper body on your forearms. Keeping hips low and abs tight ensure the body is linear and hold this position for as long as you can. Want to push yourself further? Try this: raise and lower each leg a few inches while raising opposite arm stabilizing with your core.
- Abdominal Crunch with Stability Ball - seated on a stability ball with your feet firmly planted on the floor, place your hands behind your head and lie back on the ball. Using your abdominal muscles, raise yourself up to a seated position while keeping your feet on the floor. Be sure to keep your elbows out and chin up to keep your chest open for perfect form.
- Superman – grab a mat and lay on your stomach with arms stretched over your head. Using your core, lift your legs and arms simultaneously while lifting your torso, hold for as long as you can, then release slowly. Repeat.
Fitness Tip #3
Work those legs! Classic leg exercises such as squats, lunges, and calf raises are basic enough to incorporate into any daily workout but should do the trick if done regularly. For maximum results, do three sets of each 12-15 reps with 60 seconds of rest in between each set to build endurance. For a little tougher leg workout, try a wall sit…with your back flat against a wall, bend your knees to 90 degrees and “sit” with your quads parallel to the floor and hold for 30 seconds to start and work your way up to 3 minutes by adding 5 seconds per session. Wanna kick it up a notch? Add a medicine ball and hold to your chest while in the wall sit position.
Fitness Tip #4
Get up and stretch. Stretching improves overall flexibility and reduces injury, particularly in skiers. Focus on the lower extremities with these daily stretches…
- Hamstring & Calf Stretch – lying on the floor on your back, loop a resistance band around the ball of one foot and extend above you while the other leg extends straight out on the floor. Using the resistance band to pull the foot to a flex position creating tension from the calf to the hamstring and hold for 20-30 seconds; repeat with the opposite leg.
- Quad Stretch – while standing, lift your right foot to your backside and hold your ankle with your right hand keeping your knee fully flexed and hold for 10-20 seconds to feel the stretching of the hamstring; repeat with the left leg. Balance check? Use the back of a chair for assistance.
- Glutes Stretch – lying on the floor on your back, bend your knees keeping your feet on the floor. Place the ankle of one foot on the opposite knee, while holding the knee of your bottom leg pull both legs to your chest and hold for 10-20 seconds; repeat on the other leg.
- Lower Back Stretch – sitting on the floor with your left leg extended in front of you, cross the right leg over the left, keeping your knee bent and place your foot next to the outer knee. Rotate the upper body to the right while placing your left arm on your leg with the opposite hand on the floor for balance to stretch the lower back and hold for 20-30 seconds; repeat on the opposite side.
Fitness Tip #5
Build up your endurance. Building up your endurance is essential to prevent fatigue which reduces the risk of injury regardless of your skiing ability. Cardiovascular workouts are most effective when preparing the heart and body for ski season so plan on 3-5 days per week for at least 20 minutes per day in addition to a rotation of upper body and lower extremities focused exercises. To get the most impact from your workout, vary the intensity and include one long, slow workout such as a walk for 60 minutes or more. So get out a go for a run or hit the elliptical at your local gym or even a Zumba class for something different, …your body will thank you for it.
Fitness Tip #6 & #7
Take the day off. There’s nothing better than a little R&R to restore and revive after at the end of the week.