If you live in the northern hemisphere, unless you are near a glacier, your resort shredding days are now numbered. Below are three things you can integrate into your summer activities that will result in stronger feet and less snowboard boot pain next winter.
1) Walk barefoot, bonus points for running barefoot:
Remember your hippy friend that walked barefoot everywhere? Maybe he was on to something? Walking barefoot strengthens the muscles in your feet and builds calluses (the best way to prevent blisters). Maybe there’s a reason that we were not born with shoes….or with snowboard boots for that matter. Start light by taking your flip flops off for a little bit while you’re walking on the beach during this summer’s vacation and then keep incrementally increasing the distance that you walk barefoot with each walk you take.
2) Get up from your desk and move:
The health hazards of sitting for prolonged periods of time are widely publicized and none of the data bodes well for snowboarding – especially if you are a 9-5 weekend warrior! The good news is that studies show that frequently getting up from your desk (even if for only for a couple of minutes) can significantly reduce the desk rot. Try mixing in some of the following into your workday:
Get up and talk to colleagues in person rather than sending intra-office emails
Walk to a farther bathroom
Stand up periodically or try a standing desk for part of the day
Sit on an exercise ball
Take calls while walking
Mix up your day with a little movement and come snowboarding season- your feet (and whole body) will be ready to charge the park, rip groomers and/or slash pow turns!
3) If you’re a gym rat try the Bosu Squat:
The what? A Bosu Ball is a fitness training device invented in 1999, it looks like a half ball with a flat, rigid plate or base. If you were wondering, Bosu stands for both sides up. Anyways, I can tell you from personal experience that balance required to perform the Bosu ball squat lights up the fast twitch muscle fiber in your feet -those same muscles that tell your brain that they are on fire on the first day of the snowboarding season.
Skateboard, Surf and Snowboard. That’s right, go to Mt. Hood, South America or Australia. If you can’t chase the snow then shred the water or the concrete. Nothing conditions your feet for shredding like shredding!
Have a great summer!