Winter is Coming : Get Ski Fit in Chamonix

The nights are drawing in, the temperature is dropping and it’s less than a month until the lifts open and the Chamonix ski season is under way!

Most people ponder toning up and getting fit before a beach holiday but how many get in shape before a ski holiday? Yes, those thick trousers and padded jackets can hide a multitude of sins but building up your fitness can make a world of difference to your performance on the slopes.

So… what exercises should you do to get your ski legs ready? Our friends at Clinique du Sport have developed a fantastic app that guides you through ski-specific exercises that will not only have you hammering the slopes like Tomba La Bomba but will also protect you from injuries that could hinder your apres-ski dance moves.

Training and running in Chamonix
Circuits at the athletics track with Cham Training

If you not only want to ski like Lindsey Vonn but also long to have her physique then join in one of the many fitness classes that are run weekly in Chamonix by our friends at Progression Fit and Cham Training. Kettlercise, cross training, pilates and personal fitness sessions will have you toning up muscles you didn’t even know you had.
Personal training & fitness classes in Chamonix

Yoga in ChamonixSkiing and snowboarding can take their toll on your body, leaving you with all sorts of aches and niggles. Soothe sore muscles and release tension with a restorative yoga class taught by Viva Yoga in Chamonix. Either join one of their group sessions to meet like-minded people, or book a personal session at an indoor or outdoor location of your choice.
Yoga in Chamonix

Massage in ChamonixIf all that action has left you feeling in need of a bit of TLC, book in for a soothing massage in the comfort of your own accommodation. Our partners at Revive offer all sorts of therapeutic treatments from a half hour Leg Blitz to a full body deep tissue massage. They’ll have you feeling brand new and ready to hit the slopes in no time.
Massage & Relaxation in Chamonix

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Yoga & Hiking in Chamonix : Escape to the Mountains

I’ve been to a few yoga classes before but usually in a studio, dashing there during my lunch break or after work to squeeze in a quick session whenever I have time. The idea of taking a day out to exercise, enjoy being outdoors and do a yoga session on a mountain top sounded like a whole new experience – one too good to miss.

Yoga hiking in ChamonixWe were picked up by Natasha and Nigel bright and early in Chamonix centre; a short drive to Les Houches and up a steep winding road through the forest brought us to the start point of our hike, at the edge of a small cluster of wooden chalets and old farmhouses.

Nigel lead the way on a gradual uphill climb through a shady forest – the air still fresh and damp from the previous night’s rainfall. The morning sun was streaming through the leaves and it was the perfect warm-up for our yoga session.

Yoga hiking in ChamonixWe crossed a pretty meadow and started winding upwards on a gentle trail; after a few hundred metres Natasha found a secluded little grassy area and got us warmed up with some fun chanting exercises to get our energy levels up for the day ahead – and to break down any inhibitions with a few laughs!

Yoga hiking in ChamonixAfter an hour or so at a fairly leisurely pace we came out of the trees and onto a sunny plateau with stunning views of the Mont Blanc Massif and the Bossons glacier. Natasha and Nigel found a level patch of ground and prepared it for our yoga practice, stringing Nepalese prayer flags from hiking poles and weighting down the yoga mats with stones.

Viva Yoga Goes Wild 3

Our session focussed on opening up the hips and stretching out the legs and lower back – a perfect compliment to hiking as these are the places most likely to stiffen up after a day in the mountains.

Yoga hiking in ChamonixI usually struggle with the whole “awareness” thing and being “present” in the moment but this feels so much more natural when the only thing that you are aware of is the sun on your face and the breeze tickling your skin – no other distractions or thoughts to drag you away from the here and now.

Although the ground was fairly level there was a soft carpet of grass and bracken beneath our mats, which added a challenging new dimension to the balancing poses but felt lovely beneath my back when lying down! Natasha’s guidance through the breathing techniques and various positions was clear and encouraging, with the emphasis more on enjoying the experience as a whole rather than on how close you can get your forehead to your knees.

Yoga hiking in ChamonixAfter an hour of wonderfully restorative yoga and one of the most soothing savasanas I’ve ever experienced, we tucked into a delicious picnic prepared for us by an organic epicerie in Chamonix – lentil, quinoa and mint salad with a vegetable curry and rice. Under normal circumstances I would be ready for a snooze after a nice walk and a hearty lunch but we still had a summit to achieve.

Yoga hiking in ChamonixNow that our legs had been warmed up by the hike and our bodies had been stretched out by the yoga, we were ready to tackle the hardest part of the day. Another hour or so up a fairly steep trail brought us out at the highest point of the Aiguillette des Houches at 2285m, a stunning ridge with breathtaking 360° views into the surrounding valleys. Hard work but well worth the effort, and the perfect climax to a wonderful day.

Yoga hiking in ChamonixNatasha and Nigel run their yoga-hiking day retreats every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (weather depending), you can find further details here or simply contact us to book your place.

Find out more about yoga in Chamonix here