10 Wellness Secrets from Hanna Albertson of Steamboat Ski Resort

Hanna Albertson, communications manager, Steamboat Ski Resort
Hanna Albertson, communications manager, Steamboat Ski Resort
Courtesy of Steamboat Ski Resort

Wellness as a local in a ski town generally revolves around preventing physical injuries and maintaining your mental health. As someone who spends hours per week on the slopes, Hanna Albertson, communications manager at Steamboat Ski Resort, has plenty of insights into how pros and guests can stay happy and healthy in such a locale.

Here, Albertson shares her holistic approach for maintaining peak physical and mental health until the slopes close in April.

1. “Two More, Skip the Last”

It's tempting to squeeze in extra laps when the conditions are awesome, but it's important to listen to your body. Instead of pushing through fatigue, opt for one final run and head for the base area.

Ending a long ski day before your legs are totally tired decreases the likelihood of injury. In fact, most injuries typically happen during the last run of the day.

When my friends and I are feeling tired, someone always asks, “Two more, skip the last?” Meaning: Let's ski two more runs and skip the last one.

2. Pocket Snacks

Always keep a pocket snack in your ski jacket to help maintain blood sugar while on the slopes. Conditions in the mountains are variable, and sometimes your next meal at the lodge is further away than you think.

Related: 5 Foods to Add to Your Spa's Snack Menu

3. Shield Your Skin

Nature can be harsh in the mountains, with low temps, strong winds and intense sun. To combat these effects, sunscreen and lip balm are essential. I make sure to carry a travel-sized face sunscreen and a couple lip balms in my pocket to ensure my skin stays protected and hydrated.

4. Soak

Steamboat Springs has several natural hot springs nestled in a rustic mountain setting for a tranquil experience. Local legend has it that the waters have healing properties, and the Ute Indians soaked them for ceremonial purposes. Many locals here opt for a dip in the natural mineral pools in lieu of a Epsom or sea salt bath.

5. Easy on the Après

As much as we love a local IPA or Aperol spritz after a day on the slopes, try and take it easy on the alcoholic après. You’ll have a much better day tomorrow.

6. Hydration for Elevation

It's easy to underestimate the effects of altitude on the body, especially if you’re used to a lower elevation. Enhance your hydration with electrolytes to optimize hydration. Personally, I opt for the Nuun electrolyte tablets, but in a pinch, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a dash of Himalayan pink salt in my water works wonders to keep me hydrated.

Related: Winter Heroes - Hydration from the Inside Out

7. Nourish

After a long day on the slopes, you’re going to need to refuel with more than just pocket snacks. Skiing/riding is hard on the joints, so I typically end my evening with a large cup of homemade bone broth. The collagen is good for the joints and the minerals help with hydration.

8. Turn Up the Heat

Wherever outdoor activities are abundant, it's essential to prioritize muscle recovery. After a week packed with backcountry ski touring and skiing powder at the resort, I always restore with a long infrared sauna or a slow-flow yoga class.

9. Connect with Community

Intense winters, especially in a ski town, can feel isolating with the short days and cold temps. Recognizing the prevalence of mental health challenges, nurturing a sense of community is really important. Maintaining a strong sense of community goes a long way during the winter months. My circle prioritizes shared weekday activities and has open dialogues about our mental well-being.

10. Disconnect and Reconnect

It’s easy to document every second of your ski vacation or film highlights from your backcountry expedition, but the moments we spend in the mountains are special. Few will look back and think, “I wish I spent more time on my phone.” When we embrace our time in the mountains by being fully present, we can look back and think, that was a life WELL lived.

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