1. Start to prepare at least four weeks before your holiday, particularly if you don't usually do much exercise. This will improve your stamina and enable you to enjoy yourself better and reduce risk of injury and fatigue
2. Make sure you are aerobically and cardiovascularly fit
3. You need to have strong quads so work on quadriceps strengthening exercises before you go away
4. It's important to prepare your whole body, not just work on your lower limbs. Combine squats and other strengthening exercises with balance exercises such as standing on one leg
What do you need to do during a holiday to give yourself the best chance of avoiding injury?
1. Make sure that you've got your bindings fitted properly to your skis according to your skiing ability, height and weight. This is to ensure that your bindings release appropriately to minimise the risk of, for example, a knee injury
2. Don't drink too much the night before. There are statistics out there that show that anything up to 30% of people on the slopes can be over the legal driving limit
3. Be aware of all the other people on the slopes. Most of the serious injuries now are collisions with other skiers and snowboarders. It is well known that skiers and snowboarders have different fall lines and that the impact between the two are becoming more and more common and in fact can become more and more dangerous. Try and be as alert as possible to what is going on around you - not just below you down the mountainside but behind you as well if at all possible. While a helmet may protect you, the debate about helmets remains open as to whether the countries that have a high usage actually have a lower major head injury rate
4. Ski within your own limits. Only ski on runs that you are competent on
5. Be aware of the weather conditions. A red run in sunny weather with good visibility might be fine, but with zero visibility it could be a nightmare
If an injury does occur, what advice would you give on quickly assessing whether an injury is serious or not?
"If an injury does occur then things to look out for are severe pain, rapid swelling, bruising and inability to weight bear. The more this occurs, the more likely it is that you have got a serious injury. It is important to be seen locally at the bottom of the slopes by the relevant clinic. They have got great expertise but often limited imagine facilities and normally only have X-rays. Therefore even if you think that you have been seen properly when abroad, when you get back to the UK you should get referred to a UK specialist to get your injured knee of shoulder properly assessed and scanned.
Even if you don't get much in the way of pain, bruising and swelling you still need to go back and see an appropriate consultant when you return to the UK."