©istockphoto/VisualCommunicationsYes, we’re halfway to win­ter. Per­haps more than half way in some places, and it’s time to get seri­ous about work­ing out. No doubt, you’ve prob­a­bly been moun­tain bik­ing, hik­ing, and maybe some climb­ing mixed in there, but there’s always more that can be done to ensure you’re strong and injury-free this sea­son. Read on.

Bands and Foam Rollers
Elas­tic bands and foam rollers are used reli­gious­ly by phys­i­cal ther­a­pists to turn tight ten­dons and mus­cles into sup­ple pow­er­hous­es while also rolling out any knots or aches. These items are inex­pen­sive and can typ­i­cal­ly be found at your gym, so there’s no excuse for not uti­liz­ing their heal­ing abilities.

Try to incor­po­rate stretch­ing and rolling into your dai­ly work­out rou­tine and pay close atten­tion to your IT bands, glutes, quads, and the areas around your knees.

Bosu Balls
Bal­ance, core strength, and sta­bil­i­ty are extreme­ly impor­tant for skiers (and board­ers). A nifty lit­tle device, the Bosu Ball (also found at most gyms) is an excel­lent way to train for the slopes.

Try rou­tines con­sist­ing of two-legged squats, one-legged squats, and lunges.

Trail Run­ning and Hiking 
To gain sta­bil­i­ty and sta­mi­na, hik­ing and train run­ning are excel­lent activ­i­ties for skiers. Par­tic­u­lar­ly, the down­hill hik­ing or run­ning sim­u­lates some of the same move­ments and stances found in ski­ing and help to build ankle, quad, and glute strength. Just be sure to take care of those knees, as they can take a major beat­ing on the downhill.

Yoga and Swimming
These two exer­cis­es are par­tic­u­lar­ly amaz­ing if you are com­ing back from an injury. Both are low-impact, regen­er­a­tive, and, sim­ply put, they just feel good.

Ski­ing requires con­sid­er­able car­dio, which is where swim­ming can help. Yoga strength­ens, sta­bi­lizes, and helps work out any per­sis­tent kinks in your body: all impor­tant for float­ing in pow­der. Not to men­tion, your body can real­ly take a beat­ing dur­ing the win­ter months, so par­tic­i­pat­ing in restora­tive exer­cise is a must.

Weights
Many out­door enthu­si­asts scoff when you men­tion weight-train­ing. Their log­ic? The wilder­ness pro­vides them with all of the exer­cise they need. Fair enough, but don’t be too quick to dis­miss hit­ting the indoor gym. There are plen­ty of machines that can dra­mat­i­cal­ly enhance your strength, includ­ing the seat­ed leg-press which is excel­lent for your quads, glutes, and can help build knee strength and stability.

The Rou­tine
Alright, so here’s some­thing to try. Instead of moun­tain bik­ing or run­ning every day, why not incor­po­rate all of the above into your rou­tine for two weeks and see how it feels: Yoga and swim­ming one day, weight train­ing and the Bosu Ball the next, a good hike or trail run mid-week, then rip it up with your favorite sport(s) through­out the week­end. Be sure to foam roll and use elas­tic bands throughout.

If you incor­po­rate all of these exer­cis­es, there’s no doubt you’ll be health­i­er and stronger come sea­son ski.

Noth­ing can sti­fle your adven­ture lifestyle like a lack of good sleep. And cof­fee can only take you so far. So do your­self a favor. Grab some of those all-too-valu­able Zs by fol­low­ing these six easy tips to get bet­ter sleep for big­ger adventures.

1. Get Some Exercise
This one seems obvi­ous, but it’s not only the 15-mile run up your local moun­tain or cen­tu­ry club ride that gets your body ready for bed. Even a thir­ty-minute walk through the park or a bike ride to the gro­cery store and back can get your mus­cles stretched and ready to rest. Take some time out of your busy day to move, to get out­side, and that lit­tle light-bulb above your head each night will have no prob­lem click­ing off.

If you’re already in the back­coun­try, chances are you’ve already ticked this one off the list. Not to wor­ry though, we’ve got some oth­er tips.

2. Eat Light
Well… at least eat light before bed. For sleep­ing and san­i­tary rea­sons, avoid eat­ing a full rack of ribs as you tuck your­self into the cov­ers. All the ener­gy pro­duced from the food you eat just before you try to fall asleep will thwart your attempts to doze off. Instead, try a light-snack with a glass of water.

3. Enjoy the Day
If you haven’t already done it, do some­thing that you’re proud of today. Read a new chap­ter, call to an old friend or out of touch fam­i­ly mem­ber, do any­thing to make progress that you can be proud of. Noth­ing brings sleep quick­er then if it’s well earned.

If you have trou­ble rec­og­niz­ing your every­day progress, brain­storm before you go to bed, make a list, or chal­lenge your part­ner to do the same and share accom­plish­ments before going to bed each night. This accom­plished feel­ing will help to set your mind at ease.

4. Go Sans Pajamas
While it isn’t always the case, sleep­ing with few lay­ers or some­times no lay­ers at all can real­ly make a dif­fer­ence. The best prac­tice prac­tice may be to wear base lay­ers in a sleep­ing bag, but just like every rule, there are exceptions.

If your long under­wear and socks are too form-fit­ting, you may be cut­ting off cir­cu­la­tion. Addi­tion­al­ly, if you become too warm and start to sweat, it’ll start to feel like your wear­ing wet clothes. This can sab­o­tage your sleep­ing bag’s insu­lat­ing efforts.

5. Pull the Plug
It’s hard not to imag­ine a time in our day when we are not attached to some form of tech­nol­o­gy. Phones, radios, iPads, smart­watch­es, GPS; the list goes on. There is a lot of stim­uli that can keep our minds occu­pied. Before you put on the PJs (or lack there­of), pull the plug. Do your­self a favor and for­get the clever tweets and click­able head­lines, just lay back, relax, and know the next day is on its way.

6. Don’t Worry
It may seem counter-intu­itive to the arti­cle itself, but one of the biggest things you can do for your best sleep is to try and not to think about it too much. Go to sleep when you’re tired and under­stand what you need to do to accom­plish that. For some it’s med­i­ta­tion, oth­ers invest in earplugs for back­ground noise, but the best thing you can do is lis­ten to your body and fol­low the signs. Chances are, good sleep will be easy to find.