You may not hit the slopes for a month or more -- but now's the time to condition yourself. Working on a ski-fitness regimen now will mean more fun, better performance and less risk for injury later. The experts recommend training for at least 8 weeks prior to your first ski trip, but even if you've got less time than that, use whatever time you have to your advantage.

Here are the areas you'll want to cover:

  • STRENGTHEN YOUR SKIING MUSCLES. Skiing is very much a full-body sport, but you should pay particular attention to certain areas. Target your leg and hip muscles with squats and lunges. Work your midsection with crunches. And build up your shoulder muscles with military presses and lateral raises.
  • BUILD STAMINA. Skiing is an endurance sport. If you're not already doing cardiovascular exercise, commit to a workout 3 times a week.
  • IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY. Stretching religiously before and after workouts will increase your joints' range-of-motion. And that will help you perform better and lower your injury risk.