It’s easy to forget, but it’s critical for our health and wellbeing to be active every day. Exercise and working out doesn’t need to take place solely inside a gym with boring repetitive actions. One of the successful ways to remain active is to partake in a range of activities - this includes sports activities too. The NHS explains that adults should take part in physical activity every day. They emphasise that all activity is great, and the more you move, the better! So, if you decide to include skiing in your activity schedule, what are the benefits for your health?
Skiing is an excellent example of an active and exciting cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise allows you to burn calories, which leads to weight loss. Balancing on your skis or snowboard down a steep slope helps you burn lots of calories. So if you’re looking to find a physical activity that will strengthen your heart and trim your waistline, skiing is an excellent option.
It’s not just the actual skiing that burns calories either - walking up the slope instead of taking the ski lift will increase the number of calories you burn. Plus, cold weather contributes to your total calorie burn. When it’s cold, you need to work harder to raise the temperature of your body, thus burning more calories.
Strengthening lower body muscles
If you’ve ever been skiing before, you’ll know that the lower part of your body works extremely hard to keep you upright and balanced. When you ski, your body naturally maintains the squatting position which is perfect for strengthening and toning the quads, hams, calves, and glutes.
For those of you that snowboard, you’ll also be working out your ankles and your feet which are muscles that are rarely used in such an active and targeted way. So if you’re looking for extra strength in your lower body, skiing is the sport for you.
Engaging the core
It’s not just your lower body that receives a killer workout when you ski! During this sport, balance is key. To maintain balance, you need to engage your core so that you don’t topple over into the snow.
In addition to maintaining your balance, your core is working to give you a smooth ride! Staying steady and smooth on slippery surfaces is challenging, especially as you weave through all of the slope checkpoints.
Your core has to remain steadily engaged, and work really hard to direct and stabalise you on the slopes. All of this work results in improved muscle toning across the abdomen, and a general improvement in your core strength.
To keep your body upright, and to stop you face planting the snow, your body engages a multitude of key muscle groups. From your legs to your abdomen, your body is working its muscles in a new way that constantly engages them.
As a result, skiing makes you much more flexible. The requirement to change direction quickly and frequently means that the body gets used to moving the muscles in different directions, which also reduces muscle strain and sprains.
It makes you happier!
It’s well known that exercise releases endorphins. This is why people usually feel content and accomplished after physical exercise. Skiing is no different - endorphin release creates feelings of relief and glee. So you’re bound to leave the slopes feeling better than you started.
Skiing also gets a double whammy of endorphins, because it usually takes place outside. Getting outdoors can also trigger endorphin release, so exercising outdoors is the answer to any miserable day. When you’re outside, you also benefit from an improved intake of Vitamin D which contributes to overall happiness too.
So whether you’re skiing on the looming slopes of a mountain, or practicing your snow skills at an indoor snow center like Chill Factore, skiing is excellent for your health with both physical and mental benefits.