Are you skiing this winter? You should! I know that during cold winters all you want is to hibernate, indulge in comfort foods, and stay away from the freezing outdoors. But instead of dreading the cold season, you could just hit the ski slopes to improve your fitness, enhance your well-being, and have some well-deserved winter fun! No matter your age or skill level, you can always benefit from a day out in the snow. It’s good for both your body and mind.
Not only does skiing provide you with multiple health benefits, but depending on where you choose to go skiing, you will be able to enjoy spectacular views and the thrill of going down a mountain covered in pure white snow. Skiing is especially beloved by people who live in areas with little or no snow, and by those who choose to make the most out of the winter season.
1. Fresh Air
One of the best natural remedies is fresh air, especially for those suffering from respiratory illnesses, such as asthma. Mountain air is the freshest and cleanest you'll ever get. It is free from toxic fumes and urban pollution that seems to be everywhere in and around large cities. A skiing holiday for people who are affected by respiratory issues can be extremely beneficial.
2. Cardiovascular Health
Speeding down the snow-covered mountain will get your heart pumping and increase the blood flow throughout your body. This coupled with the fact that you have to carry your skis at the beginning of each day will give you a great cardiovascular workout for strength and heart health. Additionally, the high altitude and elevated heart rate will benefit your cardiovascular system. This will cause your muscles to get in more blood and oxygen, so they are able to expand and burn more calories faster. You can then continue your day with a cup of hot chocolate guilt-free!
3. Improved Flexibility
Make sure you follow a stretch routine before you hit the slopes. Doing this will make it less likely to experience muscle strains and sprains. Furthermore, skiing develops your ankle flexibility during tight turns. It also develops your overall flexibility when you bend over to do-up and undo your boots. With increased flexibility, you will be able to ski for longer periods of time with limited fatigue. So don't skip your stretch routine before skiing!
4. Bone and Joint Health
Your knees withstand the tension and bodyweight as you make your turns downhill. This helps strengthen your joints and bones thanks to the weight-bearing impact on your legs. This will promote knee health and prevent knee damage and the risk of osteoporosis.
5. Muscle Power
Skiing is a full-body workout. Gliding, leaning and turning help work almost every muscle in your body. Bending, jumping, and balancing also help stabilize your muscles and help you attain the proper skiing stance. Going downhill helps you engage your core muscles for balance and stability, while your quads and hams are strengthened during your turns. Use your winter holiday to strengthen and condition your muscles by skiing!
6. Strong Legs
If you've been missing on your leg days, you cannot allow yourself to miss the opportunity to go skiing. You can sculpt and strengthen your legs out of the gym and on the slippery slope. Skiing puts you in a constant squat/crouching position which helps work both your inner and outer thighs, alongside your hams, quads, and glutes. You won't even feel the burn because you'll be focused on making the right turns and you'll be distracted by the beautiful winter view.
7. Core Stability
Your core is required to be constantly engaged to help balance you as you are skiing. Because this winter sport challenges your agility, balance, and core endurance, you will train your core's stability to help you prevent falling and slippage in your golden years.
8. Vitamin D
Increase your vitamin D level naturally by being in the great outdoors. Going skiing is a great opportunity to help you achieve optimal vitamin D levels naturally. The Sun will be less cruel than in hot summer days, plus the air temperature and climate will make you crave and enjoy those sunny mountain days. Use this chance to get a good dose of Vitamin D. This will give your immune system a boost that will fight off the common cold and enhance your overall well-being.
9. Enhanced Proprioception
Increase your body-position awareness and enhance your sense of your body's mechanics. Because skiing involves a great level of balance and coordination, you must be aware of your body position, movements, and the effort that goes in making these movements, in order to help you stay on your feet while skiing. Since your proprioceptive abilities diminish with age, engaging in skiing can help you strengthen this ability and retain it for longer.
10. Enhanced Well-Being
Nothing can boost your mood quite like skiing. It positively impacts your physical and mental health, regardless of how frequently you hit the slope or for how long you're sliding on it. Not only is the movement involved uplifting, but the fresh air, vitamin D exposure, and wonderful scenery will help boost your mood, improve your immune system, and release a good level of endorphins throughout your body during the exercise. The adrenaline rush you get will also positively impact your state of mind. This combination of endorphins, rush, vitamin D, body movements, and fresh air will boost your mood to ward off stress and enhance your overall well-being.
11. Quality Sleep
After being out on the slope for most of the day, you will have better control over your sleep. The fresh air also works wonders for your sleep quality, improving it and enabling you to replenish your energy for the following day. This will also give you proper rest during the holiday, to significantly reduce accumulated exhaustion. You will return to your daily life rested and rejuvenated.
12. Weight Loss
Skiing can actually help you burn up to 3000 calories during one day of skiing. This is also helped by the fact that the colder temperatures cause an increase in your body's temperature, which creates a thermogenic effect. Just one week on a skiing holiday can help you lose up to 5lbs. This makes skiing an excellent and fun way to lose weight and promote healthy eating habits. During your breaks when you need to refuel, you'll naturally want to drink more water and eat more protein and carbs such as fruits and veggies. So not only will you lose some weight, but you'll also return from your holiday with healthier eating habits.
Skiing is a fun way to work out and boost your immune system, all while enjoying beautiful snow-covered views. It is also a community sport, meaning that you are able to socialize and meet new people that love skiing just as much as you do. And if you're a beginner, you can easily find someone on the slope ready to teach you some moves and give you a nice introductory lesson on how to start. You can also enjoy skiing with your friends and family. The falls in the snow and races in skiing are excellent ways to bond and have fun. Plus, they make for wonderful memories to remember and enjoy for the rest of your life.
What are you waiting for? Get your friends, choose an awesome destination, and go skiing! Just remember to stretch each time before you hit the slope. You will benefit from a fun exercise, condition your muscles, strengthen your core, and rejuvenate by connecting to nature. If you're new to skiing, then learning how to perform this sport will keep your mind alert and promote better nerve function, as well as giving you the opportunity to discover something you will absolutely love and enjoy. And possibly something you're going to be excellent at!