When thinking of getting started with skiing, most skiers want an answer to the question “is skiing good exercise?”. Skiing offers more than just time from the office and a change of scenery – it comes with a wide range of health benefits too. The snow sport features mental, emotional, and physical aspects of wellness. In this article, we will be looking at all the health benefits of skiing.
Physical Benefits of Skiing
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health and Helps with Weight Loss
Most people assume that gravity does all the work the moment they put on their ski jackets and start sliding down the slopes on the all-mountain skis. This is not the case – skiing works your body hard.
Being up on your feet all day will get your heart rate up. The heart is a muscle. Working it out with activities such as skiing will make it stronger. To improve the impact that skiing has on your cardiovascular health, you can consider walking up the slope, rather than using the ski lift.
For some people, the first sign of snow means that it is time to dig out their blankets and wool socks and just go into hibernation. This does not help you with keeping your weight in the healthy range. If you invest in a pair of cross-country skis and some ski poles, maintaining a healthy weight range should be easy for you.
On average, moderate downhill skiing burns up to 400 calories per hour. Uphill cross-country skiing will burn up to 1000 calories every hour.
If you ski regularly, the calories you burn can add up pretty quickly. Over time, you should find yourself getting rid of those extra pounds.
2. It Helps Improve the Core Strength and Balance
Without a strong core and good balance, skiing won’t be easy for anyone. The deep core muscles, including the pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles, help you stay balanced after you put on the ski gear. These muscles get a good workout when you are out skiing. They work hard to ensure that you do not end up falling now and then.
Stronger deep core muscles are beneficial to your whole body. Stronger pelvic muscles will support the internal organs.
3. It Strengthens Your Lower Body and Leg Muscles
After putting on your ski helmet, you will spend a lot of time moving the lower body and squatting. This gives your lower body and the legs a complete workout – you will be working your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and thighs.
To help their legs get used to the work they will be doing on the slopes, most skiers prefer to do some leg workouts at home, before heading to their favorite ski destinations. Ensuring that your legs are ready to handle the work you will be putting them through should make skiing steps easy for you.
4. Makes the Joints and Bones Stronger
This is actually one of the most overlooked health benefits of skiing. When skiing, you will be putting a good amount of weight and tension on your feet, ankles, and knees. This will help strengthen the bones and joints in your legs.
Skiing motion and action help prevent knee damage too. On top of helping you keep your joints and bones in good condition for longer, it can help you avoid osteoporosis.
5. Increased Flexibility
To enjoy exploring the slopes after putting on your ski boots, constant stretching and motion will be necessary. This will help you increase both your range of motion and flexibility. This can help you avoid muscle strains when you exercise back home.
6. It Improves Vitamin D Intake
Nowadays, a large number of people work indoors. This has contributed to Vitamin D deficiency. When you decide to explore the slopes, you will be out in the sun all day. This allows your body to get enough vitamin D.
When skiing, your whole body will be covered. This means that you will get to enjoy plenty of sunlight without risking getting burnt all over.
Mental and Psychological Health Benefits of Skiing
At this point, you already know the answer to the question “is skiing good exercise?”. If you have assumed that skiing only helps you boost your physical health, you should know that this is not the case. Skiing is also good for the mind.
Mental health is as important as your physical health. Taking measures to ensure that your mind is always in good condition will help improve your overall conditioning and wellbeing. Below, we have some of the mental and psychological benefits you will enjoy if you decide to explore the slopes on your skis.
1. It Improves Proprioception
For most people, the term “proprioception” is new. Simply defined, proprioception refers to one’s ability to feel the position of their different body parts and the effort that usually goes into moving the body parts. To give you an example, if you close your eyes and then hold your hand in front of your face, you will know that the hand is in front of the face even though you cannot see it.
When skiing, you will use quite a bit of coordination and balance. If you want to ski well without falling, you will have to be conscious of the numerous slight movements and positions of the body. This helps you boost your proprioception.
As we age, proprioception tends to weaken. If you engage in activities that help boost proprioception, the ability will diminish at a much slower rate.
2. It Enhances Your Mood
Skiing is capable of enhancing your overall outlook and mood. Studies have proven that people who ski often return home with a greater sense of happiness and improved overall wellbeing.
When you are exploring the slopes on your skis, both adrenaline and endorphins will be released into the bloodstream. These chemicals are responsible for happiness and general mental wellbeing.
It is worth noting that the moment you grab your skis and head to the slopes, you won’t be surrounded by work. Instead, you will be spending time close to nature, surrounded by great scenery.
Work generally stresses a lot of people. Being away from the office for a single day or a couple of days will help you recharge. When you get back to the office, your mind will be in a much better condition.
On the slopes, you will not be skiing alone. You will probably meet new people. You will have at least one thing in common with the skiers – the snow sport itself. On top of helping you with widening your friend’s circle, talking to the other skiers will help boost your mood and mental health.
3. It Improves Your Cognitive Capacity and Concentration
When you are exploring the slopes on the skis, a lot will be going on. You will be focusing on staying balanced, turning, and in some instances, you may have to dodge obstacles and skiers who are out of control.
On top of giving your body an excellent workout, this gives your mind a great workout. Just like exercising your biceps and abs strengthens your physical muscles, exercising your mind will strengthen it.
In a study conducted by the CDC (the United States Center of Disease Control), it was discovered that skiing is capable of forcing the skiers to make decisions as they go along. It will ensure that you choose the best route while you remain aware of the objects which are moving around you.
This combination will help you think more clearly and also improve your cognitive capacity. This suggests that skiing is capable of making you a better learner in other areas of life. The snow sport has the potential to reduce the chances of suffering from a mental decline in your later years.
4. Skiing Improves Sleep
While good sleep has an impact on your physical wellbeing, it has a more significant impact on your mental and psychological wellbeing. According to the CDC, over 33% of American adults do not get enough sleep. This can be changed by skiing.
When skiing moguls, you will be working out your body and brain hard. At the end of the day, you will be ready for a good recharge. This will get your body in the habit of getting good and enough sleep.
Over time, you will start noticing improved physical and mental health. In terms of mental health, good sleep will help you reduce the chances of dealing with both depression and anxiety. Additionally, since you will wake up feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, you will have a good mood throughout the day.
Globo Surf Overview
If the question “is skiing good exercise?” has been bothering you, this article provides the answers. The health benefits of skiing make investing in ski bindings and other ski equipment worth it.
It is worth noting that skiing can affect your health negatively – skiing features a lot of risks and dangers. If you use snow safety gear and ski on slopes that match your experience, you should be able to avoid the dangers and risks.
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- Health benefits of skiing, Horderhealthcare.co.uk