Winter Sports: Skiing
Skiing is a popular winter sport that can have many health benefits.
Skiing is a great cardiovascular exercise that can help families burn some calories and lose weight. Beginners can get an extra calorie burn by walking up the slope rather than using the ski lift. And, for the advanced skiers, the steeper the slope, the more calories burned because the body has to work harder to keep balanced. Believe it or not the cold weather also contributes to added calorie burn, since the body is forced to work harder to raise its own body temperature.
Strengthens Lower Body Muscles
Skiing heavily targets the lower body muscles. Skiing naturally keeps the body in the squat position, which strengthens the quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes. Snowboarding also works some muscles that may not be used as often like the ankles and feet, which are engaged to help steer the board and maintain balance.
The art of balancing and engaging the core and key muscle groups during skiing makes the body more flexible. It also helps to reduce muscle strains and sprains. Just like any sport, it is recommended that you develop a stretching routine both prior to your day on the slopes and after to reduce chance of injury.
Engages Core Muscles
Keeping the body upright on skis requires balancing skills and focus. It is not easy to stay steady on a slippery slope, while weaving down the trail. By having to constantly stay balanced, it forces the core muscles to work hard at engaging, which improves muscle tone in the abdomen and overall core strength.
Getting outdoors and exercising promotes increased production of endorphins, which creates feelings of relief and happiness. You can also benefit from the added boost of vitamin D exposure from the sun, which is especially important in the winter when days are shorter.